This is where you could see your idea come to life

At Tata Steel we want to maintain our position as one of the world’s leading steel companies.

To do this we have to constantly explore new ways of working with others and identify the best ideas and technologies, wherever they may be. We want to collaborate with innovative people and organisations to help develop solutions to our current challenges and create new opportunities for the future. Updated 8th Sept. 2016.

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We want to innovate in everything we do

  • Processes

    Processes

    Committed to reducing continuously the environmental impact of our operations through the adoption of sustainable practices.

  • Products

    Products

    Developing new products with our customers to allow then to unlock the unique properties of steel and open up new opportunities.

  • Applications

    Applications

    Identifying and developing with partners new applications for our products that exploit the full capability of steel’s properties.

  • Services

    Services

    Delivering far more than just steel by developing new services for our customers that create value for them and also their customers.

Vehicles and Mobility

Vehicles and Mobility

Tata Steel supplies global transport markets. Our products include advanced steels for the automotive sector and specialist steels for aerospace applications. We support our customers’ commitments to the development of a low carbon economy through investment and innovation in sustainable steel products and services.

Reveal Back

Tata Steel is one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of high-integrity specialist steels for the global aerospace industry. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • Alloy design and/or novel thermal treatments to enhance mechanical properties of ultra-high strength steels (˃2GPa UTS). Improved impact toughness, fracture toughness and fatigue properties are of particular interest.
  • Alloy design to develop existing steel properties from leaner compositions.
  • Novel coating systems to potentially replace existing legacy coatings such as cadmium.
  • Novel testing methodologies to characterise and differentiate levels of steel cleanliness in ultra-clean steels.

For more information on this topic click here.

Tata Steel supplies automotive products and services to customers across the world. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • Innovative concepts for steel-based solutions that contribute to the lightweighting of car bodies. These could focus on optimisation of steel strength whilst maintaining good formability (“beat the banana”).
  • Innovative ideas for further improving the surface appearance of automotive outer panels. These could focus on: cleanliness aspects of manufacturing technology; steel chemistries that minimise imperfections during the forming of parts.
  • New technologies in steel processing to maximise steel utilisation during the forming process.
  • New steel chemistries that improve the functionality of forging grades for components with critical functional requirements such as gears and shafts in powertrain. 

For more information on this topic click here.

Tata Steel supplies products used across the world in construction and agricultural equipment, mining, cranes, material handling machinery and trailers. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • Steel chemistries to create a step change in strength and wear resistance for the next generation of steel products.
  • Innovative steel-related solutions to improve the safety and performance of our customers’ products – perhaps through improvements in fatigue performance or strength-to-weight ratio. Product substitution to reduce customers’ processing costs is also of interest.
  • E-commerce ideas to improve the service offering to our customers.
  • Carbon footprint reduction and cost removal throughout the supply chain. Ideas could focus on scrap, packaging, yield improvement or movement of semi-finished products.
  • Lead-time/vendor-managed inventory solutions that minimise working capital requirement and maximise delivery performance.

For more information on this topic click here.

Construction and Infrastructure

Construction and Infrastructure

Deadlines for achievement of zero carbon buildings are driving a need for more sustainable solutions. We’re collaborating with our customers, supply chain and technology partners to provide sustainable products, systems and design solutions. These have applications across the construction sector - in structures, the building envelope and related infrastructure. 

Reveal Back

Tata Steel supplies products and services to companies delivering building envelope solutions. We supply more than 170,000,000m2 of organic coated strip into the sector annually. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • Development of novel, high-performance pre-treatment, primer and topcoat technologies for enhanced coating durability.
  • Enhanced functionality for building envelopes. We’re particularly interested in: technologies allowing rapid changes of colour or pattern within the same steel coil; improvements in envelope energy efficiency.
  • Novel methods of rapidly identifying or predicting the properties of new metallic coating compositions.
  • New and innovative steel-based insulation products or systems that allow thinner composite panels to be produced in a continuous manufacturing process.

For more information on this topic click here.

Tata Steel supports customers in the construction structures sector through development of differentiated products and services that generate value throughout the supply chain. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • Sustainable building design from cradle to cradle. Collaboration could focus on: efficient construction methods; reduction of energy consumption in building use; simplified de-mounting and re-use of structural steels.
  • Generation of design solutions for extremes of loading (earthquakes, fire) and for highly corrosive environments.
  • Creating the residential home of the future.

