Media Releases

University of Toronto launches India Innovation Institute

October 5, 2011

TORONTO ON – The study of inno­va­tion takes a glob­al step for­ward today with the launch of the India Inno­va­tion Insti­tute at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to – a joint ven­ture of the Munk School of Glob­al Affairs and the Rot­man School of Man­age­ment.

“The India Inno­va­tion Insti­tute is designed to be a hub for researchers across the uni­ver­si­ty and around the world,” said Pro­fes­sor Jan­ice Stein, Direc­tor of the Munk School which will house the insti­tute. “It will bring togeth­er fac­ul­ty and stu­dents who are look­ing at prob­lems of inno­va­tion in which India is engaged –and that’s inno­va­tion across the spec­trum: inno­va­tion in tech­nol­o­gy, inno­va­tion in ser­vice, inno­va­tion in process and social inno­va­tion.”

Today, India is a lead­ing glob­al inno­va­tor. And by 2050 it is expect­ed to be the fifth-largest econ­o­my in the world, with aver­age house­hold income match­ing that of the Unit­ed States and UK. Its pro­ject­ed pop­u­la­tion of 2 bil­lion will make it the largest coun­try in the world.

“We’re look­ing for­ward to col­lab­o­rat­ing on this new ini­tia­tive as we already enjoy deep ties with many insti­tu­tions, com­pa­nies, schol­ars and stu­dents from India,” said Peter Pauly, Vice Dean, Aca­d­e­m­ic, at the Rot­man School of Man­age­ment. “We will also be able to con­tribute our aca­d­e­m­ic exper­tise in the man­age­ment and busi­ness aspects of inno­va­tion.”

The study of inno­va­tion, which attracts researchers in many dis­ci­plines, has tend­ed to focus on the expe­ri­ences of the devel­oped world. The India Inno­va­tion Insti­tute will help schol­ars learn from the inno­v­a­tive prac­tices of orga­ni­za­tions in devel­op­ing coun­tries.

“There is fan­tas­tic work being done in India,” said Stein. “And our inter­est lies in sit­u­at­ing that work in a com­par­a­tive per­spec­tive, a glob­al per­spec­tive.”

In addi­tion to help­ing U of T researchers engage with col­leagues in India and around the world, The India Inno­va­tion Insti­tute will fos­ter new, mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary col­lab­o­ra­tions. Pro­fes­sor Dilip Soman, Corus Chair in Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Strat­e­gy and a pro­fes­sor of mar­ket­ing at Rot­man, will be the institute’s inau­gur­al direc­tor.

“This is a joint ini­tia­tive of the Munk School of Glob­al Affairs and the Rot­man School of Man­age­ment,” said Stein. “We are also engag­ing with col­leagues in the Fac­ul­ty of Applied Sci­ences and Engi­neer­ing, the Temer­ty Temer­ty Fac­ul­ty of Med­i­cine and Fac­ul­ty of Law. What we’ve learned as we’ve built teams that go into the field is that we each bring a dif­fer­ent piece of the pic­ture but when we cre­ate these inte­grat­ed teams we under­stand the dynam­ics of inno­va­tion in a way that no sin­gle per­spec­tive would bring.”

Stein said some research projects, includ­ing a study on biotech inno­va­tion in India and Chi­na, are already embed­ded in the insti­tute.

“And there will cer­tain­ly be inter­na­tion­al col­lab­o­ra­tions that will come out of this, not just with col­leagues in India but also three-way part­ner­ships where India is engaged in a  tri­lat­er­al way with researchers in Chi­na and Cana­da,” Stein said. “It’s very excit­ing and a won­der­ful way for the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to to engage with our col­leagues in India, in the most dynam­ic and stim­u­lat­ing piece of what India is doing in the world and what Cana­da should be doing more of in the world.”


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Lau­rie Stephens