The Tata Group spent $2.8 billion, or Rs 18,409 crore, on R&D in FY16. Such spending has helped the group file over 8,000 patents and led to billions of dollars of revenue and savings, Gopichand Katragadda, Group CTO of Tata Sons, said on Thursday.
Highlighting the fact that 52 Tata Group companies participated in the Tata Innovista awards — its intra-group innovation challenge — in 2017, Katragadda said that innovations in digital, new materials and the intersection of biology, computing and materials will continue to be the group’s focus areas in the coming years.
Speaking about specific innovations, he highlighted TCS’ early-stage diagnostic solutions based on human-microbiome, Tata Steel UK’s superhydrophobic bacterial coatings to avoid corrosion and Jaguar Land Rover’s open-door latch for interior paint application among innovations that have helped the individual companies’ bottomlines. He also highlighted the use of 3D printing technology at Tata Elxsi and Titan and said more Tata Group companies are in the process of using the same. Tata Power’s Leaders from Learners programme, which, along with financially empowering many of the company’s consumers living in slums, has resulted in significantly higher collection and recovery of dues and lower transmission losses, was another innovation that was highlighted during the occasion.
Prakash Singh, chief of capability development at Tata Steel, said the company accounts for about 5% of Indian Railways’ freight revenue and its innovative dual discharge wagons, along with increasing the company’s efficiency, will help the railways carry more freight with the existing infrastructure.