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Maharashtra Most Innovative Economy, State Innovation Report 2016 Shows

Mumbai, Chennai, Pune and Vadodara top the list of cities having startup ecosystems backed by education, mentorship and venture finance

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Maharashtra has emerged as most innovative among Indian states in a survey of innovation environment, with Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Gujarat as frontrunners, and Delhi, Uttrakhand, Goa, Sikkim and Mizoram being rated as top performers.

The India State Innovation Report 2016 looks holistically at the innovation landscape in India. The research is done on the basis of economic and social indicators at the national and subnational levels, discussing further challenges and opportunities.

The report, prepared by the Institute for Competitiveness, suggests that the innovation environment is strong in southern and western parts of India.

Mumbai, Chennai, Pune and Vadodara top the list in having startup ecosystems with a strong support system in the form of education, mentorship and venture finance.

At the sectoral level, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and automobiles have benefitted from the openness to MNCs, which has helped in development of R&D capabilities and job creation.

India's decision to join TRIPS and to put in place a robust IP system has helped MNCs to come in India, especially in the pharma industry. Food processing companies lag behind in spending due to the nature of the business and the R&D support from the side of agriculture universities and research institutions.

India ranks 9th globally in the number of scientific publication and 12th in the number of patents filed.

This shows a considerable maturity of the science and technology ecosystem.

Amit Kapoor, president and CEO of the India Council on Competitiveness and chairman of the Institute of Competitiveness, reaffirms India's innovation potential given the creation of an enabling environment by the stakeholders such as research institutes, companies, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.

"The important thing to look forward would be innovation at the level of entrepreneur and MSME level including sectoral innovation especially as firms become embedded in global value chains," he said.

The report presents a dismal picture in terms of spending on R&D at the national level. There is more "death of opportunity than death of talent in India", which suggests opening up of more research universities.

India needs to develop and focus on kickstarting an ecosystem of research and development within the states itself. States must promote cross-sharing of ideas on innovation that can be scaled at national and international level, the report suggests.

Biotechnology and biosciences, automobiles as well as defense manufacturing appear to be exciting areas for innovation to take place, according to Kapoor.

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