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Paper | Building a Design Economy in India

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In this paper, we outline the manner in which design can help promote the Indian economy. We look at the status of design in India, review the country’s development challenges, discuss the opportunities of a design economy, and make recommendations to enhance design in India.

Highlights of Main Findings

  • India’s design capacity in the number of patents granted is approximately 3 percent of China and less than 2 percent of the U.S.A.
  • India’s industrial design capacity is approximately 1 percent of China and 6 percent of the U.S.A.
  • Historically, non-resident entities have been granted the most number of patents within India.
  • Since 2012, more patents have been granted to Indian entities abroad than the number of patents granted by the Indian government to either resident or non-residents entities within India.
  • While in India and the U.S.A. the most number of patents are annually granted to non-resident entities, in China the most number of patents have been granted to resident Chinese entities since 2008.
  • Among the broad economic factors that affect design economy in India, the role of higher education, FDI, digital connectivity, infrastructure and trade have been identified as the most important.

Some specific policy recommendations to boost design economy in India are:

  • Curricular reform for research and development in higher education
  • Workforce development for R&D sector
  • Establishing design labs and special economic zones to focus on R&D
  • Developing and enforcing domestic legislation for intellectual property protection
  • Promoting greater collaboration between business, government, and academia

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