CSIR-Tech Private Limited: Facilitating Lab to Market Journeys


The ‘CSIR-Tech: Facilitating lab to market journeys’ case is designed to teach students the strategic intricacies of an organizational network. The case also throws light on the formation and design of a collaborative inter-organizational network. CSIR, a premier R&D organization in India, was plagued with challenges in the commercialization of technologies developed in its constituent laboratories. CSIR-Tech was established as a private-limited company to catalyse the technology development and commercialization process. The case analyses the formation of the CSIR–CSIR-Tech alliance and discusses how the alliance can help in overcoming challenges associated with commercialization of technologies being developed at CSIR.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

2023 Sage Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Exhibit 1: CSIR Mission Statement and Organizational Structure

Mission: “To provide scientific industrial research and development that maximizes the economic, environmental and societal benefits for the people of India.”

Organizational Structure:

Director General, CSIR: The Director General (DG) has all the powers for administering, directing and controlling the affairs & funds of the organization subject to the limitation on expenditure as the Government of India may impose from time to time. Director General is appointed by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Advisory Board: The advisory board helps the DG in developing strategic vision and direction for CSIR and in administering the affairs and funds of the organization. The board has only an advisory role.

Performance Appraisal Board: The performance appraisal board reviews and appraises the performance of the CSIR laboratories from time to time and suggests remedial measures to improve the performance of the laboratories. In addition, it performs any other function as may be assigned by the Advisory Board. The board has only an advisory role.

Directors, CSIR Laboratories: The directors are appointed by the Ministry of Science and Technology based on the recommendations of DG, CSIR. The directors are responsible for the administration of the laboratories and for coordinating its activities. In general, each laboratory has a collection of scientific departments, a director's secretariat and administrative departments (e.g., HR, Finance & Control, Stores & Purchase, Workshop, Canteen, Rajbhasha Cell, etc.)

Research Council: Each laboratory has a research council comprising of eminent scientists/technologists of India. The council is selected by the Director in consultation with the DG, CSIR. The council advises the Director in research related activities (e.g., setting vision and mission, deciding research agenda) and also in recruitment, performance appraisals and promotion related decisions of scientists of the laboratory.

Management Council: Each laboratory has a management council comprising of its scientists working in the laboratory. The management council is selected by the Director in consultation with the DG, CSIR. The council helps the Director in management and administration of the laboratory.

Source: CSIR Annual Report 2011–12

Exhibit 2: CSIR Network of R&D Laboratories

Source: CSIR Annual Report, 2011–12

Exhibit 3: Resource Base and Scientific Output of CSIR

Resource Base

Number of Laboratories/Institutes


Number of Units


Number of Outreach Centers


Number of Innovation Complexes


Human Resources (As on 31.03.2012)

Permanent staff




Technical and Support Staff


Administrative Staff


Financial Resources

Rs. Crore

Government budgetary support


• Government plan fund


• Government non-plan fund


External earning


Performance Indicators
Science Output

Papers Contributed


• Number



• Average impact factor per paper





• Filled in India



• Filled abroad



• In force in India



• In force abroad



National Science and Technology Human Resource Development


• Research Fellows/Associates supported



• Emeritus Scientists in position



• Pool Scientists (SRAs) in position



• Research Schemes supported



# Figures in parentheses correspond to the previous year 2010–11.

Source: CSIR Annual Report, 2011–12

Exhibit 4: CSIR Vision 2022 (CSIR@80)

CSIR@80 Vision

“Pursue science which strives for global impact, technology that enables inovation-driven industry and nurture transdisciplinary leadership thereby catalysing inclusive economic development for the people of India.”

The future aspiration for CSIR@80 includes:

  • Science and enginnering leadership;
  • Innovative technology solutions;
  • Open innovation and crowd sourcing;
  • Nurturing talent in transdisciplinary areas;
  • Science based entrepreneurship; and
  • Socio-economic transformation through S&T intervention.
CSIR@80 Mission

CSIR's renewed mission is inspired by the remarks made by the President of the CSIR Society to CSIR “to build the new CSIR that will fulfil the aspirations of modern India.”

