An R&D Environment that Values People

Canon's greatest research and development strength is its development environment, which values people. Each employee inherits the company's corporate culture focused on a strong sense of responsibility and high motivation in an open-minded environment.

Active Communication between Engineers

Innovative Technology Forum

In order to respond to the ongoing evolution of technologies, Canon actively conducts various technological training initiatives in addition to technology community activities involving engineers working in the same field across different divisions. The company aims to increase the abilities of its engineers by having each employee contribute his or her knowledge and wisdom, and take part in discussions.
Canon holds its Innovative Technology Forum once a year. This endeavor, similar to an internal academic conference, includes poster sessions and workshops focused on research and development themes that are making significant progress. Many engineers with different levels of responsibility and working in various fields meet to discuss and exchange views on technology in an effort to strengthen the company's technological abilities as a whole.

Cultivating Engineers through a Study Abroad System

Canon is strengthening its Engineer Study Abroad System for the purpose of cultivating engineers capable of competing and cooperating on an international stage. With an eye to the future, the company is accelerating the acquisition of future technologies in its current business fields and advanced technology in research fields necessary for the future.
Engineers who have acquired advanced technological abilities also learn about the cultures and languages of the countries and regions in which they study, and expand their field of activity after returning to Japan.

Corporate DNA Focused on Technology

Canon Group R&D Expenditure and R&D Expense to Net Sales Ratio

"We want to make the world's best camera."
The history of Canon's research and development started with this enterprising spirit. Since then, the company has consistently improved its technologies and passed on this technology focused spirit, centered on originality.
In order to continue producing excellent research and development results, Canon continually makes significant investments in research and development, and strategically and appropriately allocates resources in accordance with management guidance.

Efforts Supporting Inventors

After ascertaining the overall direction of Canon and technology trends, research and development results are actively converted into intellectual property and efforts are made to increase competitiveness in any subsequent business.
A particularly unique initiative is the Patent Grade-up Activity (PGA). Inventors, as well as other engineers, work together with intellectual property division personnel to thoroughly discuss a single invention. This not only improves the quality of patents, but also can lead to the creation of more new inventions.
Thanks to collaboration between the technology division and the intellectual property division, Canon consistently ranks among the top U.S patent recipients. Furthermore, on two occasions, the company received the Imperial Invention Prize from the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation, which is granted to those who have achieved noteworthy inventions with particularly outstanding results. Canon's invention of the Bubble Jet printer device and the large-area sensor for real-time digital X-ray imaging each received an award, and support the company's business even now.

TOP TEN U.S. PATENT HOLDERS BY COMPANY 2014*

Rank overall Rank in Japan Company No.
1 IBM 7,534
2 Samsung Electronics 4,952
3 1 Canon 4,055
4 2 Sony 3,224
5 Microsoft 2,829
6 3 Toshiba 2,608
7 Qualcomm 2,590
8 Google 2,566
9 LG Electronics 2,122
10 4 Panasonic 2,095
  • *
    Figures were based on preliminary data released by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, a U.S. research company specialized in patent information.