UK-India Technology Business Incubator workshop in Chennai

Transcript of speech by British Deputy High Commissioner Chennai Bharat Joshi at UK-India TBI workshop in Chennai , 22 November 2016.


Thank you all for coming. I’m pleased to be here for the first ever interactive technology business incubator (TBI) stakeholder workshop to exchange best practices between UK and India.

Our countries are deeply connected, by history, by our diasporas and by our businesses. It was no accident that Theresa May’s first visit as Prime Minister outside of Europe was to India, a clear statement of our commitment to and belief in India as an equal partner. Our future stability and prosperity are mutually reinforcing. The UK is the largest G20 investor in India, investing more than the US and Japan together, while India invests more into the UK than it does the rest of Europe combined. Two weeks ago, I was with both our Prime Ministers at the TECH Summit, an event that showcased the best of Indian and UK innovation in a variety of key sectors including healthcare and life sciences, automotive, energy, water and smart cities. Innovation and entrepreneurship sat at the heart of the Summit, including in a two day hackathon. As Narendra Modi said ‘Science, technology and innovation have a significant role in India’s bilateral engagement with the UK’.

Our joint futures are underpinned by our research and development partnership. The UK India research relationship has never been so strong, rising from £1 million in 2009 to over £200 million today, and is growing exponentially. UK and Indian universities are doing more research together than they have ever done before with partner Institutions. New catapult centres and Knowledge transfer networks are bringing together top universities and private sector Institutions to achieve high-value real-world innovation. At the heart of that sits the Newton Bhabha Fund which brings together the UK and Indian scientific research and innovation sectors to find joint solutions to global challenges. The Newton Bhabha Fund is worth £10 million this year and will expand up to £104 million by 2021.

Today’s workshop is about sharing best practice from established technology business incubation managers, projects, ecosystems, real life approaches to challenges from the UK with Indian stakeholders. The UK has a great story to tell: we are third in the Global Innovation Index, a rapid rise from 10th in 2011, reflecting our strengths of research, scientists, infrastructure and creativity. The UK produces 16% of the top quality published research with less than 1% of the world’s population. Half of our productivity growth between 2000 and 2008 was attributable to innovation. We have invested over £600 million in ‘Eight Great’ emerging technologies where the UK has the depth of research expertise, the business capability to develop a range of applications, and the potential to be at the forefront of commercialisation. This workshop is share some of the lessons we have learned to help develop and grow sustainable incubation centres as key drivers in Prime Minister Modi’s Start-up India initiative. UK companies like Kloudpad – which announced a £50 million production facility for tablets and mobiles in India at the TECH Summit – design in the UK but Make in India.

I’m pleased to welcome the facilitators for this workshop Mr Martin Garratt, Cambridge Cleantech and Mr Karthik Durgaprasad, Basildon Borough Council and colleagues from Basildon Borough Council, UK as well as incubation managers from leading Indian incubation centres present here.

The UK has a range of offers for budding entrepreneurs, including the Sirius Programme which supports graduate entrepreneurs from around the world looking to start their venture in the UK, the Global Entrepreneurship Programme that helps overseas entrepreneurs and early stage technology businesses or start-ups that want to relocate their business to the UK. We also offer our largest global scholarship scheme anywhere in the world here in India, led by our flagship Chevening Scholarships and Fellowships for Future Leaders, as well as Commonwealth Scholarships and British Council awards. Please do help get the word out to your best and brightest students.

Many thanks again for attending. I wish you all a very productive day.

Published 23 November 2016