Anil K. Gupta

Dr. Gupta earned his Ph.D. degree in management from Kurukshetra University (India) in 1986 after his masters in Biochemical Genetics in 1974 from Haryana Agricultural University, Haryana. He is currently a professor in the Centre for Management in Agriculture. His unique work analysing indigenous knowledge of farmers and pastoralists and building bridges to science based knowledge has led to the honour of being elected at a young age to India’s National Academy of Agricultural Sciences and recognition through Pew Conservation Scholar Award of USD 150,000, 1993-96 from University of Michigan. Biodiversity conservation through documentation, value addition and dissemination of local peoples’ innovative resource conservation practices is the thrust in future work.

Dr Gupta helped establish the NIF (National Innovation Foundation, India) (February 2000) with an initial corpus of Rs.20 crores (USD five million) with a view to help India become an innovative and creative society and a global leader in sustainable technologies by scouting and sustaining grassroots innovations. He helped set up the National Micro Venture Innovation Fund, the first of its kind in the world at NIF with the support of SIDBI on October 1, 2003 through collaboration between SIDBI and NIF.

His desire to develop a platform to recognise, respect and reward local innovators was the stimulus behind the creation of the Honey Bee network. The name Honey Bee was chosen to reflect how innovations are collected without making the innovators poorer and how connections are created between innovators. Honey Bee network has demonstrated that by building upon a resource in which poor people are rich in, that is their knowledge, a new paradigm of development can be unleashed.

To help provide support structures for grass roots innovators and link formal and informal knowledge systems, SRISTI (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions), a global initiative and a NGO, to network local innovators was established in 1993. It provides organisational support to the Honey Bee network in over 70 countries. The key objectives of SRISTI are to strengthen the capacity of grassroots level innovators and inventors engaged in conserving biodiversity to (a) protect their intellectual property rights, (b) experiment to add value to their knowledge, and (c) enrich their cultural and institutional basis of dealing with nature and modern science. National Innovation Foundation was set up by Department of Science and Technology (DST) in 2000 to make India a Global leader in sustainable technologies. Compared to 948 entries in its first national competition, it mobilised more than 13000 entries in second year. He is an advocate and champion of open innovation systems and is recognized for his work on setting up the Honey Bee Network and the Global Innovation Foundation, which seeks to make India a sanctuary or an incubator for green grassroots innovations from all over the world. Dr. Gupta has published extensively on survival under stress through grassroots innovations.

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