Innovative and entrepreneurial culture of a country are often regarded as a country’s greatest national advantages in an increasingly competitive world. This innovation infrastructure includes universities and colleges, research institutions, laboratories, and startup companies. The quality of these ecosystems has attracted many of the world’s best and brightest people to pursue careers in R&D and innovation in such countries. Many of these same minds become leaders and entrepreneurs across these nations – creating cutting-edge innovation products and services and building our great companies. As nations compete with each other for leadership in innovation, colleges and universities are doing their part to maintain our leadership and to nurture more innovation, create processes and programs to commercialize innovations, and promote entrepreneurship as a viable career path for students. Universities use different approaches to encourage innovative thinking.
Government of Tamil Nadu Vision 2023 released by Honble Chief Minister in 2013 identifies ten thrust areas which form the basis of acceleration in the economy and achievement of the long term goals. The relevant three among the ten thrust areas are described below:
• Strategic initiative 1 – Increasing the share of manufacturing in TN economy:
• Strategic initiative 2 - Making SMEs vibrant
• Strategic initiative 3 - Making TN Knowledge Capital and Innovation hub of India
Key steps that Government will take to make Tamil Nadu a hub for knowledge are as follows:
• I) Evaluate the major universities in the state across all disciplines and invest in revamping the core assets and facilities, getting more qualified faculty, setting up new facilities that may be required, and making the curriculum and pedagogy more up-to-date and relevant to the disciplines in question.
• ii) Establish with own resources and/ or with industry partnership about ten world class institutions (Centres of Excellence) in different areas, which become nodes of research, industry partnership, and innovation, by upgrading existing centres of research and higher learning (where such a centre exists) and by establishing new centres. The different areas of focus for their COEs such as Automotive technology, Solar and clean energy technology, Biotechnology, Agricultural practices, Water resources management, Construction management, Lifestyle diseases, Aerospace, Basic sciences, Nano technology, Social sciences
• iii) Government could give a further boost to innovation by setting up an Innovation fund that works at several levels to foment innovation in the state.