Ricoh to Endow Research Center at Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar<7752.T>

Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:00am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

  TOKYO, Jan 22 (Marketwire) -- 
Ricoh Company, Ltd. (TSE: 7752) (President & CEO: Shiro Kondo) announces
its financial endowment and industry partnership for the creation of the
Design and Innovation Centre ("DIC") at the Indian Institute of
Technology Gandhinagar ("IITGN"). The partnership is planned for three
years starting April 1, 2013. As part of the agreement, Ricoh will take
part in joint research projects at the Center. This cooperative effort
will further the company's aims of promoting Open Innovation,
accelerating research and development using global resources, and
studying market needs in India and similar markets. The technologies and
services deployed in the Indian market can form the groundwork for
solutions in other large emerging regions including Africa, the Middle
East, and Southeast Asia, which together constitute a market of over 2.5
billion people.

    The Indian Institute of Technology ("IIT") is the collective designation
for the sixteen national higher educational and research institutes in
India. With a student admission rate of less than 2%, IIT is an exclusive
internationally acclaimed educational body. IITGN was set up in 2008.
Located in the capital of the state of Gujarat in western India, IITGN is
ideally situated at the intersection of leading-edge IT infrastructure,
traditional culture, scholarship and industry. 

    In February 2012, Ricoh established Ricoh Innovations Private Limited
("RIPL") in Bangalore in southern India. A subsidiary of Ricoh
Innovations, Inc. ("RII") in Menlo Park, California, RIPL was created to
combine market-oriented technology development with regionally optimized
research to pioneer new business tailored for the Indian market and
similar emerging countries. Ricoh's collaboration with IITGN began with
RII's study of the application and validation of advanced IT technologies
in educational fields. 

    "We are thrilled to promote Open Innovation in India by locally
researching solutions relevant to specific markets," stated Terumoto
Nonaka, Corporate Senior Vice President at Ricoh in charge of R&D.
"Becoming the founding industrial partner for the new Design and
Innovation Centre is a major step toward achieving this goal." 

    "This partnership with Ricoh will enable the students and faculty of
IITGN to work with the colleagues from Ricoh in an inter-disciplinary and
an inter-cultural environment, which is most conducive for design and
innovation. We are excited with the opportunity and expect that our
relationship with Ricoh will grow in time as both sides start to see the
tremendous value of such a partnership. Moreover, we believe that this is
an interesting model of collaboration between an academic institute and a
large company, which may later be emulated elsewhere," added Prof. Sudhir
K. Jain, Director of IITGN.

    The newly established DIC will have both educational and research
functions. Full-time and part-time faculty, full-time technical staff,
and students will conduct research in a collaborative environment. The
following proposed research projects are under consideration by Ricoh: 


--  IT applications and workflow in an Indian business environment
--  User interfaces for business devices
--  Design preferences in India and similar markets
--  Innovative new applications for Ricoh products in emerging markets

    

In addition, three representatives from the Ricoh Group will be
invited to join the center's Advisory Committee. The committee will
consist of academics from various disciplines who will review progress
and the direction of research.

    "There is an opportunity for innovative breakthrough when industry and
researchers from a variety of disciplines come together to solve
problems," stated Dr. Nikhil Balram, President and CEO of RII. "The
Design and Innovation Centre is groundbreaking in India for its holistic
approach to the whole process of creating new products and services, with
an eye toward advanced design."

    New solutions adopted in an emerging market may also yield innovations in
advanced countries, a trend known as reverse innovation. Ricoh continues
to aggressively promote Open Innovation in India with these mid-and
long-term goals in mind.

    About Ricoh

    Ricoh is a global technology company specializing in office imaging
equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT
services. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in more than 200
countries and regions. In the financial year ending March 2012, Ricoh
Group had worldwide sales of 1,903 billion yen (approx. 23 billion USD).

    The majority of the company's revenue comes from products, solutions and
services that improve the interaction between people and information.
Ricoh also produces award-winning digital cameras and specialized
industrial products. It is known for the quality of its technology, the
exceptional standard of its customer service and sustainability
initiatives.

    Under its corporate tagline, imagine. change. Ricoh helps companies
transform the way they work and harness the collective imagination of
their employees.

    For further information, please visit 
 www.ricoh.com/about/

    
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Contact: 

Cate Thomassen
cate@rii.ricoh.com
+1 (650) 496-5746

Deborah Lamascus Hamilton
deborah@rii.ricoh.com
+1 (415) 273-9168 

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