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Rolls-Royce drives into big data with R2 Data Labs, an ‘acceleration hub’ for ‘data innovation’

Rolls-Royce, one of the world’s biggest aero-engine manufacturers, has launched R2 Data Labs, an organisation that it describes as “an acceleration hub for data innovation”.

The Lab will use big data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the company claims, to improve internal efficiency, as well as helping to create new services that it can offer to customers.

“We see huge untapped potential for our customers to achieve better, more efficient operations through collaborating with Rolls-Royce in data innovation projects,” said Neil Crockett, Head of R2 Data Labs and chief digital officer for Rolls-Royce.

He continued: “So 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.”

R2 Data Labs will comprise of mixed discipline teams of ‘data experts’ who will work in collaboration with teams across Rolls-Royce’s operations.

Those cells will be expected to extract and explore the available data in a bid to unlock and test new ideas and, ultimately, to turn some of those ideas into innovation or new services.

“These Data Innovation Cells will accelerate new ideas to fuel an already exciting portfolio of predictive, data-based services in areas such as asset availability, efficiency and maintenance or safety and compliance,” claimed the company in a statement.

Crockett added: “R2 Data Labs will tap into expertise from across a wide data and analytics supply chain, building a diverse community of data innovators: including OEM partners, niche start-ups, academics, and a broad range of other trusted third-parties. We believe this kind of collaborative innovation will unlock the most undiscovered value from data.”

Much of Rolls-Royce internal operational IT is based on Microsoft’s Azure cloud, running a digital platform developed with Tata Consultancy Services.

The R2 Data Labs organisation will have hubs in the UK, US, Germany, Singapore, India and New Zealand.

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