Research and Development Q&A
Here we provide answers to frequently asked questions about research and development at Ricoh.
Q1. How much does Ricoh spend on R&D each year?
- A1.In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012 (fiscal 2011), R&D expenditures on a consolidated basis were ¥119,000 million, or 6.3% of net sales.
Q2. Please describe the research structure at Ricoh.
A2.Ricoh has set up research and development sites around the world including Japan,
the United States, India and China.
These sites are actively engaged in group-wide R&D activities,
from technological research at the seed level, to R&D concerning component technologies
and practical development with a view to commercialization.
Ricoh operates five R&D bases in Japan, with the Research and Development Center in Yokohama spearheading the R&D effort. The activities of these R&D centers range from basic research in areas including materials, simulation, analysis, optical design, communications, and devices to applied research in environmental technologies, office systems, solutions, software, and other sectors.
In the United States, Ricoh enjoys the benefits of Silicon Valley as a location for innovative research and development to create new business opportunities. In India, Ricoh established a research company focusing on advanced IT in 2012, where they create new IT solutions on site to meet specific local needs. In China, we engage in R&D in Beijing to take advantage of a wealth of excellent R&D personnel.
Q3. How is Ricoh involved with environmental technologies?
A3.Ricoh has designated environmental technologies as a high-priority R&D area and actively engages in environmental R&D. Ricoh contributes to the realization of a sustainable society by developing technologies from three perspectives to reduce environmental impact at every stage of product life cycles: energy conservation and global warming mitigation, materials conservation and recycling, and pollution prevention.
Q4. Does Ricoh offer research center tours?
- A4.Ricoh does not open the research centers to the general public. However, the Research and Development Center in Yokohama conducts student tours from February to May.
Q5. How many patents does Ricoh have?
A5.The patent situation at the end of fiscal 2011 (March 31, 2012) was as follows.
Number of Japanese published patents: 4,226
Number of Japanese issued patents: 21,697
Number of foreign issued patents: 17,557
Ricoh has been named to the 2012 Top 100 Global Innovators list by Thomson Reuters, one of the world's leading sources of intelligent information for businesses and professionals.
Visit here for the detail.
Q6.Does Ricoh engage in joint research with universities, external research organizations, or other companies?
A6.Ricoh engages in many joint research projects in Japan and overseas
with universities and other specialized research organizations
as well as with other companies.
To cope with a rapidly changing market environment, it is important to accelerate activities
by collaborating with research organizations that offer complementary capabilities and
strengths rather than keep all R&D activities in-house.
In January 2013, Ricoh agreed with the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar to endow the Design and Innovation Centre and become an industry partner aiming at the promotion of Open Innovation in a major emerging country.
Please read our news release on this.
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