Japanese electronics giant Hitachi is to boost its R&D in Europe as part for the first reorganisation of the company’s research operations for 25 years.
The move is part of a plan to grow what Hitachi refers to as its Social Innovation Business, which includes sectors such as railways, environmental, industrial and transportation systems, and energy networks. As a first step, it is planned to double the number of overseas R&D personnel, which currently stands at about 150.
These researchers will be based at Hitachi’s four overseas R&D bases in Europe, China, the Americas and Asia, with a brief to promote R&D activities targeting the needs of each region.
In Europe, Hitachi says it will, “strengthen its initiatives for frontier research and open innovation,” in particular in the area of spintronics, in the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory.
The aim is to localise overseas R&D bases to carry out research that is firmly grounded in local needs through deeper ties with local governments, corporations and research institutions.
Hitachi also announced plans to open a R&D base for IT related research in India in 2011, to work on software applications and other IT fields, while promoting links with local research institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology.
The overall objective is to accelerate the development of technologies to underpin the Social Innovation Business, and increase R&D efficiency.