Transfer of Technology Not Impediment to Innovation: US Envoy


Senior Member
Mar 18, 2011

Transfer of Technology Not Impediment to Innovation: US Envoy

Bengaluru | Nov 04. 2015

US Ambassador to India Richard Verma today said he does not see transfer of technology in the defence sector as an impediment to innovation, and a lot of restrictions would fall even more.

"I don't see transfer of technology as being an impediment to innovation. I actually think there is so much we can do right now, and whatever controls that are still existing ... lot of these restrictions will fall even and even more," Verma said at an interaction with the students at IIM-B here.

Verma delivered a lecture on "Technology Innovations and Societal Change" organised by Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

He said there is a need to streamline the system of not only transferring the technology from the US to India, but also building and developing in India itself.

"What we are talking about is not just sending technology from the US to India, we are now talking about building and developing right here in India," Verma said.

"Defence sector is one of the most promising and exciting areas because we are talking about co-production, joint production, joint research and joint development - Military product, technology hardware, not just for the Indian armed forces, but making them available for the third countries as well. So, that means collaboration from start to finish. We need to streamline and make it easier," he said.

Asked whether he sees drastic changes in India's FDI policy in coming days, Verma said it has been slowly opening. "It has been slowly opening. Some sectors are completely opened and some sectors are closed," he said.

He declined to further comment on the issue saying, "The only reason I am hesitant on FDI because I don't get to control FDI policy here in India," the US Ambassador said.

Asked what role the pharmaceutical lobby plays and whether they are making it tough for India to make cheaper medicines, Verma said India and US have been good partners in ensuring people continue to have access to safe and reliable drugs.

However, the issue of intellectual property has not yet been tackled fully, the US Ambassador added.

"We want to make sure that people continue to have access to safe and reliable drugs. So I actually think we have been very very good partners in this regard," he said.

Verma said India and US share a common goal of ensuring people get access to affordable medicines and the trick is to try keep the cost down and protect the science and intellectual innovation that had gone into the making of the drug, and also ensure getting right price.

Talking about intellectual property issue, which has not yet been tackled fully, Verma said, "The issue that we haven't been able to tackle fully is the intellectual property issue. Right now, there is no exact meeting of the minds on what qualifies as an innovation, and also on which versions of the drugs are eligible for patent protection ... That's where there has been some differences of opinion."

Verma further said "the innovators, artists and scientists are demanding robust intellectual regime in India from Indians than from Americans."

Global Defence