As part of a start-up engagement model, we have invested in building a world class ecosystem through a US$ 100 million corporate venture capital fund, Wipro Ventures, aimed at investing in cutting edge start-ups in areas such as Digital, Internet of Things (IoT), Big data, Open source, Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence (AI). In 2017, Wipro Ventures has made four new startup investments. Through the momentum that was built in 2015-16, Wipro Ventures now has 9 such investments with a cumulative spend of $ 24.5 million in startups working in technologies that are reshaping the future of enterprises. Together with our investee companies, we now have 10 joint commercial engagements in Security, Customer Care Automation, Business Process Automation and Big Data Lifecycle Management.
Wipro follows a federated model for innovation with innovation being driven through multiple structures. The CSO (Chief Strategy Officer) and his group invests in long term solution building and aids the investment efforts of the Business Units /Service Lines by supporting some selected seeding initiatives that are designed to create new business services for Wipro.
The CTO (Chief Technology Officer) and his group drive innovation through investing in a set of technology themes that can be applied to create services in different industry verticals. The CTO Office also anchors innovation crowdsourcing and open execution processes within and outside the organization through internal innovation programs and by driving an external program that connects with the ecosystem of startups, academia and research institutions.
Business units (BU's) and Service Lines (SLs) also drive innovation within their respective industry or technology domain develop solutions and service products within their remits. The internal process transformation group invests in tools and frameworks that help improve costs and productivity of our delivery processes for both infrastructure and application management services.
Intellectual Property and Patents in Wipro
Our considerable R&D efforts have helped build our Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio substantially. Total R&D expenses for the year stood at Rs. 3338 Mn.
In FY 2016-17, the company continued to strengthen its IP portfolio with 603 new patent applications filed.