Research & Development


R&D stands for Research & Development. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development defines it as "creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications".

Manufacturing innovation is fostered by research and development of technologies that are aimed at increasing the competitive capability of manufacturing concerns. Broadly speaking, manufacturing-related R&D encompasses improvements in existing methods or processes, or wholly new processes, machines or systems. Four main areas include:

Unit process level technologies that create or improve manufacturing processes, including:
  • fundamental improvements in existing manufacturing processes that deliver substantial productivity, quality, or environmental benefits;
  • development of new manufacturing processes, including new materials, coatings, methods, and practices associated with these processes.
Machine level technologies that create or improve manufacturing equipment, including:
  • improvements in capital equipment that create increased capability (such as accuracy or repeatability), increased capacity (through productivity improvements or cost reduction), or increased environmental efficiency (safety, energy efficiency, environmental impact);
  • new apparatus and equipment for manufacturing, including additive and subtractive manufacturing, deformation and molding, assembly and test, semiconductor fabrication, and nanotechnology.
Systems level technologies for innovation in the manufacturing enterprise, including:
  • advances in controls, sensors, networks, and other information technologies that improve the quality and productivity of manufacturing cells, lines, systems, and facilities;
  • innovation in extended enterprise functions critical to manufacturing, such as quality systems, resource management, supply chain integration, and distribution, scheduling and tracking;
  • technologies that enable integrated and collaborative product and process development, including computer-aided and expert systems for design, tolerancing, process and materials selection, life-cycle cost estimation, rapid prototyping, and tooling.
Environment or societal level technologies that improve workforce abilities and manufacturing competitiveness, including:
  • technologies for improved workforce health and safety, such as human factors and ergonomics;
  • technologies that aid and improve workforce manufacturing skills and technical excellence, such as educational systems incorporating improved manufacturing knowledge and instructional methods.

India is poised to be third largest economy along with US and China, to play a leading and important role in global economy.

Research is the keystone for widening India’s production potential and universities must be the hotbeds of research activity, said Mr Pranab Mukherjee, President of India. The President called upon Central Universities to be the launch pads of innovative ideas and institutionalise structures that can identify ingenuous ideas and mentor them into viable products.

India has been ranked as the world’s sixth most ‘innovative’ country, according to multinational conglomerate GE's Annual Global Innovation Barometer.

The services sector which includes research and development (R&D), testing and analysis besides other related segments attracted foreign direct investments (FDI) worth US$ 39,039 million between April 2000 to January 2014, an increase of 18 per cent to the total FDI inflows in terms of US$, according to data published by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

The Government of India has laid high emphasis on attracting investment of private sector into R&D to match public investments (that is 1% of GDP each by Government and Industry) before the end of the 12th Five year plan.

Year Share % of R&D Investment in
Public Sector Industry Sector
2011 76% 24%
2012 73% 27%
2013 67% 33%
2014 61% 39%
2015 56% 44%
2016 50% 50%