Japan's OMRON Corporation (OMRNY) has unveiled the OMRON R&D Collaborative Innovation Center, its first major R&D facility outside Japan.

The OMRON R&D Collaborative Innovation Center will initially house the Omron Institute of Sensing & Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., whose researchers are focusing on vision sensing, including facial recognition, and control technologies that equip machines with near-human levels of judgment. The Center will also welcome outside researchers and students working in related fields from Shanghai Jiaotong, Tsinghua, Xi'an Jiaotong, Zhejiang and other Chinese universities as part of Omron's commitment to collaborative innovation.

Initially, around 100 researchers will be engaged in research on approximately 30 different themes. The numbers of both personnel and research themes will double by FY09, and grow further as internal business divisions set up individual research units in the Center.

"The Center will provide a space for true collaborative innovation between Omron researchers and domestic institutions, who will work together to conceive and develop new applications of our sensing and control technology in the realms of safety, security, environmental preservation and health care," said Hisao Sakuta, president and CEO of Omron Corporation.

Located in Shanghai Zizhu Science-based Technology Park, the US$9.7 million facility will focus on further developing Omron's core competencies in sensing and control technology.

As part of its long-term management plan, 'Grand Design 2010', Omron has positioned 'business expansion in China' alongside 'sales growth in new business areas' as top priorities in order to achieve an intermediate goal of JPY 750 billion in consolidated sales and JPY75 billion in operating profit for its 2007 fiscal year.

Over the three-year period from 2004-2006, Omron says it has made a series of strategic investments, totaling almost JPY30 billion, in the Chinese market.


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