Research & Development and Intellectual Property

Toshiba Group's goal is to pave the way for a safe, secure and comfortable society by creating and offering through our technology new value that leads to the solution for global-scale social issues. We aim to do this by listening at all times to the demands of the market and our customers, and by maximizing the achievements we have made during our research and development through a global intellectual property strategy.

Medium- to Long-term Vision

In addition to providing products with outstanding performance, functions, and quality, we create new value with solutions that make the most of relationships with customers developed through such products, thereby contributing to society.

FY 2017 Achievement

We accelerated development of technology for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) that provides the key to creating new solution and services. We also restructured our corporate R&D to make a more cross-organizational and agile contribution to business. Other efforts saw us strengthen ties with outside entities that included co-creation with customers.

Future Challenges and Approaches

Focusing on four business areas (Social Infrastructure, Energy, Electronic Devices, and Industrial ICT Solutions) that support people's lives and society, we will create innovative technologies and globally promote R&D to solve various societal issues by integrating solutions and services. We will also continue to enhance collaboration with external organizations to provide greater value to society more quickly.

Evaluation by External Parties

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Research and Development

Research and development strategy

The social issues we are faced with today, such as resource and energy issues resulting from population increases, as well as climate change and environmental problems, are becoming more diverse and complex than ever. Toshiba Group focuses on four areas that support people's lives and society, namely Energy System Solutions, Infrastructure System Solutions, Storage & Electronic Devices Solutions, and Industrial ICT Solutions, contributing to a sustainable society through the creation of new values using reliable technology.

In the area of Energy System Solutions, we will promote the safe and stable supply and efficient use of conventional energy. In addition, we will contribute to realizing a low-carbon society by providing the world with technology and services that create, distribute and store clean energy, including sustainable energy and hydrogen. In the area of Infrastructure System Solutions, we will provide highly reliable technologies and services to a wide range of customers supporting society and industry, including public infrastructure, buildings and facilities, and railroad and industrial systems with the aim of realizing a safe, secure and reliable society. In Storage & Electronic Devices Solutions, with a view to building infrastructure for a Big Data society, we will develop cutting-edge technologies—including new semiconductor and storage products—for various industries, such as storage, industrial and automotive applications, and the IoT. In the area of Industrial ICT Solutions, we will work together with customers to create digital services using the IoT and AI that make the most of our industrial know-how.

Toshiba Group Research & Development Structure

Toshiba conducts research and development in locations that best suit the purpose in question, both in terms of leading in a technical sense based on seeds and concepts, and of leading in terms of product planning and the business model. We have a research and development structure in which our research and development sites are categorized into the following: Corporate Research & Development Center that tackles medium- to long-term basic research; works laboratories of Group companies that engage in midium-term component technology development; and engineering departments of key Group companies that deal with product technology that realizes products and services. This structure is optimal for solving technological challenges.

Toshiba Group Research & Development Structure

Toshiba Group Research & Development Structure

Major R&D bases in Japan and overseas

Major R&D bases in Japan and overseas

Toshiba has built research and development sites in the U.S., Europe, China, India, Vietnam and so on that conduct a wide array of cutting-edge global research and development in collaboration with Toshiba Group's technological development sites in Japan and abroad. In order to boost our global competitiveness, we are improving our capacity to respond swiftly to changes in the market, in our research and development as well. Particularly in China and the rest of Asia, where markets are expanding, we are working to build not only manufacturing sites, but also local engineering sites and development sites. In the future, we will base our research and development in developing countries, and produce products for the global market, including developed countries.

R&D expenses
FY2015 FY2016 FY2017
360.9 billion yen 295.5 billion yen 178.7 billion yen*
  • * Excludes R&D expenses related to the memory business field. Including this field, total R&D expenses come to 297.8 billion yen.

The ratio of R&D expenses to sales in Toshiba Group stands at approximately 6%.

Breakdown of R&D expenses

Breakdown of R&D expenses

Open innovation through collaborations with external parties

Towards greater accuracy in weather forecasting (November 2017, July 2018)

MP-PAWR at time of installation at Saitama University (before covering the antenna with a radome)MP-PAWR at time of installation at Saitama University (before covering the antenna with a radome)

As part of the Cabinet Office's measures to strengthen disaster prevention and reduction under its Strategic Innovation Creation Program, Toshiba worked together with a research group that included National Institute of Information and Communications Technology to develop the world’s first practical-use multi-parameter phased array weather radar (MP-PAWR) and installed it at Saitama University for weather observation demonstration experiments. The radar is a phased array weather radar capable of high-speed 3D observation of rainclouds in 30 seconds to a minute and also has the functionality of a multi-parameter radar that can measure rainfall to a high degree of accuracy. The technology is useful in ensuring the safety of citizens during torrential rain from cumulonimbus clouds that form suddenly and for the running of outdoor events, particularly in summer.

