Companies have hit upon a brand new way of developing technologies. And that is by funding universities and colleges to work in fields that are of interest to them in particular. Among the same stream, The Tata Group is tying with a couple of highly prestigious Ivy league universities including Harvard and Yale to research soft robotic, sensors, deep-learning and network sciences. The products developed using this research will then be brought to the market.
Speaking on the topic, Gopichand Katragadda, Group Chief Technology Officer at Tata Sons said,
It is the Tata Group’s vision to touch the live of 25% of the world’s population. To accomplish this vision, we are engaging with the best research institutions around the world to enable sustainable market development.
And the Tata group is pretty serious about the project as well. Not only is the group setting aside a staggering $25 million sum to fund the research — and we assume that it may also be used as grants — employees of the company will also have the opportunity to go abroad and learn more about the respective technologies at these places.
The collaborations are actually different with both these universities. With Harvard, Tata Sons and Tata Communication along with Tata Steel and JLR have established a six-year research partnership. The projects under this partnership will mainly be centered around soft-robotics, advanced materials, deep learning and sensor technologies. Which very interestingly are all futuristic technologies that really, really need a pioneer in India. Leading to speculation that could Tata use India, its home turf, as a market for some of the technologies developed at Harvard.
On the other hand, Yale is teaming up with Tata Sons, Tata Consultancy Services and Tata Chemicals to work in areas like network sciences, consumer behavior etc. With a huge, huge number of people affected by its work one way or the other, the fact that TCS is getting some research done on consumer behavior doesn’t really come as a surprise.
This is not the group’s first foray into research work. It was already collaborating with IIT-Madras to improve technologies pertaining to advanced materials. However, it is the first time it has gotten — or perhaps any Indian company in this major way — the highly prestigious Ivy league universities into its team.