We organised the second edition of India Conference on ‘Innovation, Intellectual Property and Competition’ in collaboration with NITI Aayog at our Hyderabad campus on July 4-5, 2019.
The objective of this conference was to bring together scholars, practitioner and policymakers to discuss the implications of innovation and intellectual property (IP) for business strategy, competition and social welfare. The two-day conference saw six panel discussions, five featured presentations, one documentary screening and two keynote addresses.
Professor Rajendra Srivastava, ISB Dean, commenced the conference with a welcome address. In his speech, he opined that 63% of the value of assets in India are intangible (which is 74% in the USA), which reflects the importance of IP rights. Talking about the Indian innovation ecosystem, he said, “To strengthen the innovation ecosystem in India there is a need to focus not only on Make in India but also Design in India and Invent in India. Too much of assembly may not generate value.”
Following the welcome address, Dr V K Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog, delivered his keynote address. He said, “In today’s world, Jugaad does respond, but in the long run it is the technology that matters. Hence it is important to have a robust ecosystem to support innovation. This calls for a balance between the competition laws and IP protection system that works in favour of innovation and consumer welfare. A strong IP-based innovation system has multiple benefits – strengthens the economy, promotes local innovations, help MSMEs, consumers and society.”
The panels focussed on the implications of innovation and IP Regimes on Diplomacy, trade and technology transfer. Given that IP is relatively more relevant in some industries, the conference also explicitly focussed on the consequences of IPR on agriculture, healthcare, ICT and media.
Last year, the conference just focussed on the IPR. Given a broader focus on innovation this year, the conference included a panel that centred on how the advent of Artificial Intelligence alters the future of work and how it influences business and society. This was discussed via a documentary by an economic historian, Professor Elisa Cobbs (Texas A&M).
The conference Co-Chair, Professor Anand Nandkumar, talked about the importance of the conference. He said, “Through this conference, we aspire to capture the collective wisdom on what should be innovation policy and how the IP ecosystem should be to support this.”
The conference also had a panel discussion on the role of diplomacy in shaping IP and trade, where three seasoned diplomats shared their perspectives.
Talking in this panel, Dr E Vishnu Vardhan Reddy, IFS, Head of MEA - Branch Secretariat, Hyderabad, spoke about Innovation Diplomacy, which addressed the innovation not just from R&D research but more as a value chain. It takes other stakeholders into diplomatic considerations.
Dr Adnan Altay Altinors, Consul General of Turkey, Hyderabad, in his address opined that the pace of innovation is sufficient to solve almost 99% of global problems. However, due to the difference between corporate interests and societal interests, we are collectively stressed.
Mr Menashe Menis, Public Diplomacy Officer, Embassy of Israel in India, talked about the dilemma of risks and benefits in diplomatic approaches in shaping IP and international trade.
The session concluded on a common consensus that the profitability of the enterprise is the outcome of added value that underpins a more significant stream of revenue or higher productivity.