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Rolls Seeking Partners Among IoT, AI Start-Ups

Feb. 15, 2018
Power technologies group seeks to “accelerate data innovation” by mentoring new companies

Rolls-Royce PLC’s “data innovation team” formed a partnership with a tech startup-accelerator, through which it will offer mentoring and technical support to new companies working on projects and systems involving artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). By positioning its R2 Data Labs team in this way, Rolls-Royce is in line to identify emerging intellectual property and new technologies that bring value to the enterprise.

According to Rolls’ chief digital officer Neil Crockett, “We’re building on our data innovation foundations with a new model that will deliver a major step-change in the capability and impact of our data innovation and services.”

Rolls launched R2 Data Labs in December, to coordinate expertise from across its own enterprise, to speed up "innovation” for design, manufacturing, and operations, for its own activities and for its customers.

IoT Tribe is an “equity-free accelerator for IoT start-up businesses, and the Rolls partnership is part of a 12-week program (called IoT Tribe North), centered at the Digital Media Centre in Barnsley, England. Sixty start-ups competed for the chance to participate in the program, of which nine were selected. The founders come from around the world and their ventures involved digital manufacturing, green technology, health care, and logistics.

Tanya Suarez, CEO and founder of IoT Tribe, stated: “The evidence gathered to date, shows that it can be 3x faster and 5x cheaper, to work with start-ups rather than try to develop new key-enabling technologies internally. The expertise and domain specific know-how of Rolls-Royce will be combined with the disruptive technologies of our start-ups, enabling the firm to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the cyber-physical worlds.”

“We see huge untapped potential for our customers to achieve better, more efficient operations through collaborating with Rolls-Royce in data innovation projects,” according to Crockett.