Rolls-Royce launches India Open Innovation Program

By Shonali Advani

Rolls-Royce launched its India Open Innovation program (IOiN-RR) on 24 July, which is designed to help identify to buy or license technologies or techniques outside Rolls-Royce's traditional areas of operation that are new and potentially beneficial to Rolls-Royce.

Addressing the media at a press conference in Bengaluru, Paul Stein, Chief Scientific Officer at Rolls-Royce said the innovation portal is already live and will be a forum to share best practices and ideas.

The challenges will focus on three critical areas: test and measurement; repair, inspection and servicing technologies; and novel designs and manufacture of large components and tools.

 Rolls-Royce launches India Open Innovation Program

Paul Stein, Chief Scientific Officer at Rolls-Royce

Selected challenges can lead to various relationships with the owner of the innovation from customer-supplier relationship, or procuring tailor-made equipment. However, acquiring these companies is not part of the fundamental goal of this program, Stein stated.

IOiN-RR will also provide Indian organisations with the opportunity to leverage their solutions globally and Rolls Royce is working with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) as partners to source small and mid-sized companies in their data as potential participants to this initiative.

"Through this program, we are seeking to identify technologies or techniques in industries outside of which Rolls-Royce usually operates, and in small and medium sized companies Rolls-Royce does not currently work with, "said Stein in a press release sent to the media.

Stein said they will put out only seven challenges for starters to assess and understand the proposals so they can scale appropriately. "I want everyone to be real challenges with real challenge owners prepared to drive the relation through if the company has a good answer. Our goal is to win in our markets by finding right solutions," he added.

India is the second market for this initiative after Japan where 250 companies were called to participate in the same. "India has 1 million engineering graduates a year and we want to tap into this growing talent pool," Stein said as reasons for choosing India.

Kishore Jayaraman, President, Rolls-Royce India said, "India is home to some of the world's most innovative small and medium sized companies. We are looking to tap into that depth of expertise and knowledge to discover new solutions that can help us advance our own products, processes and services. Rolls-Royce has an 80-year history of strong and successful partnerships and collaborations in India, and we hope to establish more partnerships of mutual benefit through this initiative."

Organisations that have been in existence for minimum two years are eligible to apply. The solutions submitted by the participants should be beyond concept stage and should lie between a successful prototype and ready for industry stage.

Rolls-Royce employs over 45,000 people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in over 50 countries. Over 14,000 of these employees are engineers. In 2012, Rolls-Royce invested 919 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental performance of its products, in particular reducing emissions. It supports a global network of 28 university technology centres, which connect the company's engineers with the forefront of scientific research.

Rolls-Royce is a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, and has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy. As a result of this strategy, Rolls-Royce has a broad customer base comprising more than 300 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 4,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in more than 80 countries.

Annual underlying revenue was 12.2 billion in 2012, of which more than half came from the provision of services. The firm and announced order book stood at 60.1 billion at 31 December 2012, providing visibility of future levels of activity.

Shonali Advani works for Entrepreneur magazine

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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 22:25:50 IST