Ola has announced the launch of its policy research and social innovation unit, dubbed Ola Mobility Institute, in India. The unit will work towards the potential of mobility as a growth and innovation engine for India’s economy. It will initially focus on knowledge frameworks to understand the social and economic impact around five centers of excellence, as mentioned in a press statement by the Indian ride-hailing company.
Ola has set up a specialized think tank to develop knowledge frameworks around intersection of mobility and public good. Apart from mobility, the key focus area for research institute include allied services, energy, environmental issues, skilling and micro-entrepreneurship including job creation.
The Ola Mobility Institute, headed by Anand Shah, includes an initial team of strategic thinkers, researchers, academics, and policy specialists trained around the world, including the Indian Institutes of Technology, Harvard University, Oxford University, King’s College London, the School of Planning and Architecture, the California Institute of Technology, and the Indian School of Business. The Institute is recruiting a global advisory board and will add a dozen mobility experts to its team over the next year.
“Mobility touches everyone, everyday, everywhere in the world. The ongoing revolution in this sector promises to improve the lives of citizens, create significant employment and livelihood opportunities, and dramatically reduce congestion and pollution in cities. Every kilometer driven in a shared vehicle contributes to this, and the Ola Mobility Institute will work to ensure innovations continue to have a positive impact,” said Anand Shah, Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Ola.
The Ola Mobility Institute has already launched “Mission: Electric” earlier this year. The company is trying to builds on Ola’s extensive knowledge base and data to put electric vehicles on road. As a part of this program, Ola has already committed for 1 million electric vehicles in the next three years.
Ola says that the institute is also working with global institutions to develop a framework to assess mobility in cities across India and other markets. It will publish the first research report in October.