Japan's Shimadzu looks to expand joint research in China
Precision instrument maker will add more labs, customer training centers
YUSHO CHO, Nikkei staff writer
SHANGHAI -- Shimadzu will undertake more joint research in China with local universities and institutes, seeing more openings for its precision instruments in fields including food products and medical care as research standards there rise.
The Japanese manufacturer said Monday that it aims to have 120 joint research laboratories in three years, up from around 80 presently. Shimadzu also will add more analysis centers -- facilities geared toward developing technologies for customers as well as training for these clients.
President and CEO Teruhisa Ueda announced the goal on a visit to China. In its cooperative research, the company mainly provides equipment and methods for calculation and analysis in fields including medicine, chemicals, environmental science and agriculture.
China is spending heavily on research and development under Beijing's guidance, and Ueda noted that the country also is "broadening exchange on the personnel front with such countries as the U.S." Research standards in China are "climbing rapidly" as a result, he said.
In food product research, safety issues such as agrochemical residues have taken the spotlight of late, but functional aspects like nutrition are expected to gain prominence. With medical research also gathering steam, Shimadzu's technology likely will see more chances to be of use.
Shimadzu last month expanded its Shanghai hub, roughly doubling the area of its analysis center as well as completing its lineup of large analysis equipment. The company also enlarged its facilities for client training and exchange, intending to build on them as foundations for furthering its joint research.
The manufacturer operates six analysis centers, located in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shenyang and Chengdu. Shimadzu opens another this year in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, and aims to establish an eighth center by 2020 in central China, perhaps in the Hubei Province capital of Wuhan.
Shimadzu's medium-term management plan through fiscal 2019, laid out in March, calls for increasing China sales by about one-quarter from the fiscal 2016 figure.