Munich Personal RePEc Archive

From the linear model to incremental innovation: Science and Industry in India

Tyabji, Nasir (2012): From the linear model to incremental innovation: Science and Industry in India.


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In the course of the first 45 years of India’s post Independence development, the focus of scientific activity was changed: from that of a science of raw material extraction, oblivious of any industrial imperative, to a science of material production, aimed at inducing technological awareness within industry. This change in focus, requiring original thought and practical experimentation, achieved with some difficulty, was accompanied by policy hesitation, and faced reverses. The most notable conceptual development was the recognition of the complementary nature of twin processes of industrial innovation: the laboratory to industry, or linear innovation chain, and the incremental or evolutionary innovation process. This intellectual advance was reflected in the creation of both relevant institutional structures, and of inter-institutional linkages. The result was a diversified industrial base together with considerable, albeit highly uneven, levels of technological competence. The subsequent 20 year period is characterised by a reliance on the market mechanism as the channel directing scientific activity and industrial energy. Market fundamentalism is dismissive of the necessity of creative thought on the contemporary dialectics of the science and industry relationship. This, let alone providing the basis for further advance, has led to the degradation of achieved capabilities in comprehension of this relationship.

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