Quōvādis? -Technology News,

Starting with the announcement of the Nobel Prize in October toward the end of the year, there are many topics about research and development in the field of science and technology. As authoritative and ambitious as the Nobel Prize, it should not be considered a reflection or metric of research and development (R & D) in any country. This year, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry has provided some good lessons for the global and Indian R & D communities, seeing the recognition of gene editing technology.

First, Nobel went to two women, Emmanuelle Charpentier of France and Jennifer Doudna of the United States.

Charpentier moved a significant number of labs in the United States and then in Europe before eventually being able to deploy his technicians and labs, but by then pioneering research on CRISPR-Cas9. Has already been published. She also worked with Doudna after a chance encounter at the meeting. Doudna returned from academia to industry and back to academia before embarking on research on the CRISPR system. Together, they published an original study on CRISPR-Cas9 in 2012, demonstrating the tremendous potential of this system for generalized gene editing. Shortly thereafter, both spun off companies that could advance the application part of basic science research, while they continued to further research and design the system in their academic lab.

GERD has increased over the years, but the ratio of GERD to GDP is less than 0.8.

It’s even hard to imagine these dynamics in India. Science-related research and development requires a social and cultural environment apart from funding, which is also clearly very important. CRISPR-Cas technology started in as little as eight years. Many companies were born in the United States, China, and many parts of the world to advance the ideas these technologies promised, but not in India. As BR Ambedkar said in another context, “the idea needs to reproduce as much as the plant needs to be watered, otherwise both will die.”

India R & D Financing Scenario

Recent statistics released by the Ministry of Science and Technology (DST) give a glimpse of India’s R & D funding. Total R & D spending (GERD) has increased over the years. However, the ratio of GERD to gross domestic product (GDP) is below 0.8, but was around 0.6 in the 1990s. This widely used metric rose to about 0.8 in 2005 and has been more or less stagnant for the past five years. By comparison, the ratio of GERD to GDP in other countries is Israel 4.9, South Korea 4.3, Japan 3.2, the United States 2.7, China 2.2, and the United Kingdom 1.7.

Undoubtedly, ratio is not the only issue. However, it would be very helpful if India could target and achieve a GERD to GDP ratio of 2.0 over the next decade. For example, China grew from a ratio of 0.6 in 1996 to 1.1 in 2002 and 2.0 in 2014. Given that China’s GDP in 2019 is 4.8 times that of India, this ratio hides actual absolute spending. Still, investing more money can be more profitable unless it is done properly, has a long-term plan, and is affected by changes in the socio-political system.

Contribution of all involved

From 2017 to 2018, GERD mainly spent central government (spent 45.4%), enterprises (spent 36.8%), state government (spent 6.4%), and higher education (spent 6.8%). Promoted by the government sector consisting of. Percent) and public sector industry (4.6 percent). The contribution of companies and the higher education sector to GERD is only half that of the United States.

Like the 1965 song from Seekers, “Open the pearly gate”, These sectors need to be further marketed to expand India’s R & D capabilities.

Even in the central government GERD, 93% of the central government’s GERD contribution was borne by 12 major scientific institutions., Of these, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) accounted for the largest chunk. (31.6 percent). Following this:

  • Space Agency (DoS) accounts for 19 percent
  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), 11.1%
  • Ministry of Nuclear Energy (DAE), 10.8 percent
  • Science and Industry Research Council (CSIR), 9.5%
  • Ministry of Science and Technology (DST), 7.3 percent
  • Biotechnology Sector (DBT), 3.7 percent
  • Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR), 3.1 percent
  • Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), 2.3 percent
  • Ministry of Electronic Information Technology (MEITY), 0.8%
  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), 0.5 percent
  • New Renewable Energy Ministry (MNRE), 0.1 percent.

As Marcellus told Shakespeare’s Horatio Hamlet: “Something is rotten in Denmark.”

Looking at some of India’s modern challenges, such as farm productivity, public health (which has recently been exposed to a significant extent by pandemics), the dangers posed by climate change and the growing demand for renewable energy. It’s correct if something isn’t the department involved in these issues already contributing only a quarter of the low GERD to the solution. India’s priorities and priorities need to change with evolving scenarios.

So is there anything else you can do other than mess with your thumb and wait? In other words, Mao from another situation, “As long as the cat catches the mouse, what about the color of the cat?”

India can borrow from the success of Cuba’s biotechnology industry, which has a worldwide reputation for producing innovative biotechnology products for healthcare systems. Cuba’s GERD to GDP ratio is about 0.8, similar to India, but it has hit hard at the level of some developed countries, including the United States. Analysts have identified three key factors for the development of high-tech industries that generate both innovation and economic development.

  1. Long-term financial commitment (as in Cuba, with the state as an investor),
  2. Organizational integration, and
  3. Strategic control over resource allocation.

The same strategy allowed South Korea to occupy a high position in the semiconductor industry.

A similar approach has made the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) globally competitive in space technology. Therefore, if India plays the game correctly, it may be able to make even greater profits until the country’s socio-economic environment improves.

The author is a retired professor of bioinformatics at the Faculty of Biotechnology, Madurai Kamalaj University.

Quōvādis? -Technology News,

Source link Quōvādis? -Technology News,

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