Ficci eyes N-E for innovators

Guwahati, Jan. 7 : The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), the country’s apex and oldest trade chamber, is coming to the Northeast to scout for innovators to help them get markets for their products.

Ficci is coming to the region under the India Innovation Growth Program, a nationwide project created to fuel growth and development of the country’s entrepreneurial economy.

The department of science and technology is providing support to the programme.

It is holding a programme in Guwahati, the first in the Northeast, on January 7 and has asked innovators to be present. “The response has been good for the programme,” an official said.

Sources said through the programme, prospective innovators would learn right commercial strategies for their technology and would be able to work with experts and educators. It will also help them compete with other innovators and to gain experience and an opportunity to showcase their technology before potential partners, customers and investors.

A number of persons from the Northeast have developed innovations under the National Innovation Foundation, an organisation set up with the help of the department of science and technology to provide institutional support in scouting, spawning, sustaining and scaling up grassroots green innovations and helping their transition to self-supporting activities.

Applicants who are selected under the FICCI programme will get training in technology commercialisation strategies and entrepreneurship. While the commercial potential of their technology will be analysed by experts from the US and India, the applicants will also get to participate in a technology competition judged by an international panel of experts.

The programme is open to new technologies from a wide range of fields like aeronautics, agriculture, biotechnology, chemistry, communications, computing, defence, electronics, environmental science, information technology, manufacturing, nanotechnology and others.

The selection process will be competitive and selected participants may receive specialised training and funding opportunities. The toppers will be eligible to receive professional business development support to assist them in entering global markets. The National Innovation Foundation, in its book on innovations from Assam, mentions Uddhab K. Bharali of North Lakhimpur, Kanak Gogoi of Kamrup, Dodhi Pathak of Nalbari, Leena Talukdar and Sushanta Mahanta of Morigaon as some of the prominent innovators.

Anil K. Gupta, the executive vice-chairperson of the foundation, says in the report that the foundation should be able to develop a functional, fruitful and fulfilling relationship with Assam.

“We need to discover far more innovations and traditional knowledge from Assam, where our record has been good,” he said.