For more information on this topic click here.

Image provided courtesy of the Shard.

Energy and Power

Energy and Power

Tata Steel supplies a wide range of products and services for exploration and drilling, oil and gas production, offshore structures and renewable energy. We work in partnership with our customers and supply chain to provide optimised, steel-based solutions that help improve performance in their markets around the globe.

Reveal Back

During more than 100 years of electrical steel manufacture, Tata Steel has won a reputation as an innovative supplier to global markets. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • Enablement of changes to steel chemistry post-casting via diffusion techniques - to improve properties of electrical materials. Siliconisation of the steel substrate is of particular interest.
  • Development of coatings which expand when they cool/cure to impart a tensioning effect in the substrate.
  • Improvements in heat treatment technology. We are especially interested in increasing furnace efficiency at 1200ºC to reduce energy consumption and improve productivity.
  • Development of specific non-destructive product characterisation such as measurement of indentations on moving strip.
  • Cost-effective methods of improving transportability of finished product to customers.

For more information on this topic click here.

Tata Steel supplies products and services to oil and gas customers around the world. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • Strain-based design – particularly as an enabler for extraction and transmission of hydrocarbons in areas of seismic activity, ice movement, frost heave and for seafloor spans. Strain ageing, ductility, strength control and fracture mechanics are all areas of interest.
  • Novel solutions for reeling installation of pipelines – including methods for full characterisation of pipeline reelability.
  • Innovations to optimise and extend the capability of high frequency induction welding for subsea pipeline applications.
  • Novel steel, coating or other solutions for highly corrosive hydrocarbons and environments.
  • Steel developments for unconventional oil and gas extraction and transmission.
  • Novel techniques for non-destructive testing of high integrity steel products used in safety-critical applications and challenging environments.

For more information on this topic click here.

Tata Steel supplies a wide range of products and services to companies in the renewable energy sector. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • Designs and technologies to lower the cost of towers for offshore and onshore wind power. Also, designs and technologies for tubular pin-piles for offshore jackets, pre-finished nodes for offshore jackets and offshore jacket legs with stubs.
  • Technologies for the production of metallic reflectors with good in-service durability in the concentrated solar power sector.
  • Steels with low corrosion rates in marine environments - for better durability of wave and tidal power built structures.
  • Coating technology. We are particularly interested in the development of coatings with potential to indicate whether a substrate is under stress (imposed or residual) or excessive strain.

For more information on this topic click here.

Living Solutions

Living Solutions

Global manufacturers of domestic appliances and packaging products look to Tata Steel for new ways of improving the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of their finished products. We provide a range of coated and uncoated steels that deliver efficiency in further processing and help to enhance and differentiate our customers’ products.

Reveal Back

Tata Steel supplies a range of steel products to domestic appliance manufacturers across the world. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • New coating technologies that could increase efficiency in further processing or offer a novel advantage in the finished appliance. These could include coatings for scratch resistance, enhanced food safety, self-cleaning properties or themed appliances.
  • Opportunities for further improvement of final product sustainability. These could include ideas for: lightweighting; material with enhanced forming characteristics (for minimised part count); enhanced energy efficiency in use.
  • Ideas on new composite steel materials that will give our customers new design opportunities.

For more information on this topic click here.

Tata Steel supplies steels used for packaging a wide range of products in the global fast moving consumer goods industry. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • New coating technologies that could enable novel or enhanced packaging functionality – delivering new opportunities for our customers.
  • Opportunities to exploit low gauge (100 μm),highly formable packaging steels outside of our traditional markets - perhaps as composites with other materials.

For more information on this topic click here.

Primary Processes

Primary Processes

Tata Steel always strives for excellence in its iron and steel making operations. Process enhancements to improve yield, cost, quality, energy efficiency and environmental performance are key factors in improving the profitability and sustainability of our operations.

Reveal Back

Steel manufacturing is an energy-intensive industry. At Tata Steel we continuously seek opportunities for both incremental and step change energy efficiency improvements. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • New technologies for cost-effective recovery of waste heat from low grade sources..
  • Novel technologies that can convert low calorific by-product gases into a natural gas substitute.
  • Innovative technologies that can be deployed to reduce energy demand from the national grid at peak times.
  • Robust renewable energy systems that can be deployed cost-effectively at manufacturing locations.
  • Next generation efficiency for motors, pumps and lighting systems.

