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More from Less for More: The Imperative of Inclusive Innovation

Presenter:Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, CSIR Bhatnagar Fellow; President, Global Research Alliance
June 15, 2010, Washington D.C.

Video Video of the Lecture          MS PowerPoint Presentation 


time picWhat is inclusive innovation and what can the World Bank and its development partners do to make it happen?

Four billion people from the base of the economic pyramid- the so called “Bottom of the Pyramid” (BOP) - with an income of less than two dollars a day. They lack access to even basic necessities of life, such as water and sanitation services, housing, quality education, basic health care, electricity, telephones, roads, and modern financial services. Yet this group of 4 billion has substantial purchasing power, constituting a US$5 trillion global consumer market.

The dreams of ‘inclusive globalization’ and ‘inclusive growth’ can be achieved only if ‘inclusive innovation’ becomes a priority objective of science, technology and innovation (STI) capacity building partnerships.  Why is ‘inclusive innovation’ so challenging?

As Dr. R.A. Mashelkar declared during the December 2009 World Bank S&T Global Forum:

“The challenge of inclusive innovation is to deliver high performance products, processes and services at an ultra low price for resource poor people, from housing to transport and from medicines to computers. Such innovations should not just be affordable but extremely affordable. For achieving this, one cannot rely on just incremental innovation but extreme innovation or disruptive innovation.”

The objective of inclusive innovation is to harness sophisticated science and technology know-how to invent, design, produce, and market high performance products and services at prices that can be afforded by the billions of people at the BOP.

Inclusive innovation programs must also develop mechanisms that will encourage those at the BOP, who are typically excluded from the innovation process, to co-create and co-innovate inclusive solutions.  To be inclusive, the BOP must be included in the innovation process. Inclusive solutions will be much more sustainable in the long run if developing countries build the capacity to generate their own inclusive innovation solutions in partnership with national, regional and global STI organizations.

About the presenter: 


Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, CSIR Bhatnagar Fellow, is presently also the President of Global Research Alliance, a network of nine publicly funded R&D institutional networks from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and USA with over 60,000 scientists and engineers.

He served as the Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) India, with thirty-eight laboratories and about 20,000 employees for over eleven years. He was also the President of Indian National Science Academy and President of Institution of Chemical Engineers (UK).

Deeply connected with the innovation movement in India, Dr. Mashelkar is currently the Chairman of India’s National Innovation Foundation, Reliance Innovation Council, Thermax Innovation Council, Marico Innovation Foundation.  He has been a member of Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India constituted by different governments for over two decades.  He is a member of the newly constituted National Innovation Council.

Dr. Mashelkar is on the Board of Directors of several reputed companies such as Reliance Industries, Tata Motors, Hindustan Unilever, GeneMedix Life Sciences, Indigene Pharmaceuticals, ICICI Knowledge Park, Thermax Ltd, Piramal Life Sciences, and KPIT Cummins Infosystems. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Microsoft (USA), Microsoft (India), Technical Research Center (VTT, Finland), etc.

In August 1997, Business India named Dr. Mashelkar as being among the 50 path-breakers in the post- Independent India. In 1998, he won the JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award, the first scientist to win it. In June, 1999, Business India did a cover story on Dr. Mashelkar as "CEO OF CSIR Inc.", a dream that he himself had articulated, when he took over as Director General, CSIR in July 1995. On 16 November 2005, he received the Business Week (USA) award of ‘Stars of Asia’ at the hands of George Bush (Sr.), the former President of USA. He was the first Asian Scientist to receive it.

Winner of over 50 major awards and medals, Dr. Mashelkar is a Fellow of Royal Society )(FRS) (London), Foreign Fellow of US National Academy of Science (NAS), National Academy of Engineering (NAE), World Academy of Arts & Science (WAAS), etc.  28 universities around the world have honored him with honorary doctorate, which include University of London, Wisconsin, Pretoria, etc.  President of India has honored him with Padmabhushan (2000), one of the highest civilian honors in India.

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