Delivering on the Promise of Bioeconomy in the Developing World: Link It with Social Innovation and Education

  • Sandipan RayEmail author
  • Sanjeeva Srivastava
  • Shyam Diwakar
  • Bipin Nair
  • Vural ÖzdemirEmail author


In developing countries where numerous factors such as rapid population growth and entrenched social problems hinder equitable economic growth and education, research and development (R&D) are often neglected as well. But the importance of R&D extends beyond science. The capacity to generate and advance their scientific scholarship is important for all countries – for such independent scientific thinking skills might also empower the citizens’ capacity and will to think democratically in a global interdependent world. Social innovation is explained here as a form of responsible innovation that brings together funders, scientists, and knowledge user communities to address long-standing and/or entrenched societal problems. Moreover, in social innovation, the user communities such as citizens can also contribute to the scientific design and funding beyond a passive role to merely adopt innovations developed by scientific experts. The overall success of developing nations thus rests on building successful linkages of the education ecosystem with social innovation and bioeconomy. To this end, E-learning endeavors and the virtual biotechnology labs are novel initiatives that are rapidly transforming society in the developing world. Distance education and E-learning and open learning endeavors are certainly advantageous for the resource-limited developing countries, where the numbers of potential learners are much higher than the number of well-experienced teachers and educational institutes capable of providing the required infrastructures for basic and advanced scientific education. India, in particular, has had strikingly innovative and forward-looking investments in biotechnology distributed learning practices that can illuminate the global society of scientists and citizens. In this chapter we will highlight the fundamental need and present scenario of virtual laboratories in advanced sophisticated life science education in the developing world.


Awareness Bioeconomy Developing world E-learning Virtual labs 



The financial support from the Sakshat project of National Mission on Education through ICT, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), for the establishment of Virtual Proteomics Laboratory 10MHRD005 and Clinical Proteomics Remote Triggering Virtual Laboratory 11MHRD005 is gratefully acknowledged. We thank the Chancellor of Amrita University, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, for invaluable discussions and insights on India’s E-learning initiatives and the growing role for public engagement in understanding technology future(s).

Competing Interests

The authors declare no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biosciences and BioengineeringIndian Institute of TechnologyPowaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Metabolic Research Laboratories, Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Institute of Metabolic Science, Addenbrooke’s HospitalUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  3. 3.Department of Biosciences and BioengineeringIndian Institute of Technology BombayMumbaiIndia
  4. 4.Amrita School of BiotechnologyAmrita Vishwa VidyapeethamKollamIndia
  5. 5.Faculty of Communications & Office of the President, International Technology and Innovation PolicyGaziantep UniversityGaziantepTurkey
  6. 6.School of BiotechnologyAmrita UniversityAmritapuriIndia
  7. 7.Data-Enabled Life Sciences Alliance (DELSA Global) Open Innovation PlatformSeattleUSA

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