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Toshiba Corp. said Tuesday it would strengthen its international research and development (R&D) organization and increase the number of R&D personnel at its facilities outside Japan by 750 people by the end of fiscal year (FY) 2014. In particular, the conglomerate plans to increase its R&D efforts in such fields as storage technologies for big data, cloud technologies, software and energy efficiency.

The main role of the new personnel will be in software development for social infrastructure and product development for emerging economies, and to support Toshiba's global expansion through strategies for "total storage innovation" and "total energy innovation", key initiatives in the mid-term business plan the company announced in May. The new hires will account for about 70% of Toshiba's increased R&D headcount in the period to FY2014, which ends in March, 2015.

In its mid-term business plan of strategies and goals for the period to the end of fiscal 2014, Toshiba gives central place to promoting total storage innovation–businesses related to Big Data and cloud solutions and services–and total energy innovation–businesses related to power supply and the realization of the smart community concept. Toshiba is channeling resources to reinforcing its capabilities in both business areas, including R&D.

Under total storage innovation program, Toshiba expects to design advanced storage systems based on its capabilities in NAND flash memory, HDD and SSD to provide secure solutions for the age of Big Data, including data centers and cloud-based platforms supporting new services and solutions for healthcare, the retail sector and other areas.

Under the total energy innovation initiative, Toshiba will contribute to the fundamental need of a high efficiency, stable power supply that supports a sustainable society with the best mix of power generating systems, including thermal, nuclear and renewable energy, and promote smart grid and smart community solutions, including BEMS (Building Energy Management System) and HEMS (Home Energy Management System), that optimize transmission and distribution and energy management on both the supply and demand sides.

Toshiba expects to see some 400 additional R&D personnel in its facilities outside of Japan, including those in India, supporting accelerated development of infrastructure for cloud-based platforms and other areas related to total storage innovation by FY2014. The company plans investments in R&D expenditure totaling 1,080 billion yen in the period FY2012 to TF2014 and expect to channel some 60% to this area.

The number of R&D personnel working outside Japan to support total energy innovation is expected to grow by about 300 people by the end of FY2014. As it increases the headcount, Toshiba will also promote closer cooperation with the R&D divisions of Westinghouse and Landis+Gyr, toward establishing a global R&D system.

The number of researchers engaged in basic research will also be increased, by approximately 50. In parallel with these moves, Toshiba will also reinforce its intellectual property strategy by increasing the ratio of overseas patent applications from the current 50% of all applications to 70% in FY2014. This will enhance IP security at the global level and support the company in seeking to raise income by licensing IP by 1.3 times.

Tags: Toshiba, SSD, HDD, Big Data

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