Upon request, formal concept note was submitted on Oct 6 2019 to Govt of India and NITI Aayog.
Here is the partial note (removing confidential discussions).
There are seminars planned in Delhi and Ahmedabad to bring together eco system partners, industry people to take this forward.
Concept Note on Policy interventions in creating opportunities for
technology innovations and product development in
Assistive Devices Industry
Background: Like we enable people with calipers to walk or wheel chair for mobility or SIRI for audio to text conversion or stair lift for transportation in the building etc., there are thousands of products to enable, help Divyangjan, senior citizens in India (100 MN+) and around the world – estimated 1 BN+ population per WHO to achieve UN SDGs and CRPD goals by 2030. Voice of SAP is granted with “Special Consultative Status” with UN ECOSOC. It has huge commitment, collective strengths of 8,000+ registered volunteers and possible access to the companies in the US, who are market leaders in Assistive Technology innovation, manufacturing etc. This concept note provides high level inputs on possible Global economic opportunities in Assistive Technology sector for India.
- Demand side:
- Assistive Technology is relatively new industry segment, growing globally (estimated 31 BN$ by 2024) primarily due to growing awareness, budget allocation by every country per UN treaty (CRPD) that 178 countries have signed for independent living of Specially Abled People since 2006.
- The World Health Organization estimates that by 2030, 2 billion people (link of WHO page) will require access to at least one assistive technology, and many will require two or more. However, TODAY only 1 in 10 people with disabilities currently has access to the assistive technologies they need. Huge gap hence growing market for coming decades!
- Subsequent to new law in India - RPwD 2016 for Divyangjan, there are 21 types of disabilities identified under the law. To enable this large population, harness the human potential requires use, adoption of Assistive Devices. Henceforth huge potential for India to seize the opportunity to attract investment with proper policy framework, providing special incentives to drive innovation with Atal Innovation Centers around the country and facilitate infrastructure to our SMEs to cater to domestic market needs and export opportunities as well.
- Empowering 100 MN Divyangjan in India with Assistive Device is a major socio-economic opportunity for India
- Supply side:
- Lower cost, price of AT products is key requirement and also a challenge to solve to cater to global markets with large scale production with design innovations that India can do like what ISRO developed for Mission Mangal!
- Growing focus on Indo-US trade opportunities can include this sector as US is largest market as well producer of products, innovations.
- Indians with technical background, strong presence in the technology startups, both in the US and India can be encouraged for pursuing opportunities in AT sector.
- AIC (Atal innovation Centers) is ready infrastructure to facilitate innovations.
An example for stair lift manufacturing – every apartment building, temple, existing Govt. offices, Railway platforms etc. – conservatively over million buildings need stair lift in India. Average Rs 10 lacs per installation means approx. 15 BN$ (Rs 1 lac crore) domestic market. Wheel chairs – 2 crore people (including senior citizens) need wheelchair to move around. With estimated cost of Rs 10,000 for a quality product (not the one that we see even at Indian airports, which are very poor quality), 3 BN$ (Rs 20,000 crore) is the potential market needs to cater to. Currently either China is supplying to the domestic needs or not affordable. Opportunity to change this, invite Invacare type US companies to manufacture world class AT products in India.
Next Steps as discussed on Sep 12 at NITI Aayog: