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Canon marks 20 years of local R&D

June 15, 2010: Canon Australia’s research and development (R&D) facility, Canon Information Systems Research Australia Pty Ltd (CiSRA), celebrates its 20th anniversary this month.

Established in 1990, CiSRA directly supports closeto 300 jobs and contributes AUD$50 million export dollars annually. It is the only large research facility in Australia supported by players in the photo industry.

Member for Bennelong, Maxine McKew, joined chairman of CiSRA and managing director of Canon Australia, Kenji Kobayashi, in marking the milestone during a visit to the high-tech North Ryde facility in Sydney on June 8. (McKew, right, is pictured celebrating the 20th anniversary with chairman of CiSRA and managing director of Canon Australia, Kenji Kobayashi, left, and and CiSRA director, Jim Metcalfe.)

Kobayashi-san said that together with Canon’s R&D centres in Japan, America, Europe and Asia, CiSRA plays a pivotal role in the company’s future product development.

‘Globally, Canon’s investment in research & development has been growing steadily and is approaching 10 percent of its annual revenue, with CiSRA being one of its five overseas R&D centres in the world. While costs associated with running an R&D facility in Australia are perhaps higher than they would be in other countries in the region, the extremely talented engineers this country produces makes the investment worthwhile.

‘We appreciate the R&D tax incentives from the Australian Government as they help us compete with these low cost centres in the region and they support R&D employment in Australia,” he said.

‘The Rudd Government has supported CiSRA with tax incentives to help encourage and promote its R&D activities’, said McKew. ‘I am proud this locally-based facility is achieving important breakthroughs in innovation while supporting local jobs.

CiSRA’s managing director, Hayao Ozu, said that while it is satisfying to celebrate CiSRA’s successes over the 20 years, the company was looking to the future and what it holds for innovative technologies and solutions.

‘The multi-talented staff we have, who are scientists, engineers and usability specialists, along with the different perspectives they bring from their various cultural backgrounds, have contributed greatly to our success,’ said Ozu-san.

‘In turning towards the next 20 years, CiSRA must face new challenges. One of those is to propose new research areas and to develop new areas of specialised expertise. To do that, one important element will be closer collaboration with Australian universities and government research organisations. We must also be more proactive and take the lead to propose and trial new solutions locally, prior to world release. For that, establishing a more strategic collaboration scheme with Canon Australia will be an essential factor.’

‘Another challenge for us is to show leadership in the creation of a global software development system which can achieve a higher quality implementation with lower cost. In order to do so, we must efficiently transfer the technologies we develop to other parts of Canon. And finally, as an organisation, while strengthening our teamwork, each of us must cooperate proactively to strengthen our management quality,’ he concluded.

CiSRA ‘factoids’:

– CiSRA directly supports close to 300 jobs in Australia and seeks to nurture and develop high-quality Australian researchers and innovators;
– CiSRA contributes AUD$50 million export dollars annually;
– During its 20 years CiSRA has filed more than 1300 patent applications in Australia on behalf of Canon Inc;
– Canon Inc globally commits approximately 10 per cent of its revenue to R&D.

Recent CiSRA achievements:

– ZoomBrowser EX Software: This is a CiSRA-developed software application that allows image download and management for the rapidly expanding digital camera market. ZoomBrowser features a ‘zooming’ user interface to provide quick and easy image browsing and a novel way to organise and annotate collections of photos. ZoomBrowser EX is distributed globally with cameras in Canon’s digital still range.
– PhotoRecord Software: This software application makes it easy for home users to create high quality photo albums. PhotoRecord provides automatic album layout through an intuitive, innovative and highly interactive user interface. To date over 100 million copies have been distributed worldwide through “bundling” with Canon digital cameras, photo-grade Bubble Jet printers and high-end scanners.
– UFR Technology: CiSRA’s unique Ultra Fast Rendering (UFR) technology allows low cost, high performance, high resolution colour and monochrome page processing in a wide variety of printing products. The unique UFR is utilised right across Canon’s print product range, from low cost consumer models which use computer drivers, through networked office multifunction imageRUNNERs, right up to professional imagePRESS models.
– PosterArtist Software: This is a CiSRA developed software application for the creation of professional quality large format posters. PosterArtist offers an intuitive but powerful interface and a library of ready to use poster templates to quickly create quality output. PosterArtist is ideal for small business and in-house print shops and is available around the world bundled with Canon’s large format printers.
– CANVAS Unveiled: In 2003, CiSRA’s CANVAS (video monitoring security application) was publicly demonstrated for the first time at the ASIS International exhibition (one of the largest security exhibitions in the world).

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