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Nepal is a landlocked, mostly mountainous country (only 23 per cent of its land area is in the plains), with China in the North and India in the South, East and West. The country covers an area of 147,181 sq. km and has a population of 28 million. This federal democratic republic has an annual growth rate of 2.2 per cent. Administratively, Nepal is divided into five development regions, which are further divided into 14 zones and 75 districts. The industrial base of the country is very small and not very sophisticated; the industrial sector contributes only about 16 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). The services sector accounts for nearly half of the GDP. Even then, there are innovation activities going on in the country, much of it not according to any plan. There is also some incremental innovation taking place at the grassroots.

National Innovation System

NIS is a core of distinct institutions which jointly and individually contribute to the development, recognition and diffusion of new technologies, which provide the national frame work within which the government can formulate and implement technical policies to make use of the innovation processes by facilitating the legitimate concerns in the transfer of technology.

The major elements of NIS are:

  • promotion of national strategic R&D;
  • manpower development;
  • creation of linkages between government supported research institutions, academia and industry;
  • commercialization of R&D results;
  • promotion of venture business;
  • establishment of technology/incubation parks and business clusters;
  • science and technology awareness;
  • promotion of women entrepreneurship; and
  • Creation of a sound S&T infrastructure.

The NIS key-actors are enterprises, R&D institutions and universities who produce, distribute and apply various kinds of knowledge. Relationship/linkages among these actors could be in the form of joint research, cross patenting, collaborative partnership, personnel exchanges and in a variety of other forms.

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