November 18, 2019

National Innovation and Startup Policy 2019 for Students & Faculty

Asia
Early Implementation
Description of the core change(s) brought by this policy instrument

India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development released a guiding framework for higher education institutions. The framework covers Intellectual Property ownership, revenue sharing mechanism, norms for technology transfer and commercialization. 

Please list the implementing agencies

Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD)

Please name the policy advisor(s) or leader(s) who have been key in introducing and/or designing this policy instrument

The policy was prepared by the recommendation of a fifteen member committee constituted by Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Lifecycle of target firms for this policy instrument
Start-up firms
Support offered
Non-financial Support
Level of intervention
Environmental-level
Barrier(s) addressed with this policy tool
Skills & training: other
Support systems: articulation/coordination
Support systems: metrics/quality control
Abstract summary of this Policy resource

New regulations and guidelines include the following.

1. Strategies and Governance:

  • Investment in the entrepreneurial activities should be a part of the institutional financial strategy. Minimum 1% fund of the total annual budget of the institution should be allocated for funding and supporting innovation and startups related activities through creation of separate ‘Innovation fund’. 
  • For expediting the decision making, hierarchical barriers should be minimized and individual autonomy and ownership of initiatives should be promoted.

2. Startups Enabling Institutional Infrastructure: 

  • All HEIs are advised to create facilities within their institution for supporting pre-incubation and Incubation/acceleration by mobilizing resources from internal and external sources.
  • This Pre-Incubation/Incubation facility should be accessible 24x7 to students, staff and faculty of all disciplines and departments across the institution. 
  • HEIs may offer mentoring and other relevant services through Pre-incubation/Incubation units in-return for fees, equity sharing and (or) zero payment basis.

3. Nurturing Innovations and Start ups:

  • Student entrepreneurs should be allowed to sit for the examination, even if their attendance is less than the minimum permissible percentage, with due permission from the institute.
  • Student entrepreneurs may earn academic credits for their efforts while creating an enterprise.
  • Allow faculty and staff to take off for a semester / year (or even more depending upon the decision of review committee constituted by the institute) as sabbatical / unpaid leave / casual leave / earned leave for working on startups and come back. 

4. Product Ownership Rights forTechnologies Developed at the HEI

  • When institute facilities / funds are used substantially or when IPR is developed as a part of curriculum/ academic activity, IPR is to be jointly owned by inventors and the institute.
  • If one or more of the inventors wish to incubate a company and license the product to this company, the royalties would be no more than 4% of sale price, preferably 1 to 2%, unless it is pure software product. 

See also the measures recommended under these sections:

5. Organizational Capacity, Human Resources and Incentives

6. Creating Innovation Pipeline and Pathways for Entrepreneurs at Institute Level

7. Norms forFaculty Startups

8. Pedagogy and Learning Interventions for Entrepreneurship Development

9. Collaboration, Co-creation, Business Relationships and Knowledge Exchange

10. Entrepreneurial Impact Assessment

Policy timeline

In November 2016, All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) released a Startup Policy document for AICTE approved institutions, to address the need of inculcation of innovation and entrepreneurial culture in higher education institutions (HEIs). The policy primarily focused on guiding the AICTE approved institutions in implementing ‘Startup Action Plan’ of Government of India.

Subsequent to release of the Startup policy by AICTE and further interaction & feedback received from education institutions, a need was felt for a more elaborate and comprehensive policy guiding document, which could be applicable for all the HEIs in India. A fifteen membered committee was constituted by Ministry of Human Resource Development to formulate detailed guidelines for various aspects related to innovation, Startup and entrepreneurship management. This committee deliberated on various facets for nurturing the innovation and Startup culture in HEIs, which covered Intellectual Property ownership, revenue sharing mechanisms, norms for technology transfer and commercialization, equity sharing, etc.

After multiple rounds of meetings, National Innovation and Startup Policy 2019 for students and faculties of HEIs was released.

Stated goal/metrics of the policy instrument

The goal of these guidelines are to enable Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to actively engage students, faculties and staff in innovation and entrepreneurship-related activities. This framework will also facilitate India’s efforts to bring uniformity across HEIs in terms of Intellectual Property ownership management, technology licensing and institutional startup policy.

Challenges, criticisms and lessons

Uniform and successful implementation of the 'National Innovation and Startup Policy 2019’ for students and faculty of all the HEIs across the nation is the main objective. In order to achieve this, full-fledged support of education institutions will be important. The roadmap suggested through this document are ‘broad guidelines’ and if required, these institutions may develop their own comprehensive guidelines and policy on innovation and startups with greater details. 

Geographic scope
National-level