Day 1: Policy Dialogue on Innovation for Inclusive Growth OECD - CII

10 February 2015

On February 10th, the OECD jointly with the CII hosted the Policy Dialogue on Innovation for Inclusive Growth. The event was designed as a forum fostering high-level discussion and policy exchange among the variety of stakeholders concerned with the question of how innovation can best serve inclusive development. The objective was to draw an overview of the macro-level dimensions of inclusive innovation. The different sessions focused on the specific roles the private sector, public research institutions and innovation policy can play in support. Policy panels composed of leading experts from government, private sector, international organisations and academia from advanced, emerging and developing economies provided their perspectives on how the inclusive innovation ecosystem can be strengthened. Insights from the OECD “Innovation for Inclusive Growth” project were also presented. 


1. Opening Session: Inclusive Innovation in India

9.00 – 10.30

The opening session led by the organising institutions set the scene for the debates. Insights from the first phase of the OECD Innovation for Inclusive Growth project were presented.

Opening Words:

  • Senapathy 'Kris' Gopalakrishnan, Immediate Past President of CII, Chairman of CII Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council 2014-15 and Former Vice Chairman of Infosys Ltd. 
  • Andrew Wyckoff, Director for Science, Technology and Innovation, OECD



  •    Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India

2. Perspectives from OECD Work on Inclusive Growth

10.30 – 11.00

The session will provide perspectives on the OECD Inclusive Growth Initiative and focus on findings from the Innovation for Inclusive Growth project.


  • Dominique Guellec, Head of Division, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, OECD
  • Caroline Paunov, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, OECD

3. Innovation and Inclusive Growth: Challenges for the World Economy

11.00 – 12.30

Innovation is recognised as a crucial driver of economic development. However, the impacts of innovation dynamics on inequalities have rarely been examined outside the innovation-growth nexus. Innovation affects the distribution of wealth and capabilities across social groups, businesses, sectors, and regions as well as between countries, and so do innovation policies. At the same time, current global economic trends, including the expansion of ICTs, globalisation and the raise of the “Knowledge Economy”, set a new set of challenges for innovation and growth policies. In increasingly knowledge-based economies, excellence is more and more valued as best ideas will get highest rewards on globalised markets. Industrial and territorial inclusiveness (the concentration of innovation capacities within countries) may be affected and in turn modify how social inclusiveness is impacted. This session will reflect on inclusive growth dynamics in the context of developing, emerging and advanced economies focusing on the role of structural policies, notably innovation policies.

Questions to be addressed in the panel discussion include the following:

1.How does innovation impact industrial, territorial and social inclusiveness in advanced economies?

2.How may global trends challenging countries’ innovation performance affect inclusive growth? 

3.How may structural and innovation policies in particular affect inclusiveness? 

Chair:  Dominique Guellec, Head of Division, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, OECD


  • Amit Lang, Director General of Ministry of Economy, Israel 
  • Sunil Arora, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development, Entrepreneurship Youth Affairs and Sports, Govt. of India
  • Karen Maguire, Directorate for Governance and Territorial Development, OECD
  • Chander Mohan, Head Scientist, Science for Equity, Empowerment & Development (SEED) Division , Department of Science & Technology, India
  • Prof. Anil Gupta, Founder, Honey Bee Network, Indian Institute of Management


4. Business Opportunities for Inclusive Innovation

13.30 – 15.00

Opportunities for the wider development of inclusive innovations are today larger than before: The growing wealth of emerging economies is generating an increase in the demand for inclusive innovations as the purchasing power of larger segments of society is rising but insufficient to access the same products available to households in developed countries. Moreover, new technologies, and ICTs in particular, have allowed for lowering the cost of reaching out to lower-income customers in developing economies (notably through phone-based services). Numerous multinational companies have developed dedicated programmes to provide affordable high quality products targeting these new markets. Smaller businesses, entrepreneurs and non-for-profit ventures are also producing inclusive innovations. What is more, opportunities for grassroots and small-scale innovators have also grown, providing wider opportunities for more “democratic” innovation processes. However, a major challenge faced by many inclusive innovations is reaching scale. This can be due to market challenges such as infrastructure shortcomings and difficult access to financing - notably for small-scale entrepreneurs.

