'Chennai can become a global centre of excellence' - The New Indian Express

'Chennai can become a global centre of excellence'

Published: 21st March 2013 08:01 AM

Last Updated: 21st March 2013 08:12 AM

The investment made by India and the United Kingdom in supporting joint research activities has risen from one million pounds in 2009 to 125 million pounds this year, according to British Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai Mike Nithavrianakis.

Speaking during the ‘Young Innovators Chevening and UK Alumni Meet’ here on Tuesday, he said that Chennai had the potential to become the global centre of excellence by nurturing a culture of innovation in schools and colleges, showcasing the successes of a growing minority of young innovators and strengthening academic industry links with UK.

He said that the UK intellectual property office is implementing a project with the Union government, researchers and industry partners to develop guidance on intellectual property and model agreements for international collaboration. He said United Kingdom Trade and Investments is working with the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to help identify Indian investment streams and partnership arrangements for UK innovative small and medium enterprises.

Nithavrianakis also urged companies from across the state to participate in a contest hosted by UK Trade and Investment which is looking to introduce India’s most promising innovative technology company.

State secretary and chairman and managing director of Power finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (POWERFIN) Girija Vaidyanathan and Commissioner of Indian Medicine and Homeopathy Dr Santosh Babu, who were both Chevening scholars shared their UK experience and highlighted how it helped them gain a fresh perspective and helped shape their careers.

Young innovators Ramesh Manickam, chief executive officer of Centroid Design, Dr Saleem Mohammad, chief executive officer and co-founder of Xcode Lifesciences, Sorav Jain, Thinker-in-chief at echoVME and Vikas Chawla, founder of Social Beat and Head of Marketing, Koolkart said that it is not difficult to innovate in India but one needs a support system.

The innovators also highlighted some of the hurdles which affects innovation in India. The innovators said the biggest challenge is difficulty in shifting streams in India which is not the issue in countries like United States.

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