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|August 18, 1998||
CSIR to market hi-tech softwareThe high-end software products developed in 40-odd labs around the country finally have a chance to get to the marketplace in a big way.
The Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research has decided to set up a high-tech centre in Pune to transform scientific and engineering software into marketable products.
"We believe there is enormous capability in India in our labs. The centre, whose financing is currently under evaluation with the CSIR board, will take the lead in helping our labs look more at commercial possibilities of research,'' R A Mashelkar, director general, CSIR and secretary to the government of India, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, said.
Mashelkar transformed the Pune-based CSIR lab, National Chemical Laboratory into a thriving profit centre and is trying hard to replicate his experience in most of the labs in the country.
Already, the CSIR labs have been given a timeframe to become self-financing. India is strong in modelling and simulation from the molecular level to the peak systems level, he said.
"Lots of good work over the years have not been given a commercial value. They are dumped after their application is completed. This requires packaging and aggressive marketing. Also, we need to encourage entrepreneurial spirit among the scientists if we have to make a mark in the scientific software world,'' a senior scientist at the National Aerospace Laboratories said.
Scientific solutions software is said to constitute less than 5 per cent of the value of software generated in the country. The world average is said to be over 10 per cent.
Non-CSIR organisations like the Indian Space Research Organisation, Aeronautical Development Agency and Indian Institute of Science have been comparatively more successful in transferring technology to the industry.
"The aerospace and space research and transfer of technology to industry is better because they are heavily funded and have greater focus,'' a senior scientist at Indian Institute of Science said.
The Information Technology Taskforce, set up recently by the prime minister, has given impetus to research and development in IT. It expects good contribution to come from the scientific solutions software segment to achieve the target of $50 billion by 2008.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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