The iron making process involves large quantities of chemical energy to reduce iron oxides into pure metal and thermal energy to melt the components. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • Sensors and instrumentation for high temperature processes in harsh conditions – for improved process and plant integrity control.
  • Development of advanced refractory materials for metallurgical applications.
  • Modelling of high-temperature, multi-phase metallurgical processes.
  • Improvements in environmental control and CO2 reduction - including emissions control and technologies for carbon capture.

Iron making via the blast furnace route is a continuous process. A consistent and predictable feed of raw materials - coal, coke, sinter or pellets - is vital for reliable and stable production. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • Proposals that enable increased understanding of the fundamentals of high temperature agglomeration processes such as sinter making, pellet making and coke making.
  • Microstructure, mineralogy and metallurgy of agglomerates (sinter, pellets and coke).
  • Efficient and advanced handling and controlling of bulk raw materials.
  • On-line characterisation of raw materials and bulk materials for blast furnace, coke plant and sinter plant operations.

Tata Steel produces liquid steel for cast and rolled products via the BOF and EAF steelmaking routes - backed by a wide range of secondary steelmaking technologies. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • Steel cleanliness improvements and state-of-the-art composition control.
  • Operational efficiency and control for BOF and EAF process routes and for specialist remelted steel grades.
  • Metrology and the control and utilisation of process data for optimised process efficiency. Innovative methods of measurement and interpretation are of particular interest.
  • Improvements in environmental control and CO2 reduction - including emissions control and technologies for carbon capture.
  • Predictive maintenance and intelligent process control.
Hot and Cold Transformations

Hot and Cold Transformations

Effective control of casting and hot and cold rolling processes is essential in ensuring delivery of consistent, high quality end products to our customers. Process enhancements to improve yield, cost, quality, energy efficiency and environmental performance are a major part of our technology programme.

Reveal Back

Tata Steel’s cast products supply some of the world’s most specialised and demanding applications. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • Process control for optimised surface and internal quality. This could include new techniques for in-line quality measurement and prediction during casting or enhancement of currently-known technologies.
  • Intelligent caster control - directly linking process data with control systems for improved product quality.
  • Through-process energy and materials efficiency.
  • Development of new casting technology to enable a new generation of steels.

Tata Steel’s highly automated strip rolling processes already produce steel within tight mechanical property, dimensional and surface quality tolerances. We are striving to deliver precision products with ever tighter target specifications and would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • Next generation measurement technologies to enable closed loop control of parameters that influence final product quality.
  • New measurement technologies and control strategies to reduce variation in through-process surface quality and mechanical properties.
  • New measurement technologies and control strategies to reduce variation in through-process shape and gauge across the width.
  • Developments in plant condition monitoring to ensure reliability of processes that run 24/7.
  • Ideas for reducing the cost of utilities and consumables such as rolls and oils.
Finishing

Finishing

Tata Steel produces hundreds of millions of square metres of coated steel strip annually. Coatings are applied using technologies including hot dip galvanising, roller coating and electroplating. We are always looking for new technologies to improve the processes and products we already have and to enable development of new and innovative products.

Reveal Back

Tata Steel supplies galvanised steel products to customers operating in global automotive, construction and appliance markets. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • Technologies that reduce energy consumption in our continuous hot dip galvanising process – particularly in annealing furnaces.
  • New characterisation techniques for the study of thin (from single atomic layers to micrometres) metallic or oxidic coatings on steel. Proposals that enable further improvements in manufacture products with excellent surface appearance and well-controlled texture. These could include new designs for air knives.
  • Reduction or elimination of common surface defects (such as scratches from conducting rolls and dross) occurring in galvanising lines. 
  • Technology that enables high speed (˃˃200 m/min) production of continuous hot dip galvanised strip at a range of coating weights.

Tata Steel has a number of organic coated strip lines. These apply a range of multi-layered organic coating types and use various curing techniques. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • New curing technologies or significant advances in convection, NIR, UV and electron beam technology. We are particularly interested in technologies that deliver environmental benefits or enable development of improved product properties.
  • New roller coating technologies that can maintain production speeds and qualities - especially if they open up new resin chemistries and new functionality.
  • Technologies that could allow multiple colours to be applied on the same coil whilst maintaining production speed.
  • New methods of in-line wet measurement of applied coating thickness.  

