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Canon shuts down local R&D

Wednesday, 20 March 2019
By Jake Nelson

Canon will shut its Australian R&D subsidiary Canon Information Systems Research Australia (Cisra) after almost 30 years in operation, with 35 staff to be made redundant.

Cisra is most famous in print as the launchpad for Kia Silverbrook, the reclusive genius, who worked there before setting up his own research lab. Among his other achievements Silverbrook invented Memjet, the super high-speed inkjet printing system. Silverbrook holds more patents than any other person on the planet.

The volume of work and number of researchers at Cisra has declined in recent years, with 40 jobs being shed in February; now the remaining 35 staff will go when operations cease in the middle of next month. According to a statement from Canon, Cisra’s role in developing digital imagery technology, which it has done in Australia since 1990, is at an end.

Canon pointed to changes in the business environment, with maturing markets and the rapidly accelerating pace of technological innovation as reasons for the closure. All development-related Cisra operations will be concluded next month, after which Canon will begin procedures for the company’s closure.

One of seven Canon R&D centres around the world, Cisra is owned by both Canon and its Australian arm in a 51-49 per cent split, and has an estimated $2m in capital stock. Its recent focus areas include machine learning; intelligent vision; and virtual reality projects.

Cisra managing director Keiji Ishizuka was unavailable for comment.

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