Grassroots Innovation in China and India

Grassroots innovations are innovations that emerge from local traditional and informal knowledge systems, with or without blending with formal knowledge. Grassroots innovation has yet to be fully understood or exploited in China and India. This grant will support a detailed study of grassroots innovation in the context of national innovation systems in the two countries. Researchers will look at why and how some grassroots innovations evolve to a successful outcome and others do not. And, they will examine the external environment in which an innovation serves a public good, finds a market, gets scaled up or otherwise finds expression as a socially and economically valued product. The overall premise is that national innovation systems can only benefit the poor and other excluded sections of society when they do not rely entirely on formal science and technology (S&T) systems. Both states recognize that new ways and institutional arrangements for reducing poverty in the rural hinterland are urgently needed, and both have espoused national policies that seek to balance rapid economic growth with social equity. It is expected that the findings will provide input toward these goals.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Saturday, August 29, 2009

End Date

Monday, December 31, 2012


36 months

IDRC Officer

Santiago Rodriguez, Fernando

Total funding

CA$ 450,000


China, Far East Asia, India, Central Asia, South Asia


Networked Economies

Project Leader

Anil Gupta


Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions

Institution Country


Institution Website

Project Leader

Zhang Liyan


Tianjin University of Finance and Economics

Institution Country


Institution Website