A new study by NESTA, an innovation promotion org based out of UK
Excerpt on Trivandrum’s NIIST:
The new rising stars
A wide range of cities could compete for the rising star sobriquet in addition to Ahmedabad. One example of a strong contender in research and innovation terms is Trivandrum. Figure 10 shows the volume and impact of India’s leading research institutes. Trivandrum’s National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST), part of the CSIR network, publishes the highest proportion of world–class papers of any institute in India – world–class research accounts for 14 per cent of the total institutional output. A visit to the office of the Director, Dr Suresh Das, demonstrates the determination of the lab to keep raising its game. One wall of his office is dominated by a large board with the latest data on his institution’s publications, citations, patents and external revenue. Dr Das is not alone in increasing performance in Trivandrum. The city climbed from 29th position in 2010 to 17th position in the 2011 City Competitiveness Index.142 Professor VNR Pillai, Principal Secretary of the Kerala State Department for Science and Technology, explained “We have foregone big science in our early years of development, but now it’s high time for us to jump in.”143 Kerala’s unusual socio–political history (communist governments and strong bipartisan investment in health and education) has shaped its path. What the city lacks in infrastructure it makes up for in human capital: literacy rates and other social indicators are the highest of any of the Indian States.144 As well as hosting India’s launch pad for rockets, the city hosts one of the largest IT parks in Asia.