Most of the innovators and/or traditional knowledge experts need optimization in design process or product formulation by merging with modern science and technology inputs. Market prospects for many innovators will be very low without proper value addition. Creating technology networks can make efficiency gains. Value addition through research and development is a key focus of NIF and it provides a platform for the synergy between formal and informal science and technology, institutions and knowledge system.
As per the prioritization advised by Scouting and Documentation section, VARD section technically scrutinizes innovations (exploratory and accepted category) to ascertain the novelty in each innovation. VARD section conducts a brainstorming session with the internal value chain members from IPR and BD division. Members from GIANs are also involved during technical assessment. Innovations that are potential for improvement and value addition are identified. A prior art search is conducted followed by market analysis through field visits, focus group discussions and consultation with market leaders, entrepreneurs in industrial clusters etc. Some innovations are also either tested in leading laboratories or their efficacy is tested through on-farm trials or in field-testing. On completion of the primary assessment, the innovation is placed before the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) for their expert advice. Prototyping support is given in many cases where prima facie case appears to be strong even before these technologies are put up to RAC.
Key tasks performed by the Value Addition Research and Development team with the ultimate objective of commercialization through new business models are:
a) Coordination with public and private sector R & D institutions, academic institutions, private associations, industry clusters and innovation intermediaries.
b) Formulation of strategies, undertaking detailed product planning and prototype development while maintaining a WBS (work breakdown structure).
c) Mobilization of support for product development proposals through the DST's TePP fund and other similar programs / projects either at local or international level.
d) Creation of a contractual value chain through either benefit sharing or through an up-front fee as suitable in the specific context.
e) Establishment of grassroots incubation centers like GIANs or GIAN cells to coordinate regional product development activities jointly with local advisory committees.
f) Recommendation of domain expert members for Research Advisory Committee (RAC) to scrutinize the innovations for their novelty value, cost effectiveness, social impact etc. Further the process of incubation is tracked through an Incubation Advisory Committee (this process needs considerable strengthening) so as to increase the probability of commercial success of the innovations or traditional knowledge.