Innovation

Management Approach

Materiality Rationale

New ideas and technological innovation that defy convention are essential to creating products and services that inspire and fulfill users’ curiosity. Sony’s groundbreaking spirit of continued innovation remains central to the identity of the Sony Group.

Basic Approach

It is the core corporate responsibility of Sony to society to improve its corporate value through innovation and sound business practices and contribute to developing a sustainable society. To this end, Sony generates innovation in many different ways, always striving to create products and services that inspire and fulfill users’ curiosity while leveraging co-creation both within the Sony Group and externally to drive social progress.

Structure

To create kando with users, the R&D Center works to promote R&D by integrating devices and systems. Sony has engaged in the separation of business units into distinct subsidiaries across the Sony Group, in order to reinforce the competitiveness of each business and ensure clearly attributable accountability and responsibility. Each of these subsidiaries conducts R&D related to its business field.
In addition, Sony established the research subsidiary, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc., to conduct R&D that contributes to humanity and society by pioneering new research areas and new businesses. Sony also has specific mechanisms in place for generating innovation, including the Seed Acceleration Program (SAP), which creates startup projects and support their business operations, and the Sony Innovation Fund, which serves as a corporate venture capital fund.

Main Achievements in Fiscal 2017

Here are the main results of fiscal 2017 initiatives:

  • Total R&D costs for corporate R&D and each business were 458.5 billion yen
  • Thirteen business projects created since the Seed Acceleration Program (SAP) was established in 2014 to create startup projects and support their businesses operations
  • Expanded the First Flight crowdfunding and e-commerce website (which was created to accelerate startup projects resulting from SAP) to also include companies outside the Sony Group
  • Invested in over 20 projects since the Sony Innovation Fund was established in 2016
  • Pursued AI × Robotics initiatives
  • Made available core libraries (Neural Network Libraries) for developing deep-learning programs as open source software and supplied integrated development environment
  • Achieved new developments in Sony’s automotive image sensors
  • Developed surgical microscope with 4K 3D imaging
  • Business development of MESH™and KOOV™ tools for science, technology, arts and mathematics (STEAM) education

Looking to the Future

Sony will continue to make suitable business investments and support innovation by its diverse workforce of talented people, leveraging communication and open innovation to create inspiring new businesses that help to build a sustainable world.

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