Hitachi intends to build-up a global R&D system closely linked to markets in order to spur business expansion. Currently, the company is promoting management initiatives designed to drive growth in global markets, focusing on the social innovation business. In the R&D, Hitachi has positioned the research laboratories in Japan as the development bases for core technologies while expanding overseas R&D bases in order to directly incorporate the latest trends in technology and market needs.
As part of its global R&D strategy, Hitachi will increase the number of overseas researchers from 280 at present, to 400 by fiscal 2015 (year ending 31st March 2016). Additionally, the company will be actively appointing qualified local personnel as leaders to accelerate activities for closely linked regional research. The company is to establish the Hitachi Brazil Laboratory in June 2013 as a new research base, one of the focus regions identified by Hitachi, to contribute to business expansion. Currently, the company has research bases in six regions: Japan, US, Europe, China, Asia and India. The Brazilian laboratory will form the seventh regional base. Hitachi established the European Rail Research Centre in the UK in October 2012, followed by the Hitachi China Materials Technology Innovation Center in China in April 2013, and this is followed by plans to establish the Big Data Research Laboratory in Hitachi America. In order to promote R&D leveraging regional characteristics, Hitachi will also be enhancing the research centres and laboratories within each regional research base.