Tata Steel operates electroplating lines that deposit coatings of chromium, tin, nickel, cobalt and copper. We would like to explore potential collaboration in these areas:

  • New plating technologies – primarily for use with carbon steel substrates although other metal substrates are not excluded. These could include radical departures from our current methods which employ water-based liquids.
  • Alternative ways of dissolving (as an ion in a liquid) and depositing the coating metal on the substrate in a continuous coil coating line.
  • New methods of producing thinner, uniform coatings whilst maintaining line speeds (currently, electroplated coatings are typically 1 or 2 um). 
  • In-line methods of continuously measuring coating thickness and uniformity.

From submission to market, we nurture your ideas

1 Submit

Tell us about yourself and your idea. We’ll acknowledge immediately via email.
Submit your idea

3 Conversation

If we’re interested in your proposal, we’ll get in touch to discuss your idea and next steps (including whether it may be more suited to a different part of Tata Group).
Meet the innovation portal sponsor

Pete Longdon
Manager, New Technology and Innovation

Pete worked in Tata Steel's R&D Department for 20 years, before becoming Manager of New Technology and Innovation. His remit is to identify technologies and organisations for Tata Steel to partner with.
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4 Development

We’ll work together to understand how best to take your suggestion forward and put in place a plan to deliver it.

5 Implementation

See your proposal come to life and reap the benefits.
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We've been change makers for over 100 years.

Tata Steel and its predecessor companies have been leading innovation in all aspects of the steel industry for well over 100 years. Our commitment to innovation in everything we do remains unchanged.

View examples of our innovations over the years

1895

The world's first electroplated steel strip

A world first. Hille & Müller, Tata Steel's electroplating Company in Düsseldorf, Germany, was founded in 1905 and was the first company in the world to produce electroplated steel strip. After 100 years’ experience and a longstanding commitment to innovation, Hille & Müller are still the world's leading expert in nickel-plated cold rolled stripüller.

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1944

Pipeline under the ocean

We've always been leaders in pipeline innovation - In the 1940's our predecessor Stewart and Lloyds was the first to develop the method of installing sub-sea pipelines using "reel-lay". Called PLUTO (PipeLine Under The Ocean), steel pipe was coiled onto large drums onshore and then reeled off-ship onto the sea-bed. PLUTO required developments in pipe manufacture, joining and laying that were years ahead of their time. We are still leaders in pipeline technology now.

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1963

It's a rectangular world

In 1963, our predecessor British Steel developed the Rectangular Hollow Section (RHS), an alternative to the wide-flange column. RHS provided a more lightweight solution that was also aesthetically-pleasing and easily decorated. The material was ideal for use in multi-story buildings, load-bearing equipment and barriers and quickly became a construction product of choice. Tata Steel continues to innovate the use of the RHS and many other steel-based products.

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1964

Pre-finished steel

Tata Steel has been a market leader in pre-finished steel for 50 years and through the Colorcoat® brand has a rich history of innovation and industry firsts, supplying products for the building envelope and demanding internal environments. In 1964 we launched Europe's first 200micron plastisol product and steadily extended the colour range and product capabilities such that in 1992 we became the first steel company to offer a product guarantee, Confidex®. Further enhancements mean that in 2014 Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra® is available with a 40 year Confidex® Guarantee. 

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2000

Silent rail track

In 2000 Tata Steel developed SilentTrack®, a proven noise damping system for railways, reducing noise levels by 3-6dB and providing a wide frequency response. The innovation was achieved in partnership with acoustic experts at the world-renowned Institute of Sound and Vibration Research at the University of Southampton.

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2007

Ruling the waves

In 2007 Tata Steel develop two new grades of steel to solve design challenges with the Royal Navy's Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. Through regular discussion over the whole design period our metallurgists designed three grades of steel which allowed the design team to balance performance in use with manufacturability, co-ordinating with Lloyd's Register to ensure that their Rules were rewritten to allow the new steels to be included in the ship. 

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2008

Thinking under pressure

Energy companies are exploring increasingly hostile environments to satisfy global energy needs and Oil and Gas production is now possible in water depths in excess of 2,000 metres.  Tata Steel have developed oil and gas pipelines that can withstand the enormous hydrostatic pressures at these depths (>200 atmospheres) and in 2008 supplied the pipeline for the Shell Perdido project in the Gulf of Mexico which, at its deepest,  is over 2500m.

