Reliance Jio: From zero to hero in patents

For intellectual property development, the company has followed a five pronged strategy - Reliance Innovation Council, Collaboration with reputed institutes, Setting up of GenNext Hub, Implementation of New Product Development & Introduction (NPDI) and Intellectual Property Management System (IPMS)

From zero patents in FY2015-16, Reliance Jio has has led 54 patents in FY2016-17 for the path-breaking initiatives in the field of digital technologies and processes.

In terms of investment, Reliance Industries has incurred an R&D investment of Rs. 1,448 crore in FY2016-17 vis-a-vis Rs. 1,259 crore in FY2015-16. Reliance Industries has been granted a total of 189 patents in the last five years of which 60 were granted in FY2016-17.

Reliance Jio and GE will provide its Predix cloud offering, Industrial Internet applications, data science expertise, security, availability, and monitoring aspects of the platform which will provide solutions to customers in oil and gas, fertiliser, power, healthcare, telecom etc.

For innovation, the company is focusing both on internal as well as external resources to build its intellectual property portfolio. For intellectual property development, the company has followed a five pronged strategy – Reliance Innovation Council, Collaboration with reputed institutes in India and overseas, Setting up of GenNext Hub, Implementation of New Product Development & Introduction (NPDI) and Intellectual Property Management System (IPMS).

First, the company has its own innovation council called Reliance Innovation Council where focus is on innovation. The council consists of global thought leaders, nobel laureates and iconic personalities which helps in strong technology development within the organisation. Through the Mission Kurukshetra platform, Reliance people can submit ideas and track their progress right up to implementation. More than 750 ‘Idea Champions’ – who are domain experts from across Reliance – take decisions on ideas and work with ideators as well as implementers. All this enables a culture of internal crowdsourcing.

Second, on the innovation front, Reliance actively collaborates with various reputed institutes in India and overseas like: University of Helsinki (Finland), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, ICGEB (New Delhi), Bharathidasan University, Ruia college, Ghent University (Belgium), Monash University (Australia), KAUST (Saudi Arabia), NUS (Singapore), KIER (South Korea), Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel), IIP Dehradun, IIT Mumbai, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Chennai, NCL Pune, Florida State University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Delaware, Penn State University, Kansas State University, University of Alabama, Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Third, in just over two years, Reliance Industries startup programme GenNext Hub, a programme to catalyse the start-up ecosystem for Digital India has funded 51 startups. At GenNext Hub, Reliance is catalysing the startup community by bringing together emerging entrepreneurs, business leaders, corporations, industry associations, academic institutes, media, and technology enablers under one platform.

Till date, GenNext Hub has engaged leaders from organisations such as Microsoft, NASSCOM, TiE, Amazon, Google, ICICI Bank, NVIDIA, India Angel Network, Nexus Venture Partners, CIO Angel Network, YourStory, Silicon Valley based Spinta Global Accelerator, Nishith Desai Associates, to support the startup growth. GenNext Hub also works closely with IITs, NITs and IIMs to identify high-potential entrepreneurs.

Fourth, Reliance has implemented New Product Development & Introduction (NPDI) which is SAP based tool to manage R&D projects using a structured stage gate based methodology. This is an end to end digital process chain from “Concept to Commercialisation”.

Fifth, the company has implemented Intellectual Property Management System (IPMS) R&D at RIL on an enterprise wide Intellectual property portfolio management application from Thomson Reuters for centralisation of patent filing which enables focused patent filing to build a strong patent portfolio. This helps in having a centralised repository for various stakeholders input/decision, simplifying patent maintenance and audit of patents so that management of patent becomes easy.

This number is bound to increase for Reliance Jio as the focus is now on SDN, NFV, Industrial IoT and 5G technologies.

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