March 26, 2002 – Tokyo, Japan – Canon Inc. plans to quadruple the number of researchers focusing on basic research to 1,000 by as early as fiscal 2005, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported.
Canon has determined that by giving preference to research focused on commercializing new products in the 1990s, it strengthened its revenue structure by bolstering its lineup of products as digital cameras and copiers to improve earnings.
The company is now looking to strengthen basic research in areas such as materials and processing in order to build new businesses.
Canon will increase researchers at its central lab in Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture, from about 250 to 500 (or 600) in one to two years, then “to 1,000 in fiscal 2005,” according to Canon President Fujio Mitarai.
The new hires will consist of new graduates as well as experienced workers. The firm also employs some 600 researchers in the US and Europe, but will increase only those in Japan.
Researchers will focus on cutting-edge fields now being pursued by companies and universities worldwide — nanotechnology, paper-thin electronic displays, and biotechnology like DNA chips — so they can be developed into new businesses.