An ACIDLOOP policy dialogue was held on 26 September 2014 in New Delhi, with the aim to bring together stakeholders of the broader policy framework in which metal finishing MSMEs operate in India. The event on innovation and technology transfer in the Indian metal finishing sector saw a participation of representatives from political authorities, research institutes and industry associations from Chandigarh, Gandhinagar, Gurgaon, Karaikudi, Moradabad and New Delhi.

The purpose of the policy dialogue was (a) to discuss support programmes that could be used to foster technology transfer in the metal finishing sector, (b) to assess the requirements of larger policy initiatives, and (c) to analyse how MSMEs’ technology needs can best be clustered and transferred to research institutions.

To set the background, the Indian and the German policy frameworks for technology transfer were presented. This was followed by a presentation on the ACIDLOOP policy brief on technology transfer that had been developed based on the inputs from the previous rounds of policy dialogue in 2012. In the following discussion sessions the participants engaged in a dialogue on both barriers of as well as opportunities for the Indian policy framework on technology transfer. The policy dialogue was concluded with the joint development of policy suggestions.

Among the main barriers to technology transfer identified by the participants is a communication gap between industry and research institutions that results in ongoing research not meeting actual industry needs. Moreover, MSMEs lack a long term perspective on sustainability and the necessary financial resources to invest in new resource-efficient technologies. Potential actions to be taken to increase the development and uptake of resource efficient technologies include the establishment of a consistent dialogue between MSMEs and research institutions, the direct involvement of workers in R&D processes and the idea of having graduate students writing their dissertations on actual problems as expressed by MSMEs. Respective policy recommendations developed towards the end of the policy dialogue were clustered along four areas, namely cooperation, awareness, support programmes and funding and resulted for instance in the following suggestions: MSMEs and research institutions could jointly apply for funding (cooperation), inclusion of workers (not only owners) in awareness-rising activities and translation of education materials to local languages (awareness), establishment of twinning linkages and cluster research centres to benefit from sector-specific support programmes, and clustering funding at regional level for specific topics/ sectors.

The documentation of the dialogue can be accessed here.

A revised version of the policy brief will soon be released on the ACIDLOOP project website.

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ACIDLOOP is a 4-year project (2012-2016) supported by the European Union (EU) under the SWITCH Asia Programme. This programme emphasizes sustainable consumption and production in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). ACIDLOOP is targeted specifically at the Indian metal finishing industry.  It aims to introduce technology innovation for acid recovery as well as resource efficiency that would lead to improved environmental quality and combat pollution.  The activities is taking place in various locations in northern, western and southern India.


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