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IICA Hosts Roundtable Consultation on R&D Expenditure by Top 1,000 Listed Companies

New Delhi: The School of Business Environment at the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), with support from the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, hosted a roundtable consultation in New Delhi today. The event focused on ‘Research & Development (R&D) Expenditure by the top 1,000 listed companies in India’.

The roundtable, part of ongoing research to consolidate corporate views on R&D expenditure, aimed to highlight the necessity of investment in R&D for corporate growth and long-term sustainability. It also sought to emphasize the importance of R&D-related disclosures. The event aimed to gather inputs and feedback from corporate leaders on the provisional findings of the IICA’s research on the R&D landscape in India.

Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, delivered the keynote address, advocating for a robust and standardized approach to capturing R&D data. Prof. Sood envisioned a transformation for India from a service-driven economy to a product-driven one, emphasizing that innovation and product development are crucial for global prominence. He urged companies to invest strategically in R&D, fostering a culture of creativity and risk-taking. Prof. Sood highlighted the importance of public-private funding models to achieve this vision, emphasizing the urgency of India’s R&D agenda.

Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Director General & CEO of IICA and Chairperson of the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA), shared international best practices in the R&D domain and insights on the history of tax rebates on R&D initiatives in India. He underscored the significance of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and R&D, citing India’s pioneering digital infrastructure. Dr. Pandey highlighted case studies from countries like South Korea, Japan, China, Singapore, the USA, Israel, and Germany, illustrating how fostering R&D led these nations to become developed economies.

Dr. Parvinder Maini, Scientific Secretary at the Office of the PSA, discussed various government initiatives promoting R&D. She stressed the need for increased private sector participation in R&D investments, emphasizing that the private sector must play a crucial role in technological advancement and sustainable growth. Dr. Maini called for collaborative efforts and a collective commitment to R&D excellence.

Sunil Kumar, Additional Secretary at the Department of Science and Technology, highlighted initiatives to capture R&D data in India. He advocated for rational policy-making and better alignment with Indian policies, proposing the bifurcation of public-private companies’ databases for targeted interventions and informed decision-making.

Inder Deep Singh Dhariwal, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), drew parallels between modern R&D efforts and ancient Indian wisdom from the Panchatantra, urging the corporate community to invest in R&D as a duty to the nation’s future.

B.N. Satpathy, PSA Fellow at the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, presented draft findings from the IICA’s research, including trends in R&D expenditure among the top 1,000 listed companies by market capitalization. The study compared R&D expenditures across companies, sectors, and geographies, highlighting industries with the highest R&D investments and sector-specific R&D expenditure in sustainability initiatives.

Dr. Garima Dadhich, Associate Professor & Head of the School of Business Environment at IICA, emphasized the importance of commitment, improved reporting practices, collaboration, and long-term impact in R&D.

Dr. Ravi Raj Atrey, Chief Programme Executive at the School of Business Environment, IICA, facilitated the roundtable, which was attended by around 50 senior representatives from R&D and sustainability divisions of various public and private corporations.

Key recommendations from the consultation included the creation of a dedicated web portal to manage and track R&D data in real-time, sensitizing corporate functionaries on the importance of R&D, standardizing the definition of R&D, considering mandatory R&D disclosures in standard formats, and extending research to unlisted companies.

The Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser entrusted the School of Business Environment, IICA, with a research study on the R&D expenditure of the top 1,000 listed companies by market capitalization in India.

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