Yale University and the Tata group have launched a far-ranging research collaboration that builds on their shared strengths in discovery, technology, and innovation. The alliance will be led at Yale by Nicholas Christakis ’84, co-director of the Yale Institute for Network Science (YINS) and the Sol Goldman Family Professor of Social and Natural Science.
The Tata group has committed to fund the alliance over five years. The project will foster an intellectual exchange between the university and three Tata companies: Tata Sons, Tata Consultancy Services, and Tata Chemicals. The initial aim of the alliance is to expand research and its application in fields ranging from network science to data science to healthcare. During each year of the agreement, Yale will also host visiting Tata scholars, who will actively participate in the research projects.
“We are especially grateful to partner with a company as highly regarded as Tata,” said President Peter Salovey ’86 Ph.D. “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 to some of today’s most pressing challenges.”
“Innovation is a critical part of the Tata group strategy,” said Gopichand Katragadda, group chief technology officer at Tata Sons. “As part of the innovation efforts, we are engaging with world’s top research and academic institutions. At Yale, we look forward to the outcomes from the collaboration in network sciences, consumer behavior analytics, and other research opportunities. The Tata group will enable specific applications for needs including employee change management, customer acquisition, strategies, and digital health.”
A program to advance innovation
The Yale-Tata alliance will leverage the expertise of Yale faculty and their Tata colleagues to investigate issues of global relevance. To leverage the full range of innovative ideas at Yale, a joint steering committee will support key initiatives and solicit proposals from faculty across the university, awarding research funds to promising investigations.
The six-member committee enlists leading thinkers from both organizations. Representing Tata are Katragadda; Arup Basu, president and chief technology officer at Tata Chemicals; and Ananth Krishnan, chief technology officer at Tata Consultancy Services. Representing Yale are Tamar Gendler ’87, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Vincent J. Scully Professor of Philosophy; Daniel Spielman ’92, the Henry Ford II Professor of Computer Science and co-director of YINS; and Christakis.
Katragadda and Christakis will co-chair the steering committee. “I am honored to work with my colleagues at Yale and Tata to guide this international research collaboration, which promises to expand our knowledge in so many areas,” said Christakis. “Combining the talents of Yale and the Tata group — both recognized as global leaders — will accelerate the development of new ideas, methods, and interventions for the benefit of people around the world.”
Working at the intersection of the social and natural sciences, Christakis explores how social and biological factors conspire to shape human life. Most recently, his lab has been investigating the fundamental properties of human social networks through the use of large-scale online and offline experiments, with a parallel focus on the genetic and biological origins and implications of human social interactions.
A partnership to improve the world
The Tata group and Yale share a commitment to improving the quality of life of the communities they serve, both today and for future generations. The university aims to accomplish this through outstanding research and scholarship, education, preservation, and practice in a variety of academic disciplines, and by educating aspiring leaders worldwide who serve all sectors of society. The Tata group advances technological research and development in an effort to create pathbreaking solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges and to bring them to the marketplace.
Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, the Tata group is a global enterprise, headquartered in India, comprising over 100 independent operating companies. The group operates in more than 100 countries across six continents, with a mission “to improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on ‘leadership with trust.’” Tata Sons is the principal investment holding company and promoter of Tata companies. Sixty-six percent of the equity share capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts, which support education, health, livelihood generation, and art and culture. In 2014–2015, the revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $108.78 billion. These companies collectively employ over 600,000 people.
Each Tata company or enterprise operates independently under the guidance and supervision of its own board of directors and shareholders. There are 29 publicly listed Tata enterprises with a combined market capitalization of about $116.41 billion (as of March 31, 2016). Tata companies with significant scale include Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Teleservices, Titan, Tata Communications, and Indian Hotels.