Performance Targets for CSIR@80
  • Strive for global scientific impact:
    • Create five new research domains.
    • International network with CSIR campuses in other nations of Africa and Asia.
    • One exceptional publication of global impact every month.
  • Catalyse innovation driven industry:
    • Continue to maintain the largest patent portfolio in the country.
    • Transfer ten major cutting edge technologies a year for development/commercialization.
    • One game changing technology solution a year that impacts the lives of millions.
    • 50 spin-off companies.
  • Nurturing human resource and transdisciplinary leadership:
    • 1200 Ph.D. students and 2000 post graduates every year.
    • Creation of twelve Innovation Complexes.
  • Enable inclusive economic development:
    • One million people per year to benefit from CSIR 800 projects.
    • Catalyse inclusive innovation to benefit over 250,000 MSMEs.

Source: ‘CSIR@80: Vision and Strategy 2022’ Document

Exhibit 5: Challenges to R&D effectiveness at CSIR

Committee/Task force

Challenges Identified


Reinventing CSIR. Kelkar Committee Report, 2004

• Lack of adequate appreciation of the dynamic interdependence of science and technology with society and economy amongst scientists in CSIR.

• CSIR may like to encourage scientists to develop better appreciation of the symbiotic and holistic positioning of science and technology in society.

Unleashing India's


Toward Sustainable and Inclusive Growth. World Bank Report, 2007

• Fragmentation.

• Bureaucracy.

• Lack of coordination.

• A focus on financial inputs rather than outcomes and impacts.

• A narrow definition of innovation.

• Too much focus on frontier technologies.

• Insufficient focus on more commercial and applied areas of public goods such as industry, agriculture, and health.

• Focused effort to orient public research to the needs of the economy.

• Insufficient effort to increase interaction among public research institutes, universities, and the productive sector.

• Increasing resources for civilian research.

• Increasing support for R&D in universities.

• Strengthening support for R&D of high-risk technologies through NMITLI (New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiatives).

Ian Dean (Consultant, Leadership Development Program, CSIR) in his presentation at Director's Conference, 2009

• Fear as the biggest element stopping innovation.

• Loss of faith in leadership.

• Lack of professionalism.

• Low sense of urgency.

• Low sense of energy.

Disabilities such as:

○ Denials.

○ Cover-ups.

○ Fear of embarrassment, rejection, victimization.

• Rigidity, conservatism, outdated leadership.

• Failure to keep promises.

• A major overhaul of the existing CSIR leadership.

CSIR-Tech: Path Forward. A report by V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai and Deepak Sardana, October 2009

• Lack of professionalism, denials.

• False sense of urgency.

• Deflections and cover-ups.

• Promises not being honored.

• Inability to let go of control and allowing hired professionals to do their jobs.

• Develop a core value of integrity and honoring promises as a central theme for all to follow.

• Create a culture of accountability by linking project deliver and/or promises to some recognition model or compensation structure.

• Hiring of professional project managers, training in time management, basic business/administrative management skills, development of core values for the organization tied to compensation.

Impact of Leader Behaviors on Employee Creativity. A Report on CSIR Laboratories by IIM Lucknow, 2012

• Absence of teamwork.

• Individualistic attitude amongst scientists.

• No common/shared goals.

• Lack of collective efforts to produce useful products and technologies.

• Lack of direction and coherence between various projects.

• Individualistic work culture and bureaucracy.

• Ineffective performance appraisal policy which provides equal weightage to academic writings and product development.

• Products and technologies developed in CSIR laboratories are not commercialized as there are no takers for the technology or because the business development groups are unable to market them properly.

• CSIR should consider setting up a separate wing under its aegis that looks after commercializing the technologies being developed by CSIR.

• Some technologies can be sold or leased to entrepreneurs while other technologies can be demonstrated by CSIR through incubation centers.

• The business development wing should ideally comprise MBA graduates from reputed institutes who have an inclination to do business and also contribute to the betterment of society and country.

