. It is commendable that in a difficult year, we have managed to complete an expert-driven, bottom-up, evidence-based and inclusive draft of the fifth National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP 2020).
STIP 2020 is the collective aspiration to ensure that we get the benefits of our national investments in science and technology. It is a comprehensive policy framework. A couple of interesting technology policy facets in STIP 2020 are the focus on translational research and clusters.
Recognising the exponential benefits of translational research, STIP 2020 rightly aims to create a research ecosystem for promoting translational and fundamental research in India. The focus is on an outside-in perspective of translational research with inputs from stakeholders in society, industry and government. This is welcome, since strong collaboration networks among different stakeholders are required to create a conducive environment to foster translational research.
While the benefits of science and technology are often felt and seen; technology policy aspects like translational research and clusters are often intangible. Alfred Marshall states in his seminal Principles of Economics, “The mysteries of the trade become no mysteries; but as it were in the air.” While Marshall mentioned this in the context of industrial districts, it is appropriate to keep this in mind while we are nurturing mechanisms that foster translational research and clusters. Over time, we need to build the tangible and intangible aspects of a vibrant Indian science and technology ecosystem. This is an ongoing journey and STIP 2020 shows us a way forward.