UNSW has struck a memorandum of understanding with India’s Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) that will see the two advance “common interests” in research.

It is expected that the partnership will focus on research in the areas of “machine learning, virtual reality, robotics, data analytics and cloud computing”.

It also “opens the prospect of exchanges of scholars and internships for UNSW students at TCS’s global research facilities”, TCS said.

The agreement was signed by TCS CTO Ananth Krishnan and UNSW’s deputy vice-chancellor of enterprise, Professor Brian Boyle, at the TCS Asia-Pacific Summit in Sydney.

“There is a lot that UNSW and Tata Consultancy Services can offer each other,” Professor Boyle said.

“UNSW excels in taking our research breakthroughs and partnering with industry to make a significant global impact.

“Working with TCS will build on UNSW’s strong international links and help accelerate innovation by opening up new opportunities around the world.”

TCS’ Krishnan meanwhile told The Australian that the MOU showed Australian universities could effectively counter the perception that they did not engage with industry enough.

“Successful commercialisation is a universal issue and I don’t think the issue has been solved anywhere,” Krishnan said.

“Universities don’t have to be innovative … their job is invention. Innovation is something industries need to be good at, not universities.”

UNSW is not the only university that TCS has aligned itself with.

The technology giant has a similar MOU in place with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

“TCS and UTS have signed an MOU to jointly work on advanced analytics, machine learning, data visualisation and big data applications as well as to fund PhD scholarships and the intake of student interns across the TCS network,” the two said.

Bond University also struck a similar deal with TCS at the end of 2011.

Bond’s head of the school of information technology, Dr Iain Morrison, said in 2012 the agreement had “opened up a wealth of opportunities for information sharing, staff exchanges, joint research projects, international industry experience for Bond’s academics and study opportunities for TCS employees”.

“Our MOU with TCS offers yet another international platform for the School to expand its research capacity, work on collaborative projects and share technology with a global industry leader,” he said.

“TCS have asked us to renew the MOU, so in the coming years, we expect to see several TCS employees coming here to study and vice versa.”