Questions to be addressed in the panel discussion include the following:

  1. What are the main business opportunities for developing inclusive innovations?
  2. Are there any obstacles inhibiting business opportunities? What can government policy do in support? What should the main priorities be?
  3. What are opportunities for engaging excluded and lower-income groups in emerging and developed economies?
  4. Are ICTs providing new opportunities for supporting entrepreneurs’ and small companies’ participation in innovation processes?

Chair:  Senapathy 'Kris' Gopalakrishnan, Immediate Past President of CII, Chairman of CII Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council 2014-15 and Former Vice Chairman of Infosys Ltd.



5. Universities and Public Research Institutions and their Contributions to Inclusive Innovation

Universities and Public Research Institutions (PRIs) as holders of research capacities play a central role in innovation dynamics. Some universities have developed programmes mobilising technical and engineering students and researchers’ capacities to develop solutions to poor and excluded groups’ problems. Universities and PRIs have also played the role of intermediary institutions supporting various actors involved in inclusive innovation including excluded groups, innovators and the business sector. Moreover, universities and PRIs can support capacity-building of inclusive innovators, especially grassroots innovators, by giving them access to technical expertise. They can also support the development of inclusive innovations on the basis of state of the art technologies. This session will focus on the roles of universities and PRIs in support of developing inclusive innovations and on what conditions are needed to support such processes.

Questions to be addressed in the panel discussion include the following:

  • What is the role of universities and PRIs in supporting inclusive innovation nationally and globally?
  • What should be the role of universities and PRIs as part of the wider innovation eco-system?
  • Are there trade-offs with the other roles of universities, notably basic research and teaching?
  • What are the obstacles to universities’ supporting inclusive innovation more actively? What could governments do?

Chair:  Prof. Mashelkar, Chairman of the National Innovation Foundation of India, President of the Global Research Alliance, India



6. Policy Implications and Outlook

16.30 – 18.00

Inclusive innovations have strong potential to support inclusive development. Policy has a role to play in releasing untapped potential of inclusive innovations, addressing some of the challenges that have restrained the further development and wider scale of such innovations. Possible areas for policy support are multiple: They include efforts aimed at connecting the variety of actors holding capacities for inclusive innovation: this includes public research institutes (and universities, the private sector as well as financial institutions and non-governmental organisations. Policies aiming at alleviating financial constraints are also important as access to capital for inclusive innovations remain insufficient. Moreover, providing access to knowledge and technical expertise can be a transformative tool to support grassroots innovations and fostering it should be a central part in policies supporting to inclusive innovations. Finally, science technology and innovation play a central role for economic development and wide benefits can be obtained from international S&T co-operation, including on inclusive innovation. This session will focus on how innovation policies can best support different types of inclusive innovations at different stages of development.

Questions to be addressed in the panel discussion include the following:

  1. How can innovation policies support pro-inclusive and grassroots innovation? How should they be integrated as part of overall national innovation policy framework?  
  2. What novel approaches can be adopted to enhance the contribution of innovation policies to inclusive growth?
  3. To what extent do inclusive innovation policies remain important as countries progress in development?
  4.  What is the current state of development support regarding S&T and inclusive innovation in particular?

Chair:    Andrew Wyckoff, Director for Science, Technology and Innovation, OECD


  • Imraan Patel, Deputy Director-General, Department of Science and Technology, South Africa
  • Yongsuk Jang, Science and Technology Policy Institute, Korea
  • Susanne Dorasil, Head of Division, Division for Sustainable Economic Policy, German Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development

7. Closing Session

The final session will draw conclusions and give perspectives regarding future activities for the OECD project on Innovation for Inclusive Growth.

Andrew Wyckoff, Director for Science, Technology and Innovation, OECD