Exhibit 6: Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Notification of May 25, 2009

Source: CTPL website

Exhibit 7: CSIR-Tech Vision Statement

Vision: To create wealth out of publicly funded science and technology for the good of the people of India.

Activities to be undertaken for value creation for R&D labs
  • Identify technologies, de-risk and take to market
  • Bring-in entrepreneurial zeal and private investments to accomplish these tasks
  • Market, negotiate deals and assist in translating technology into products and services
  • Create greater commercial visibility for CSIR labs, their technologies, services and scientists
  • Work in synergy with business development divisions at R&D labs to augment their efforts
  • Deploy a 'system integrator' approach for catalyzing 'lab to market' journey
  • Accelerate translation of ideas & inventions into products and services
  • Provide market trends & insights cum industry feedback to help direct R&D efforts
  • Market, negotiate and execute deals in technology transfers & IP licensing to enhance revenue generation for lab
Activities to be undertaken for Academic institutions
  • Identify spin-off/joint venture creation opportunities around technologies of commercial value
  • Act as a commercialization partner to help increase reach to private enterprise
  • Attract entrepreneurs and industry professionals to help translate lab IP into technology spin-offs
  • Create capital gains by enabling equity arrangements in the spin-offs/start-ups/joint ventures/enterprises
  • Support labs and scientists in realizing business benefits

Source: CTPL website

Exhibit 8: CTPL's Organizational Values and Organizational Structure

Organizational Values:

Source: CTPL website

Organizational Structure:

Source: CTPL website

Exhibit 9: CTPL's Unique Positioning

Source: CTPL website

CSIR-Tech Private Limited: Facilitating Lab to Market Journeys

R&D Networks Around The World

Imperial Innovations, UK 1

Imperial Innovations is a private company that is involved in spinning out companies from the Imperial College, London. The important activities of Imperial Innovations are Intellectual Property Sourcing, Intellectual Property Strategy, Product Validation, and Licensing of Spin-out formation. The Business Development Department supports the formation and development of strategic alliances that lead to research collaborations of value to both partners. Projects could take many forms, such as sponsoring an institute or a student, or collaborative research and development. Figure A shows the network structure of Imperial Innovations.

Figure A: Structure of Imperial Innovations

Source: Ayyadurai and Sardana (2009)

Figure A

ARCH Development Corporation, US 1

ARCH Development Corporation was formed in 1986 as a separate, fully-owned not-for-profit corporation affiliated with the Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago. Rights to the commercialization of all the technologies from these institutions were transferred to ARCH Development Corporation. The private company (or any other venture funding company) is the Limited Partner in ARCH Venture Partners and ARCH Development Corporation is the General Partner. The private partner is responsible to carefully assess the technologies whose rights lay with ARCH Development Corporation for commercialization. They are also responsible for managing ARCH Venture Partners, in return of management fees. Figure B provides a diagrammatic representation of ARCH Development Corporation.

Figure B: ARCH Development Corporation

Source: Ayyadurai and Sardana (2009)

Figure B

The Israel Tech Transfer Organization, Israel 2

The Israel Tech Transfer Organization (ITTN) is a private non-profit organization that serves as the umbrella organization for Israel's technology transfer companies. These companies are affiliated with the country's world-renowned universities and research institutions. The activities of ITTN comprise the following three things: representing the interest of its member organizations before the Knesset, government authorities, ministries, agencies, and committees; advancing collaborative efforts between the technology transfer community in Israel and its counterparts around the world; and improving the accessibility of the public to new and innovative research findings and inventions performed at Israel's leading universities and research institutes. Currently, there are 12 partnering organizations that form the shareholders, namely, Bar-Ilan Research & Development Ltd., BGN Technologies (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev), BioRap Technologies Ltd. (Rappaport Research Institute of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology), Carmel-Haifa University Economic Corp. Ltd. (University of Haifa), Gavish Galilee Bioapplications Ltd. (MIGAL Galilee Technology Center), Hadasit Ltd. (Hadassah Medical Organization), Mor Research Applications (Clalit Health Services), Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd., T3 Technion Technology Transfer (Technion Research & Development Foundation Ltd.), Tel Aviv Medical Center, Yeda Research & Development Company Ltd. (Weizmann Institute of Science), and Yissum Ltd. (Hebrew University of Jerusalem). ITTN intends to add more members from Israel's government-owned medical centers and research institutions going forward.

