"Innovation is born out of the cultural excellence. This excellence is a process when an individual or a nation contrives to fulfil the dream with calculated risks...," Dr Kalam said while addressing the researchers and students of pharmaceutical sciences at an award function here.
Dr T Ramasami, the Guest of Honour for the award distribution and the former secretary, Department of Science and Technology, stressed importance of innovation on this occasion.
Ramasami, a Padma Bhushan recipient, said reduction of pain and reduction of cost should be the "focal point" while doing any innovation in drug-manufacturing.
Ten researchers and their guides were awarded 'Pharminova' awards by Rajnibhai M Patel Trust on this occasion.
Earlier in the day, Dr Kalam also addressed students of Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, on "Dynamics and characteristics of leadership".
He said leaders should not worry about what they gain but instead focus on what they give. Sharing his personal experiences, he advised the students to absorb failures individually but credit the whole team when there is success.
Saying that ethical behaviour is a fundamental leadership trait, he said India needed to build strength, as realpolitik dictates that strength respects strength.
The conditions, where India is not facing any threat, would create peace and allow the country "to innovate and thrive, he added."