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Given the fact that Wadhwani Foundation is trying to achieve large-scale job creation and economic development, driving simultaneous policy changes will be key to meet the Foundation’s objectives.

Wadhwani Foundation’s goal is to drive data and evidence based research that will drive policy advocacy and eventually policy making towards economic acceleration. The Foundation pursues its policy advocacy through:

• Policy Research Centre, New Delhi
• Wadhwani Chair on India-US Policy, Washington DC

Wadhwani Foundation’s Policy Research Centre undertakes and provides research inputs for informed policy making with the objective to create a people-centered, high growth economy. A team of policy research specialists at the Centre is currently focusing on innovation and R&D, MSMEs, entrepreneurship, skill development and employment driven policy research. Following are some of the research programs of Policy Research Centre:

R&D and Innovation
A study has been undertaken to evaluate public support of private-sector R&D through Small Business Innovation Programme of India (SBIRI) and Biotechnology Industrial Promotion Programme (BIPP), both initiated by the Department of Biotechnology. The study concluded that there is ample evidence of these programmes stimulating R&D and efforts to commercialize them.

SMEs & Entrepreneurship
The decade of the 1990s witnessed a remarkable re-emergence of competitiveness, Innovative activity and job generation in the U.S, not seen in the past many years. This economic turnaround was driven by the small businesses and attracted the attention of the policy makers across the world to the potential these small business have as a driving engine of growth, job creation, competitiveness and innovative activity. It is now widely believed that a thriving, innovative and entrepreneurship driven SME sector is a pivotal element in the process of economic growth and job creation. To understand ways & means to promote entrepreneurship-driven, high growth SMEs, Policy Research Centre is conducting research on the opportunities and challenges being faced by SMEs & start-ups.

Employment & Skills
To understand employment outcomes towards economic acceleration & inclusive growth within the broad regulatory and structural context, Policy Research Centre is examining the employment trends and how processes of skill development, policy reforms, organizational restructuring & innovation shape the patterns of continuity & changes in employment relations.

Wadhwani chair on US-India policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a leading bi-partisan policy “think tank” in Washington, D.C, aims to accelerate India – U.S economic activities.

Given India’s growth potential and demographic dividend, both India and U.S stand to benefit by a focused policy initiative that drives economy-oriented reforms. Impacting policies to accelerate India-U.S economic activity is a key focus area for the chair, by way of strengthening India-U.S relationship through a shared vision and a policy framework for economic acceleration.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIRI) and Biotechnology Industrial Partnership Programmes (BIPP)

In this study Policy Research Centre has assessed the performance of two of India’s most comprehensive and largest programmes initiated by the Department of Biotechnology and administered by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) - SBIRI and BIPP.

Both SBIRI and BIPP are modeled on the hugely successful and globally replicated Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) in the U.S. The primary purpose of this study was to produce a set of evidence based recommendations to help policy makers improve impact measurement and scale up the programmes in terms of quality of the firms and the research projects being funded, commercialization of the research, satisfaction of the beneficiaries with the program and the program’s contribution to the firms’ growth.

Based on online surveys of 80 firms, the study concluded that there is ample evidence that SBIRI/BIPP Programs are highly competitive with rigorous reviews, and are stimulating R&D as well as commercialization efforts that would not otherwise have taken place. Further, the benefits associated with the programme are substantial with a public-private investment of USD 219 million assisting growth of firms and beneficiaries experiencing enhanced brand equity, goodwill, R&D activity, increased sales, investments and profits. The study strongly recommends further improvements in these programmes and their replication by other government departments to stimulate scientific and technological advances.

At the same time, the study finds structural constraints that are inhibiting growth of PPP in innovation – inadequate funding, little support for commercialization of technology, bureaucratic delays and inadequate technical assistance. To stimulate innovation, Wadhwani Foundation recommends addressing four major challenges:

• Mismatch between objectives of public and private sectors
• Cross-cultural divide that exists in public and private systems
• Mismatch in speed of action especially in terms of money flow from the government
• Partnership not looked upon as a committed investment by both parties with mutual values

Policy Research Centre expects that the findings of the study stimulate alignment of the SBIRI/BIPP with international best practices and lead to upscaling of the SBIRI/BIPP programmes.