Sunday, November 04, 2007

Where does India stand in industrial R&D spending?

Here's one way to look at it (thanks to Pradeepkumar for the pointer):

The top 10 Indian firms, put together, invested 477 million euro last year for R&D, less than one-tenth of the world's biggest R&D investor Pfizer.

The total R&D spending by top 10 Indian companies is also less than what the lowest ranked company among the world's top-50 spends.

Just after this year's Central Budget was presented, I did an analysis of public spending on R&D in India. My estimate for government support for academic R&D in all our universities was less than half a billion dollars. This figure is exceeded by the R&D budget of each of the top five (and probably many more!) US universities.


  1. Anonymous said...

    A direct comparison between India and the US is probably not appropriate. Manpower costs take up a majority of the research funds in the US. In my field, for every $100,000 grant that is submitted, overhead costs account for at least 30% (the bit that goes to the university) and the 80% of the remainder goes into paying faculty and student salaries and 20% is for equipment. What is the equivalent breakup in Indian universities?

  2. EM said...

    A friend who worked for a major auto maker in Pune told me how his work on a 3-wheeler development team mainly consisted of "stripping" features from designs of another established 3-wheeler brand.

    You think the lack of IP protection is a disincentive for R&D investments by industry?

  3. Anonymous said...

    ...and the govt. funding agencies routinely return money to the FM every year. Its not the govt that is not spending enough. Its the too few serious and performing researchers out here.