Rolls-Royce's innovation lab R2 Data Labs is to develop a collaborative ecosystem of digital partners in India, the company announced in Bangalore today.
This move, the company says, will enable Rolls-Royce to use data to spark innovation in all of its businesses and collaborate more effectively with partners and customers.
The engineering company will provide mentoring and technical support to start-ups specialising in the areas of Advanced Analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Quantum Computing, Autonomous and Sensing.
The move is in line with Rolls-Royce’s commitment to collaborative innovation and building an ecosystem of partners that harnesses the latest thinking and technologies from a wide community of innovators.
Rolls-Royce says it has specifically chosen Bangalore to launch this program in India due to the growing number of technology companies there. According to recent reports, Bangalore is now ranked as the city with highest growth index for start-up hubs, followed by London and Tel Aviv. The city is one among the nine ‘International Start-up Hubs’ outside of the United States and the start-up capital of India.
Commenting on the announcement, Caroline Gorski, group director, R2 Data Labs, said: “Sitting at the heart of our vision for the digital age is a collaborative approach to innovation, where we actively look to develop new, radical ways of working to maintain our competitive edge. To this end, Rolls-Royce has been sponsoring, and collaborating with, niche technology start-ups in the areas of AI, Big Data Analytics, IoT, application development and future technologies across the world to help validate, build and grow their business."
"Unlocking hidden value in data requires new technology but also new ways of thinking. Working with IoT start-ups helps us to accelerate digital transformation, deliver further value to customers, improve existing services and create new areas of growth. At the same time, we also get to help those innovators to succeed, and share in their pace, inventiveness and energy,” said Gorski.
Rolls-Royce has more than 20 years of experience combining engineering expertise with data analytics, offering operational efficiencies to airline customers. Building on these foundations, Rolls-Royce is expanding its digital capabilities to deliver increased value from existing services and introduce new services to customers across the group.
Kishore Jayaraman, president, Rolls-Royce – India and South Asia, said: “Digital skills help accelerate India’s drive to develop its economy. The country’s vibrant digital ecosystem, supported by an innovative start-up environment, will facilitate the development of capabilities in these areas in the hope of creating immense opportunities across the lives of individuals and affect diverse industries including financial services, retail, media, travel, hospitality and healthcare. We recognise that some of the best digital capabilities exist outside of our business. For Rolls-Royce to continue to pioneer the power that matters as a leading industrial technology company and be a strong industrial partner, we must champion collaboration. As a leader in applied industrial AI and analytics applications, R2 Data Labs is tasked to help Rolls-Royce become the ‘go-to’ industrial company.”
At present, Rolls-Royce already partners with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Microsoft, two globally-recognised digital service providers. As part of the partnership, TCS provides digital platform capability, allowing data to be captured, shared and analysed more easily across Rolls-Royce so that new products and services can be developed at pace. In 2016, Rolls-Royce invested 1.3 billion pound (Rs 12,130 crore) in R&D. It also supports a global network of 31 University Technology Centres, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research.