Development and Installation of the World’s First Practical-use Multi-Parameter Phased Array Weather Radar (MP-PAWR) (Japanese)(PDF:978KB)

Start of Field Trials Using the World’s First Practical-use Multi-Parameter Phased Array Weather Radar (MP-PAWR) (Japanese)(PDF:337KB)

Greatly Downsizing of Heavy-Ion Cancer Therapy System (May 2017)

Toshiba and the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology (QST) have developed technology that significantly reduces the size of the scanning system for the heavy-ion radiation therapy system. The development shortens the distance from the scanning electromagnets to the irradiation target from the 9 m that was required for conventional equipment to 3.5 m. The rotating gantry* for the system has been reduced in size by around one-third. This is the world’s smallest rotating gantry. Toshiba will continue to develop cutting-edge cancer therapy systems, including heavy-ion therapy equipment, with the aim of contributing to high-quality cancer therapy.

  • * The term gantry refers to the cylindrical assemblies of the computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and X-ray therapy systems. With photon and heavy-ion radiotherapy systems, the radiation port is rotated around the patient during treatment. In this case, the gantry is called a rotating gantry.
  • * This system has not yet received regulatory approval

Toshiba and QST Achieve Major Breakthrough in Greatly Downsizing Pencil Beam Scanning System for Heavy-Ion Therapy

Comparison of scanning system size (Left: Conventional system, Right: New system)
Comparison of scanning beam irradiation system
(Left: Conventional system, Right: New system)

Comparison of rotating gantry size (New system superimposed on Conventional system)
Comparison of rotating gantry size
(New system superimposed on Conventional system)

Success in Experiments Transmitting Images from a Wide-Area Surveillance Camera
(November 2017)

Toshiba has developed a wireless multi-hop video transmission technology in which high-definition images are transmitted by a bucket brigade method across multiple wireless devices without any delay. Experiments jointly conducted with the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology successfully demonstrated application of these technologies to a marine surveillance system using multiple drones. The technology enables autonomous configuration of wireless networks considering the installation environment of surveillance cameras, making it possible to freely arrange surveillance cameras or construct wide-area video surveillance systems that connect multiple drone-mounted cameras.

Toshiba's development of wireless multi-hop video transmission technology

Verification experiments

Verification experiments

Enhancement of R&D in AI technology (July, September, December 2017 and January 2018)

Toshiba has provided services and conducted verification experiments and joint research using "Toshiba Communication AI RECAIUS™" and "Analytics AI SATLYS™". Going forward, we seek to contribute to the creation of new lifestyles and businesses by leveraging these two AI technologies. We will achieve this by enhancing technologies for analysis and extraction using various media data such as visual, audio and sensor information and incorporating industry-wide knowledge and knowhow into AI through co-creation with different companies and groups.

Toshiba Digital Solutions is helping Overseas Visitors to Kumamoto Prefecture
Multi-language translation provided by Communication AI RECAIUS Service

Toshiba Digital Solutions and ALPINE ELECTRONICS, Inc. succeeded in validating images taken from an automated tracking flight of an overhead transmission line by a drone (Japanese)

RECAIUS™ Field Voice technology has been applied to a clothing measurement service offered by Sasageya Inc. (Japanese)

Toshiba Digital Solutions and Chiba University's Center for Frontier Medical Engineering have started joint research into detection of lymph node metastasis in gastric cancer using AI (Japanese)

Toshiba's two AI technologies

Toshiba's two AI technologies

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Protection of Intellectual Property

Basic Policy on Intellectual Property

Toshiba Group's basic policy on intellectual property rights is to observe laws and regulations associated with them, to protect the results of intellectual activities with the rights and thus make extensive use of those results, and to respect the legitimate intellectual property rights of third parties. This policy is stipulated in the Standards of Conduct for Toshiba Group.

Toshiba is also making efforts to bolster and utilize actively our intellectual property that contributes to business development, in each business area of Energy, Electronic Devices, and Digital Solution, especially centering on Social Infrastructure. We will endeavor to ensure that these measures contribute effectively recovery of to the Toshiba Group.

Standards of Conduct for Toshiba Group 12. Intellectual Property Rights

Our Structure Concerning Intellectual Property

The organizational structure of the Intellectual Property Division is composed of the corporate Intellectual Property Office, and the intellectual property divisions at our individual laboratories and key Group companies.

The corporate Intellectual Property Office formulates and promotes company-wide strategy and measures regarding intellectual property, handles contracts and disputes, manages patent information and deals with matters related to intellectual property right laws, such as the Copyright Law.

On the other hand, the intellectual property divisions at laboratories and key Group companies promote intellectual property strategies based on their respective operations, and strive to enhance intellectual property, in order to build an excellent intellectual property portfolio.

Toshiba Group's Intellectual Property Strategy

Toshiba Group's Intellectual Property Strategy

Toshiba Group Intellectual Property Management Structure

Toshiba Group Intellectual Property Management Structure

Global patent portfolio

Global patent portfolio

Measures against Counterfeit Products

The Toshiba brand symbolizes the value of the Toshiba Group as a corporation, and the value of the products or services that we offer. Failure to take action against counterfeits of Toshiba products would pose not only the risk of damage to Toshiba's brand value and public confidence, but also the risk of purchasing counterfeit products that do not meet the quality expectations of customers who mistake them for genuine products. For this reason, we strive to eradicate counterfeit products, collaborating with domestic and overseas anti-counterfeit organizations, and are actively appealing to local bodies such as government agencies for more stringent control.

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