Ahmedabad University launches programme for R&D managers across industries including automation, pharma, manufacturing & auto

Ahmedabad University

Ahmedabad University has joined hands with the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Economic Research (CTIER) to launch ‘R&D Managers of the Future’, an online programme for middle and senior R&D professionals.

The 3-months-long online weekend programme has been designed and will be taught by faculty from Ahmedabad University, IIM Bangalore and IIM Ahmedabad, and several global R&D leaders. The programme will help managers build strong strategic thinking around innovation and R&D.

The programme is relevant for professionals in Manufacturing, Automobile, Automotive Components, Automation, Semiconductors, Electronics, Pharmaceuticals & Chemicals.

According to CTIER, India’s industrial R&D expenditure was USD 6.8 bn and remains low by global standards. The combined expenditure by Indian industry ranks lower than the top 20 global R&D spenders. Indian industry is present in just 5 of the top 10 global R&D sectors. At the same time, the vibrant start-up ecosystem has seen India emerge as one of the top destinations after the US and China for venture capital financing. India is also one of the top destinations for global MNC R&D centres, with over 80 of the top 100 global R&D spenders having a presence either through a subsidiary or an R&D centre. A top-notch skilled R&D workforce is thus indispensable to drive innovation across sectors – a gap that Ahmedabad University and CTIER are determined to bridge with this programme.

Ahmedabad University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Pankaj Chandra, said, “We understand the multi-layered challenges faced by today’s R&D managers in India including building credibility and trust in the products that they develop, operational bottlenecks/functional silos, identifying and nurturing talent, commercialisation of R&D, and creating linkages between corporate strategy and R&D strategy, among others. By strengthening capabilities of R&D leaders and the R&D teams in India, we can significantly enhance the innovation output of our organisations and the economy at large.”

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Dr. Naushad Forbes, Co-Chairman, Forbes Marshall and Chairman, CTIER, said, “In particular, Indian industry invests less in in-house R&D than our peers elsewhere. This is true across all sectors. We invest 0.3 percent of GDP in in-house R&D to a world average of 1.5 percent. At the same time, we have an abundance of talent available to us in the form of qualified engineers. How do we build the capability in our firms to make the right investments in technology? How do we formulate and select the right R&D projects that will deliver differentiated capabilities? To address these questions, we have developed this unique executive development programme along with Ahmedabad University. The programme has been designed with inputs from industry and R&D leaders.”

The programme comprises 14 core modules, individual projects and special sessions with industry speakers and other experts. It is designed keeping in mind R&D professionals who are looking to lead R&D teams in the future and to enhance their people and project management skills. Besides picking up core R&D skills like proactive financial and IP management and marketing of R&D, participants will also imbibe soft skills related to ‘collaboration and compromise’, ‘understanding the language of senior management’, and ‘agility and adaptability’.