Tata Group expects 'innovation' funding to cross $1 bn this year

30 April 2014

The Tata Group expects spending on ''innovation'', at which it has been recently working across its companies to cross $1 billion in 2014-15.

The idea is to introduce a central ecosystem for incubating new ideas. The group said on Tuesday that it is yet to decide on the structure through which the incubation would be done - through floating a new company or a new division, or through Tata Industries, a company Tata Sons set up in 1945.

Innovation"This is the first year we tried to measure the economic benefit of the innovations and for the full year of 2014-15 it is estimated to be $1 billion for 43 innovations that reached the final round of Tata Innovista 2014," Tata Sons member group executive council and brand custodian M Govind Rajan said in Kolkata.

Tata Innovista is an annual event that has been held since 2006 by which the group began capturing and promoting innovations of its companies.

The Tata judges measured the economic value of 43 creative ideas out of 1,700 innovations submitted within the group last year. At the same time, 7,000 innovations have been implemented in the group since 2006, including process improvements and new ideas.

But this is the first time the Tatas are measuring the results in economic terms.

"In 2012-13, the group spent around Rs 13,200 crore on research and development activities which was 2.5 per cent of the total revenue. In the current fiscal we expect to maintain a similar share, though numbers are not yet known," Rajan said.

Tata Quality Management Services chief executive Sunil Sinha said the group planned to take the innovations drive - which began under Tata Group Innovation Forum - to the next level, and incubation could be a possibility in future to promote some leading innovations that could have major social impact.

However, there was no final roadmap yet on plans to introduce incubation facility or leading edge innovations in a particular company which could be carved out into a new venture, Sinha said.

"Tata Innovista has become a very good indicator of the success of the innovation drive in the Tata group and of the inherent capabilities of its people. We have observed that almost 70 percent of participants are in the age brackets of 20-30 and 30-40 years," he said.

Sinha said the most innovative companies in the Tata group included Jaguar Land Rover, Titan, Tata Global Beverage, TCS and Tata Steel.

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