The BeSt Cluster, is an initiative under the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC), launched with support from the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, to enable Indian R&D to contribute to national missions of Government of India and solve problems for the Indian and global industry.
Establishing a sustainable innovation ecosystem requires a well-connected network of entrepreneurs, domestic and foreign private enterprises, educational and research institutions, government agencies, investors, business incubators, and technology and business mentors. This need has led to the establishment of regional innovation clusters in many parts of the world. Such innovation clusters bring together capital, expertise, and talent to foster technological breakthroughs that have tremendous impact on society.
The BeST cluster proposal is under final revision and the office is currently set up as a program office under Society of Innovation and Development (SID) which is the incubation arm set up by Indian Institute of Science. The plan is for BeST to become an independent section 8 company within 2 years after the cluster office is formally set up. We currently have limited capacity and are only focused on helping the various research theme coordinators in their efforts. Once the funding and formal approval is received, we will be working at full capacity. We expect the formal approval to happen and the BeST office and a leadership board with representatives from multiple institutions to be set up before March 2022.
A brief snapshot of the progress made till date and some of the key milestones can be seen below…
The traditional Triple Helix model brings together academia, industry and government, and is an established theoretical model for the implementation of innovation clusters. While this trilateral cooperation would drive knowledge based economic development, it might be restrictive in terms of social innovation.
BeST aims to go one step further and introduce a more inclusive hexa-helical model. This will include a much wider variety of sectors and stakeholders who will participate in the cluster activities, including academia, industry/startups/professional associations, government agencies, investors and funding agencies, strategic sectors and society/NGOs.
The state of Karnataka and the city of Bengaluru play a critical role in India’s economic growth, with their unique combination of a talented base of scientists and engineers, academic institutions, multi-national companies and a vibrant start-up ecosystem. The Bengaluru S&T (BeST) cluster envisions the establishment of a unique innovation culture that would strengthen this ecosystem and further cement the region’s position as a global innovation powerhouse.
Equal participation by all cluster members in all of its activities will be one of the main guiding principles of BeST. The BeST cluster will therefore strive to instil this spirit of collaboration across stakeholders, across institutes, and between institutes and industries.
BeST activities will fall under six major categories, each with a distinctive goal and plan:
Science and Technology Experts Network for Tomorrow – the goal is to create a network of experts …
Science and Technology Experts Network for Tomorrow – the goal is to create a network of experts from various domains to establish connections, drive discussions, share opportunities, and frame solutions for complex problems.
One of the core activities of BeST, IMPACT will involve cutting-edge research on broad socially-relevant …
One of the core activities of BeST, IMPACT will involve cutting-edge research on broad socially-relevant and futuristic areas. Stakeholders from diverse domains and institutions will work together on short and long-term solutions for regionally and nationally relevant challenges.
The objective is to use the collective expertise of different stakeholders and participants and to avoid …
The objective is to use the collective expertise of different stakeholders and participants and to avoid a siloed approach to problem solving, by fostering mechanisms to support and incentivise collaborative and multidisciplinary approaches and solutions.
The principle would be for the cluster to share the scientific and technological infrastructure available …
The principle would be for the cluster to share the scientific and technological infrastructure available with individual members across the whole cluster and extend this philosophy to knowledge, infrastructure and personnel.
It is important to engage with the civic society representatives, the corporate sector, and relevant Government …
It is important to engage with the civic society representatives, the corporate sector, and relevant Government bodies in addition to the scientific community. BeST will aim to foster public engagement and outreach through a variety of mechanisms.
The goal is to foster internationalisation by teaming up with foreign clusters, foreign industries and research …
The goal is to foster internationalisation by teaming up with foreign clusters, foreign industries and research institutes. This will enable synergy on tackling similar issues and taking solutions developed in the BeST cluster to global venues.
The Broad Thematic areas which have been initially identified by the BeST cluster are represented here. As the cluster grows, other areas will also be pursued.
The Advisory Board consists of representatives from all sectors identified under the hexa-helical model for BeST, including academia, industry/startups, civic society/NGOs, investors and government. The Advisory Board members will contribute their time and expertise in identifying the board thematic areas under BeST, and enable networking of key organisations and individuals to envision and execute the programmes undertaken by BeST.
The current Administration faciliating the formation of the BeST cluster