Tata group partners with IIT Madras, Harvard, Yale to fund research


The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, is among the world's leading academic institutions with which Tata Sons and some other Tata companies have entered into collaborations with the idea of funding research and development opportunities. The strategic research engagement, with IIT Madras, is a five-year alliance in the area of Advanced Materials.

The other institutions include Harvard University, Yale University and the Royal Scoeity, UK. The Tata companies that are part of the development initiative are Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tata Chemicals, Tata Communications, Tata Steel, and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR)

The financial support, exceeding $25 million, will be spread over time, in line with the tenure of the individual alliances with the institutions.

“It is the Tata group’s vision to touch the lives of 25 per cent 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 in the regions we work and live. This collaborative platform will allow Tata companies to work closely with these leading universities and I have no doubt that the exciting research at these institutions will be strengthened by the market understanding of the Tata group to create outcomes that matter to the world,”said Dr Gopichand Katragadda, Group Chief Technology Officer, Tata Sons.

The lead Tata company in collaboration with IIT Madras, is Tata Steel. Tata Sons will provide support through participation in the technical and governing bodies of the collaboration. The vision is to set up a self-sustaining research centre in Advanced Materials Technologies for the Tata group.

The Tata partnership with academic institutions is part of a global university collaboration programme of Tata companies for strategic outreach to academia across the world. It aims at supporting university faculty and students through funded research programmes, sabbaticals, fellowships, and engagements with university leadership, as well as studying long-term research outcomes related to key market needs.

With Harvard University, Tata Sons, Tata Communications, Tata Steel, and JLR have established a six-year research alliance. The Harvard initiative will uniquely bring together the capabilities of Harvard’s world-leading scientific research enterprise with those of the Harvard Business School.

Some of the initial areas of interest are soft robotics, advanced materials, and sensor technologies. Tata employees nominated as fellows will have the unique opportunity to participate in the Harvard Business School’s Executive Education courses, while contributing to the funded research projects.

“This initiative will harness the power of research that crosses traditional academic boundaries, leading to more rapid discovery and the development of new products and services that address real-world problems,”said Harvard Provost Alan M. Garber.

At Yale, Tata Sons, TCS and Tata Chemicals have set up a five-year alliance in the areas of network sciences, consumer behaviour and other research opportunities of interest. Tata companies will enable specific applications for needs including employee change management, customer acquisition strategies, and digital health. “We are especially grateful to partner with a company as highly regarded as Tata,” said President Peter Salovey. “With this agreement, Tata has again demonstrated its steadfast commitment to making a difference in the world. By harnessing the intellectual capabilities of each institution, the alliance promises to yield novel solutions for some of today’s most pressing challenges.”

The collaboration with the Royal Society, UK, announced in June 2016, is a fellowship funding with participation from Tata Sons, JLR and TCS. The funding is aimed at establishing nine Tata University Research Fellowships in physical sciences and engineering over 10 years. These fellowships will provide early career scientists, who have the potential to become leaders in their chosen fields, with the opportunity to build independent research careers. The first Royal Society Tata University Research Fellows are due to be appointed in October 2016.

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