According to the latest R&D survey by Nikkei, 231 leading companies in Japan are poised to increase spending on R&D in the current fiscal year (through March 2019). Nearly 44% of respondents indicated they are planning record outlays, with the survey showing an expected rise of 4.5% in R&D spending by major Japanese companies to total ¥12.5 trillion ($112 billion) in the current fiscal year.

Companies are largely investing in cutting edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to drive innovation, especially in the automotive sector, in which R&D spending will grow 6.4% to over ¥4.0 trillion ($36.2 billion). The basic materials sector is expected to increase R&D spending 6.5% and the machinery sector will see its R&D expenditures increase 9.9%. Mitsubishi Chemical  expects to spend ¥160 billion ($1.4 billion), while Hitachi plans to develop artificial intelligence and software to further bolster Lumada, the company’s IoT platform, increasing its budget for innovation projects by more than 60% since 2015.

Automotive companies ranked as Japan’s top R&D spenders, with companies such as Toyota, Honda and Nissan planning to invest record amounts into R&D this fiscal year  to remain competitive with other global companies. Instead of keeping R&D in-house, many automotive companies are aiming to foster collaborations externally.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review

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