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Chinese r&d centre will work on `near-human` machines

13 June, 2007

Omron has opened a $9.7m research and development centre in China Ė its first major r&d facility outside Japan. The Omron R&D Collaborative Innovation Centre in Shanghai will focus on control and sensing technologies and will collaborate with researchers from domestic Chinese institutions.

Omron Chinese r&d centre

Initially, the 14,010m2 Centre (above) will house around 100 researchers working for Omronís Institute of Sensing and Technology. They will work on around 30 themes, including vision sensing, facial recognition and control systems that will equip machines with "near-human" levels of judgement.

The number of researchers and research themes is expected to double within two years as other Omron divisions set up research operations at the Centre.

Omron has placed expansion in China as a top priority, alongside sales growth in new business areas, in a strategy designed to generate sales worth •750bn ($6,070m), and an operating profit of •75bn ($607m), in the current financial year.

In the three years from 2004-2006, Omron invested almost •30bn ($243m) in China, mainly in production facilities and an expanded sales network. This investment included the establishment of a global design and production centre for industrial automation, also in Shanghai.

According to Omronís president and chief executive, Hisao Sakuta, the new r&d centre "marks the successful completion of a three-year programme of major capital commitment in China. We are now looking forward to repaying the returns on these investments in the final stage of our long-term plans for financial years 2008-2010, while continuing to explore new investment opportunities as we work towards our FY08 target of •150bn ($1,215m) for consolidated sales in China."




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