Tata Group Hits $1bn Innovation Mark

The Tata Group has set its sights on hitting the billion-dollar mark in terms of the economic value attached to its innovations.

The Tata Group has set its sights on hitting the billion-dollar mark in terms of the economic value attached to its innovations.

India's premier conglomerate has been hosting a group-wide Innovista programme since 2006 to encourage innovations across the spectrum of its various companies. The 2014 instalment concluded recently in India and of the 1,010 entries received for "Promising Innovations", 43 reached the final round.

Mukund Rajan of Tata Sons said: "For the first time we have tried to measure the economic value of the benefits delivered by these innovations and the combined benefit of these 43 finalist innovations is estimated at $1 billion on an annual basis.

"As against India's R&D-GDP ratio of 0.76 per cent, the Tata group's R&D-turnover ratio is substantially higher. We would like to see these ratios increase, both for the country and our group."

Tata's R&D spend in terms of percentage turnover for the group as a whole has increased from 2.3 per cent in 2011-12 to 2.5 per cent in 2012-13.

The "Promising Innovations" awards in the 2014 edition went to Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) for new product innovations; two teams from Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and one team from Tata Steel bagged new service innovations credits; Tata Steel Europe and Tata Consulting Engineers won core process innovations; and Tata Power Delhi Distribution was recognised for support process innovations.

The Tata Group is now toying with the idea of introducing a central eco-system for incubating new ideas. It is yet to decide on the exact structure, which could take the form of a new company or a new division or it could be done through the Tata Industries arm.

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