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Local Innovation Surging In India In the 2019 edition of its India Innovation Report, Clarivate Analytics found that as many as 60,355 India priority patents were filed between 2016 and 2018. In the 2015-2017 period, that number was 54,481.

By Debroop Roy

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Innovation is driving change across the world. More so, in developing economies where innovation is often the tool necessary to bridge the many gaps that continue to exist between the highest and the lowest strata of the society. And India is surging in terms of local innovation, according to a report by Clarivate Analytics.

In the 2019 edition of India Innovation Report, it is found that as many as 60,355 India priority patents (those that are first filed in India) were filed between 2016 and 2018. In the period 2015-2017, the number was 54,481.

The report showed that local innovation has grown at a staggering rate of 16 per cent over the last five years.

"The patent trends outlined in the report highlight India's success as both a source and destination of innovation," said Clarivate's vice-president Arvind Pachhapur in a statement.

The share of India priority patents among all patents published in India has grown from 25 per cent in 2016 to 34 per cent in 2018. And of the top 30 organizations that published those patents, 18 are homegrown.

Strongest Areas

For published patents in the stated period, the report found that communications (31 per cent) was the fastest-growing sector in terms of compounded annual growth rate. It was followed by computing at 27 per cent.

With India fast developing newer technologies and applications for smartphones in recent years, the lead by communications doesn't quite come as a surprise.

The country is the second-largest telecommunications market across the globe and is the fastest-growing in terms of app downloads on Google Play Store, the report said.

It added that the government allowing 100 per cent foreign direct investment in the sector has also helped its cause, with companies such as Huawei, Ericsson and Samsung being among the top filers in the domain.

In computing, upcoming research areas include computer-assisted education for remote learning and people with disabilities, big data analytics, healthcare and agriculture. Innovative start-ups are filing patents related to providing seamless customer experience, machine learning in healthcare and need prediction in fashion, said the report.

Apart from communications and computing, polymers and plastics was the sector with most filed India priority patents.

Organizations

The top five India priority patent filers during the period were Huawei, Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Samsung, Ericsson and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

For China's Huawei, India has emerged as a big market with the company facing troubles in the US. The booming smartphone market in the country and with 5G a near future bet, it shouldn't be surprising that 51 per cent of all the patents it filed were India priority.

CSIR's focus areas for patents include polymers, with applications in food, oil, water and pharmaceuticals, as well as water purification and fermentation, among others.

The presence of HAL in the list reflects its dominance as the only Indian-origin company in an industry otherwise dominated by global giants such as Boeing, the report said.

"There is a growing number of innovative start-ups in the country. That, along with significant investments in R&D by leading companies in the region and the active participation of premier research and academic institutes in IP creation, speaks of an encouraging trend for the country," said Pachhapur.

Debroop Roy

Former Correspondent

Covering the start-up ecosystem in and around Bangalore. Formerly an energy reporter at Reuters. A film, cricket buff who also writes fiction on weekends.
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