Its data innovation catalyst R2 Data Labs will be focusing on startups working on AI and advanced analytics.
By Srinath Srinivasan
British technology giant Rolls-Royce’s data innovation catalyst R2 Data Labs is looking at bringing Indian tech startups into its ecosystem as part of its plan to expand its global footprint and leadership in delivering tech solutions across sectors. Rolls-Royce operates across verticals such as aerospace (civil and defence), power systems, marine technology, nuclear technology and associated areas. R2 Labs will focus on delivering untapped value from data that comes from these industries globally.
Rolls-Royce already partners with Indian IT giants such as Tata Consultancy Services. As part of the partnership, TCS provides digital platform capability, allowing data to be captured, shared and analysed more easily across Rolls-Royce verticals so that new products and services can be developed rapidly.
“In Asia, India is a critical marketplace. Rolls-Royce has significant operations across countries in Asia. However, when we launched R2 Data Labs early last year in the UK, we made specific choices on where to start first. We have been building our understanding and enthusiasm to work in India and it was a natural choice,” said Caroline Gorski, group director of R2 Data Labs, Rolls-Royce.
R2 Data Labs’ digital strategy includes perfecting the digital twin technology (it allows firms to have digital assets of their machines), driving data innovation and enabling a digital first culture—a strategy similar to what many leading tech companies are increasingly moving towards. Adoption of digital not only allows companies to reduce cost and imporve efficiency, but also to build new business models around data innovation.
R2 Data Labs focuses on technologies which leverage data—Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics, Blockchain and quantum computing, autonomous and sensing technologies and Industrial IoT. R2 Data Labs’ focus for India will revolve around AI and advanced analytics. To close in on the startups and talent in this field, Rolls-Royce will partner with academia, incubators and accelerators. “We have less than 10 Indian start-ups in partnership with us. But with focus now shifting towards Asia, we wish to improve this number,” said Gorski.
“India is coming up with policies and programmes which may seem complicated now but are the right thing to do for the future. We will be bullish in leveraging them to expand our ecosystem in India,” said Kishore Jayaraman, president, Rolls-Royce, India and South Asia.