Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Open Innovation?
Open Innovation is quite simply a way for us to harness the ideas and strengths of people who don’t necessarily work for us or even know us. Through their contributions, we would like to make changes to our products, business models or internal processes. We hope to use this platform to connect and collaborate with some of the brightest minds in the world to develop innovative solutions and products.
2. Who can join and submit solutions to our Open Innovation challenges?
This is open for all to participate in; i.e. the participant can be an individual or a team or even an entire organization. We invite any “entity” [Individuals, Teams, Academicians, Scientists, Startups, Companies, Research centres and Universities] to send their proposals. We do not give any recommendations on how to participate, it is entirely up to the participants. There are only two points to note here:
  1. That the solution should be already patented/ patent pending
  2. That the “entity” must legally be able to partner with us, in the event their idea/solution gets selected.
3. What can be the size of my team that can be formed for devising a solution?
There is no fixed size for the team. Any number of people may collaborate and form a team to tackle the challenge. It also depends upon who are the owners of the patent/pending patent. If you are submitting a solution/idea as a team, e.g. as a research group, a team of students or a Professor – student team, you may mention your team details in the solution description only. It is to be noted that in such cases the team will be recognized as the entity proposing the idea/solution.
4. What special care should I take when I write/disclose the solution?
The participants are strictly advised NOT to disclose any confidential information. We will get in touch with the selected participants later to get further details.
5. At what stage of development should my proposed solution or innovation be?
We invite solutions that already have at least a functioning prototype and are ready to go to market; or solutions and technologies that have already been developed or are already in the market. We are, at this time, discouraging participants from submitting solutions which are in a “Proof of Concept” stage and/or which require substantial investments for further development.
6. How is my Intellectual Property protected?
As stated above, we ask only for protected inventions. If you are not protected by a patent or [potentially] by a pending patent be aware that any information you disclose will be deemed as non-confidential. Should we be interested in learning more about your solution, you will personally be contacted by us.
7. What kind of information does the Tata group need in order to decide whether it is interested in my solution?
We need a clear, concise description that conveys the nature of the solution, the unique features and benefits it offers relative to existing solutions, and the status of your intellectual property. These are asked for in our submission form. Our web portal enables you to attach supporting documents. Technical illustrations and photos may also be of help. Remember, all information submitted must be non-confidential.
8. What type of collaboration is the Tata Group willing to undertake with the participants to its Open Innovation challenges?
If we find your solution interesting then our team will contact you for a follow-up discussion where we will explore possible collaboration opportunities.
9. What happens once I send my proposal?
After you submit your proposal on the online portal our team will start a multi-stage evaluation process. Selected proposal makers will be contacted personally to schedule follow-up meetings.
10. Will the Tata Group sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement [NDA] before I share my innovation?
No, the Group will not sign any agreements during the submission stage. If after our initial review of a submission, we find that we may have an interest in learning more, we will contact you to discuss how to proceed and will then discuss if there is a need for any NDA.
11. Am I allowed to submit more than one proposal or be a part of more than one challenge?
Yes, you can submit more than one solution and also be a part of more than one challenge.
12. What if I need to contact the team, if queries, clarifications or more details are needed to understand the challenge better?
In this case, you are advised to contact us by sending an email to our support team with your queries. To do this, please click on the “Reach us” link available on the website. All information provided by you during such interactions shall be deemed to be non-confidential.
13. How and when will I/we get to know if my solution is selected?
Owing to the large volume of solutions that we might receive, we might only inform those participants whose solutions/ideas get selected. This will be done on the date mentioned on the website.
14. What does the Tata Group do with personal information that I provide with my Portal registration?
The Tata group uses this information to communicate with the participants regarding the submission or for any future communication related to Open Innovation initiatives. It is not used for any other purpose; nor is it shared with any third parties.
15. I have a new solution but it is not covered by your current areas of interest and challenges. What do I do?
Currently, we do NOT invite open ended solutions. However, if you wish, you may share your solution (DO NOT SHARE ANY CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION) using the ‘Reach us’ button. We will go through your solution details and will come back to you at an appropriate time depending on the interest of the relevant people. All information provided by you during such interactions shall be deemed to be non-confidential.
16. My suggestion is not about technology, are you still interested?
Right now our focus is on technology solutions that are new and valuable to us.