RCA and Tata launch joint design innovation lab

The move will see RCA staff and students work on live projects for the Indian consultancy giant.

Image by RCA Dean of School of Communication Neville Brody
Image by RCA Dean of School of Communication Neville Brody

The Royal College of Art is linking up with Indian tech giant Tata Consultancy Service to launch a new design innovation lab, which will see RCA students and staff work on TCS design projects.

The TCS-RCA Design Innovation Lab is set to open in September at the RCA’s South Kensington campus.

TCS says that under the terms of the agreement, the company will be able to “gain access to the RCA’s academic expertise and advice for design projects”.

An RCA spokesperson says the college has knowledge exchange links with a number of partners and has already worked with TCS on projects including the development of a contactless payment concept for Visa and studies focusing on the use of design within insurance and retail.

She adds that students and staff from across the RCA’s Schools and courses will be taking part in the scheme.

TCS says the Lab will be able to host students on internships and researchers on sabbaticals. It will also act as a showcase centre for leading work from RCA students, TCS customers and partners and as a venue for workshops and industry events.

RCA rector Dr Paul Thompson says: “The Royal College of Art’s reputation is founded on our world–leading design research and technological innovation. Key to this is the ability to apply theories and methodologies to real-world issues, translate research findings into practice and work directly with academic, corporate, non-profit and government sectors.

“The TCS-RCA Design Innovation Lab will give our researchers the facilities and resources they need to explore new areas of research and test their theories with TCS’ impressive list of international clients looking for the best technology, design and data solutions.”

TCS chief technology officer K Ananth Krishnan says: “Partnerships with the world’s finest academic institutions are a key part of TCS’ Research and Co-Innovation strategy and we are looking forward to working closely with RCA staff and students to explore new concepts and ideas that we hope will ultimately prove tremendously valuable for our customers.”

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