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Germany 3

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the largest organization for applied research in Europe. It conducts research under contract for industry, the service sector, and public administration and also offers information and services. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft was founded on March 26, 1949 in Munich, Germany as part of the reorganization and expansion of the German research infrastructure. Today the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft consists of 66 Fraunhofer institutes and research facilities at different locations in Germany with total employee strength of about 20,000. The annual research budget amounts to 1.9 billion euros. Of this sum, 1.6 billion euros is generated by contract research. More than 70 per cent of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft's contract research revenue is derived from arrangements with industry and from publicly financed research projects. Almost 30 per cent is contributed by the German Federal Government and the states (‘Länder’) in the form of base funding. The demands on the Fraunhofer institute consist of scientific competence (proved by recognition of the scientific community), market success and entrepreneurial competence (proved by contracts with industry and the government), well-balanced financial mix (of different independent sources), and professional networking (with other Fraunhofer institutes and externals). The different ways of working with Fraunhofer institutes is given in Figure C .

Figure C: Different forms of engagement with Fraunhofer institutes

Source: Fraunhofer IWU document

Figure C

Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Japan 4

The Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) is a public-funded organization responsible for the implementation of science and technology (S&T) policy in Japan. From knowledge creation to ensuring that the fruits of research are shared with society, JST undertakes its mission in a comprehensive manner. It also plays a key role in providing a wide range of information on S&T in Japan and works to raise awareness and understanding of S&T-related issues as well as undertaking strategic international activities related to Japan's S&T policy. JST identifies research projects that show significant potential that are then nurtured through several stages with the aim of yielding practical applications. JST operates a broad array of programs to support collaboration between university and public-sector researchers and the private sector to ensure that such research leads to progress in S&T and has a positive impact on the economy, society, and living standards in Japan. Specifically, JST works to facilitate technology transfer of leading-edge research output from universities and public research institutions to the industrial sector. JST's Technology Transfer Program from academia to the private sector organically combines two approaches to achieve effective results: 1) utilizing university IP to drive innovation; and 2) creating a platform to drive innovation.

JST's program to promote technology transfer and innovation through collaboration between universities (and other public-sector research institutions) and the private sector encompasses a broad array of bridging activities like promoting the pursuit of patents based on the basic research output of universities and the use of such research output; matching these research outputs with the needs of the industrial sector; and supporting collaborative research and development (R&D) between industry and academia based on the IP and seeds held by universities. Figure D summarizes how JST utilizes university IP to drive innovation.

Figure D: Utilizing university IP to drive innovation

Source: JST website

Figure D

The second major function of JST is to accelerate innovation driven by close collaboration among industry, academia, and government, and facilitate a platform for dialogue among all three sectors. JST aims to foster the creation of new industries and assist industries’ efforts to strengthen their competitiveness. To achieve these goals, JST specifically focuses on strengthening basic research and R&D infrastructure through dialogue between industry and academia, as well as by implementing large-scale R&D projects through industry–academia consortia. Figure E summarizes the flow of activities for the creation of a dialogue platform.

Figure E: Creating a platform for dialogue to drive innovation

Source: JST website

Figure E

1. Ayyadurai, V. A. and Sardana, D. (2009). CSIR-Tech: Path Forward. Accessed on July 10, 2014, from http://innovationdemandsfreedom.com/pdf/report-on-CSIR-by-VA-Shiva.pdf

2. Israel Tech Transfer Organization (http://www.ittn.org.il/), accessed July 13, 2014.

3. Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/about-fraunhofer.html/), accessed July 15, 2014.

4. Japan Science and Technology Agency (http://www.jst.go.jp/tt/EN/activities.html/), accessed July 21, 2014.

Exhibit 10: Business Relationships of CTPL

Source: CTPL website

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

2023 Sage Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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