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Harvard Business School Gets $50 Million From Tata

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Harvard Business School received $50 million from India’s Tata Group and its related philanthropies to fund a new academic and residential building in Boston for executive-education programs.

The gift is the largest from an international donor in the business school’s 102-year history, Harvard said in an e-mailed statement today. Half the 9,000 business leaders in the school’s Advanced Management Program each year come from abroad.

Mumbai-based Tata Group has operations in steel, cars and hotels and owns 28 publicly traded companies with a combined market value of $80 billion, according to the statement. Ratan Tata, 72, chairman of Tata Sons Ltd., attended the business school’s management program in 1975.

“We are pleased that this gift will support the school’s educational mission to mold the next generation of global business leaders,” Tata said in the statement.

The business school, in Boston’s Allston neighborhood, also said today it would open a “lab for innovation and entrepreneurship.” Harvard didn’t specify the cost of the project and plans to raise the needed funds.

Harvard earlier this year halted a $1 billion science center in Allston, across the Charles River from Harvard’s main campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, after its endowment plunged in the financial crisis. Neighbors have criticized Harvard for leaving land undeveloped. The new innovation lab, to open in 2011, will first help student entrepreneurs, then small businesses in the community, Harvard said in an e-mailed statement.

The lab will “play an important role in the future of innovation in Boston,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino, said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Hechinger in Boston at jhechinger@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Kaufman at Jkaufman17@bloomberg.net.

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