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FAST India, with IIFL Securities, Releases Industry R&D Report

31 May 2024, New Delhi: The Foundation for Advancing Science & Technology (FAST India), a nonprofit initiative, is dedicated to enhancing the Science and Technology ecosystem in India. The organisation observes that in the study period of FY16 to FY23, Indian firms performed slightly better than the Global firms in R&D growth across four sectors—Aerospace and Defence, Automobile and Components, Chemical, and Energy—and have maintained their growth between FY16 to FY23 despite COVID-19 pandemic and changes in the R&D tax regime. However, Global firms led Indian firms in other parameters. For instance, Global firms recorded 2.9x R&D intensity, 3.7x proportion of PhD employees, 13.1x patents and 1.3x publications per billion USD revenue than Indian firms. In terms of R&D disclosures, Indian companies fare better than their global peers, disclosing 2x information regarding R&D as compared to global firms. These findings along with comparisons on key R&D parameters like publications and patents by revenue have been reported in the State of Industry R&D in India report released by FAST India.

 The State of Industry R&D in India presents the state of Indian R&D across six important sectors – Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology, Automobile and Parts, Software and Technology, Energy, Aerospace and Defence, and Chemical Sectors. With an analysis of four key parameters across 119 companies, FAST India’s holistic approach presents publicly available information in a new light. It is an attempt to understand the R&D activities of Indian firms and compare them with Global counterparts from both input and output perspectives to highlight their performance.

  “This is a first-of-its-kind report which objectively maps and compares R&D inputs, outputs, and disclosures for top Indian firms with global ones. It will go a long way to help the industry benchmark their R&D activities and be instructive for course correction. While the Indian industry has made great strides, it needs to invest more in R&D to go up the global value chain. At FAST India, we are committed to catalyse this transition and provide all support possible.” – Varun Aggarwal, Co-Founder FAST India

“FAST India’s latest report on the State of Industry R&D in India marks a significant milestone in understanding the comparative performance of Indian and Global firms with respect to R&D. This report, a pioneering effort, provides a comprehensive analysis of R&D inputs, outputs, and disclosures, shedding light on the areas where Indian industry excels and where there is room for improvement. Despite facing challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in the R&D tax regime, Indian firms have shown slightly higher R&D growth, albeit from a much lower baseline, compared with global firms and scored well in R&D disclosures to the public. However, the findings also underscore the need for Indian firms to increase their performance in both R&D inputs and outputs to perform competitively in the global market.”– Prof K VijayRaghavan, Former Principal Scientific Advisor to GoI

Global v. India Comparison

Indian firms lagged the most in patents by revenue parameter, for which Global firms produced 13.1x patents by revenue. When looking at the absolute number of patents, Global firms had 355x the number of patents as Indian firms for the study period.

 It is also notable that Global firms invested 2.9x their profits in R&D as compared to Indian firms. In the Software sector, the difference between Global and Indian firms was very stark, with Global firms investing 30.9x their profits in R&D. This shows that Global firms prioritise investing a large percentage of their profits into R&D. Sectoral Rankings across Key Parameters


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