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2009

Keeping trains on track

In 2009, Tata Steel developed High Performance rail HP335 (HPrail) to address the industry need to combat the degradation mechanisms of wear and rolling contact fatigue. After extensive in-track trials with Network Rail, HP335 was given full product approval in summer 2012 and it is now installed in over 350km of rail in track across the UK, delivering significant life cycle cost savings through reduced maintenance.

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2011

Ballistic protection

In 2011, Tata Steel developed Superbainite, now known as PAVISE®, an innovative defence product that enhances the ballistic protection of armoured vehicles. The concept was invented by Cambridge University and the UK Ministry of Defence with Tata Steel undertaking a multi-year research programme to develop the original concept into a practical product and process route.

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2012

Grooved Rail

Replacing embedded rails in roadways is extremely expensive and inconvenient for network operators. To address this, Tata Steel developed Multi-Life grooved rail ML330, a more wear-resistant rail which can also be weld-restored in track to deliver cost savings and improved route availability. ML330 was launched to market in 2012 and helped us win the Global Light Rail Awards 'Supplier of the Year award' that year.

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2014

TCO Scan MagiZinc

In 2014 Tata Steel launched Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) scan MagiZinc - a new advanced engineering service for the automotive industry, to help our customers find the right balance between performance, light weight and cost. TCO scans identify and quantify the TCO benefit for production lines when replacing a conventional zinc-coating by Tata Steel's MagiZinc Auto. To date, our TCO Scans have shown  that MagiZinc Auto reduces TCO by 10%-25% vs conventional zinc coatings, depending on the specific part and tool conditions.

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2015

Low Waviness Finish

Tata Steel launched its new Serica™ product for exposed automotive panels, including hoods, doors, fenders and body sides. With a guaranteed low waviness after forming Serica enables thinner or fewer paint layers to be used and, combined with the cost-effective process of hot-dip coating, offers significant total cost of ownership benefits to its customers.

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Ready to work with us? Submit your idea

Do you have an idea that you think could innovate the future of steel? We want to hear from you.

Submission is simple:

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Further details about your idea

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Do you have IP Protection? Do not disclose any confidential information, including in documents marked ‘Confidential’ or equivalent.

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Terms & Conditions

Tata Steel wants to make working with us as simple and straightforward as possible. However, to ensure that everyone who submits a proposal to the open innovation portal is comfortable with what kind of information should be submitted and how that information will be used, we have prepared some simple Terms and Conditions to protect all parties involved in a submission. Participants agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions when submitting an idea through the Tata Steel open innovation portal.

Information not confidential

Tata Steel will need to disseminate the submitted information to different parts of the organisation to evaluate whether we can work together to develop the proposal. Tata Steel is not liable for the consequences of disclosure of such information and accordingly, you should not submit to us any confidential information when first submitting an idea through the portal. If, following our initial evaluation, we decide we would like to discuss your idea with you in more detail, we will enter into a confidentiality agreement in respect of future disclosures.

Tata Steel is part of the Tata Group of Companies with a wide range of technology and market opportunities. It may be that we feel your proposal is better suited to another part of the Tata Group or an affiliated Company. You agree that we may share the information you provide with our group companies and affiliates in order that they can evaluate the proposal.

We recommend that you seek independent legal advice if you have any concerns about confidentiality or intellectual property rights prior to submitting your idea.

Data Protection

You agree that we may process your personal data for the purpose of assessing your submission and contacting you. The collection and storage of personal information for the purposes of the Open Innovation programme will be conducted in accordance with all applicable data protection laws of England and the EU Directive for Data Protection.

Decisions of Tata Steel are final

Tata Steel will respond to all the ideas submitted to its open innovation portal. However, Tata Steel has no obligation to take your idea forward or to provide you with detailed feedback in the event of deciding not to.

Warranties

In providing your idea to us you warrant that you have the right to disclose the information to us, that the disclosure does not breach any contract or obligation between you and a third party and that so far as you are aware, the possession or use of the information by us does not infringe any third party’s intellectual property rights and you shall indemnify us against any resulting losses if this is not the case.

General

Tata Steel reserves the right to modify these Terms and Conditions at any time without prior notice and/or to suspend, withdraw or cancel the open innovation programme for any reason and at any time, acting reasonably, without incurring any liability.

The formation, existence, construction, performance, validity and all aspects of these Terms and Conditions shall be governed by English law. The parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

Submission summary

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By submitting this form you agree to our terms and conditions.