Mumbai: Salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group today said its spending on research and development will increase in the coming years with growing focus on innovation, from an estimated USD 2 billion a year currently.
"I hope with the focus which has been created on innovation and customer centricity, this number (spending) will increase in the years two come," Tata Group Brand Custodian and Spokesperson Mukund Rajan told reporters here at an event.
Currently, the group's total R & D spend, which stands at a little over USD 2 billion, accounts for two per cent of the group's total revenues of over USD 100 billion.
"It constitutes two per cent of the group's topline. (this year) it is more or less on the lines of the previous year," Rajan said, but did not specify the quantum of expected increase in the R&D spending.
He was speaking to reporters after announcement of the winners of the annual 'Tata Innovista' programme, which is held every year to encourage, recognise and showcase outstanding innovation done by Tata companies across the globe.
Rajan said that the outgo on the R&D activities is expected to go up not only in the Tata Group, but also in the other domestic companies as the issue is a national priority.
The Tata Group official said the contribution from R&D activities, as per the Economic Survey 2013, accounts for only 0.7 per cent in the country's GDP, which is just half compared to China, adding: "India has a long way to go to catch up with the kind of innovation activities that the countries like US and other have."
Despite India having better scientific research institutions, R&D and innovation capabilities are lower than other BRICS countries, according to the Economic Survey.
The Survey also pointed out that innovation is lacking in the country and research undertaken by institutions whether public or private are not turning out to into commercial ventures in a significant way.
Tata companies from across the world have introduced 1,305 innovations in the year 2012-13 that have been successfully implemented and have accrued benefits to the companies, the group said.
During Tata Innovista programme, such innovations feature under the promising innovations category with sub-categories of product innovations, Service innovations, Core Process innovations and support process innovations, it said.
In 2006, Tata group started the process of celebrating innovations of Tata companies through Tata Innovista.
Besides, TQMS, a division of Tata Sons, formed the Tata Group Innovation Forum (TGIF) in 2007 to encourage, inspire and help create a culture promoting innovation within the group.