Tata Group companies have together spent 2.8 per cent of their consolidated revenue at Rs 18,409 crore on innovations in fiscal 2016 and they have gained $1 billion worth in incremental benefits.
“On an average, we spend 2.5 to 2.8 per cent of our consolidated revenue on R&D. In fiscal 2016, it stood at 2.8 per cent, or Rs 18,409 crore. And when it comes to incremental benefits, it has been averaging at $1 billion per annum for the past three years or so,” Gopichand Katragadda, group chief technology officer at Tata Sons, said today. He said fiscal 2017 numbers are not out yet as most of the Tata firms are yet to declare their annual results.
Over the years, Tata companies showcased over 3,300 implemented innovations, which has grown over 110 per cent over the past years, under the Tata Innovista programme. The number of patents published stood at over 8,000 since the programme was launched in 2007, while the number of patents granted stood at around 2,500, he said.
A significant number of these innovations are in the digital world, and at the intersection of biology, computing and materials sciences, industrial automation, customer experience enhancement and advanced engineering simulations, Katragadda said.
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“Our industries are in the midst of tectonic shifts driven by the democratisation of digital, automation of decisions, and a focus on the environment. The Tata Group has continued to lead in intellectual property generation from artificial intelligence to microbiomics and from driver assist technologies to new 2D materials.”
Asked about the implemented innovations, he said these include new products & services, core processes, support processes and design.
Some of the leading innovations in industrial automation, incorporating digital, include TCS’ embedded security for the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, Tata Steel’s smart desulphurisation utilising infrared thermal imaging camera and image processing algorithms and Tata Motors’ tyre life extension.
The Tata Motors’ innovation leverages real road usage data to incorporate realistic wear patterns into the design process utilising digital approaches.
TCS is also piloting a major advancement in the medical world – a revolutionary microbiome-based bio-markers to flag those at a high-risk for preterm birth and those at high risk for colorectal cancer.
Katragadda said some years down the line, they will open the innovation contest to non-Tata companies as well. At the 2017 session, 52 Tata companies from across 22 countries submitted their projects. Of these, 36 Tata companies reached the second round.
Tata’s British arm Jaguar Land Rover is developing 3D simulations of automotive components’ performance under virtual road conditions to significantly improve design timelines. It is also developing a pedestrian automatic braking system using a stereo camera and algorithms for driver assist.