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Our commitment to Research & Development

Research & Development

The mission of the Corporate R&D Center is to develop technologies that will be of value to society into the future, basing its development on Olympus' core competencies in Opto-Digital Technology. Considering R&D initiatives to be value-creation activities, Olympus is striving to nurture new values to meet social expectations and addressing people's needs by constantly keeping an eye out for upcoming trends.

Development of Four Basic Technologies

"Cultivating world-class technologies." In its repertoire, Olympus boasts the four fundamental assets of "optical technology," "precision technology," "electronic imaging technology" and "cell-related technology." Leveraging the fruit of these advanced technologies in the life science, imaging systems, medical systems and industrial-related fields, Olympus is striving to bring new value to society through the cultivation of synergies among the various businesses' technological assets.

In the optical technology field, Olympus focuses on smaller, slimmer and higher-precision products, while engaging in the overall technological development of the precision field, which includes ultrafine processing using Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and such precision technology as control and mounting techniques. In electronic imaging technology, Olympus is engaged in the technological development of imagers and digital image processing as well as communications and networks. In cell-related technology, Olympus engages in activities related to bioscience, regenerative medicine development and the realization of extremely early cancer diagnosis to advance next generation health care.

Development of Next-Generation Products in Collaboration with Individual Business Organizations

"Developing user- and environment-friendly products." The Corporate R&D Center also engages in technological development for next-generation products in line with each business section's product strategies. The E-30 and E-620 digital SLR cameras are notable examples. These products are equipped with image sensors for Live View functions for framing images right on the epoch-making, variable-angle LCD rear-mounted monitor, and the latest image processing engine developed by the Corporate R&D Center.

In addition, working to meet demand for smaller and lighter products, the Corporate R&D Center developed an image stabilizer system exclusively for the E-620 that weighs 20% less than the existing system. Aiming to address the major issue of reducing the environmental burden of all its business activities, Olympus endeavors to develop next-generation products by leveraging the cutting-edge technologies of the Corporate R&D Center and the technological know-how of each business segment.

New Business Development in the Next Three to Five Years

"Introducing technologies useful for people." The Corporate R&D Center is also responsible for the launch and development of all-new businesses for Olympus. One such, OSferion bone replacement material, started with material R&D and has now been commercialized by Olympus Terumo Biomaterials Corp. OSferion is an example of the practical application of technology to support human beings' natural healing ability. In order to develop such new technologies and inspire R&D initiatives, it is necessary to maintain a close liaison with actual users, namely medical personnel. Reinforcing its R&D activities in the medical technology field to achieve the early commercialization of epoch-making diagnosis and treatment equipment, Olympus will make ongoing efforts to jump start new projects. In addition, Olympus will focus on the development of new subsidiaries.

Serving as a Bridge between Medical and Research Facilities

"Communicate with the most advanced scientists in the world." As a participant in industry-academia-government study projects in the medical systems and life science fields, Olympus has proactively pursued R&D with a shared sense of value with world-class researchers. Having participated in a number of Advanced Medical Care Development Zone ("Super Zone") activities and the Program for the Strategic Development of Research Centers ("Super COE"), both of which were established as a part of the Japanese government's policy for science and technology, Olympus constantly strives to move technologies from the R&D stage to the commercialization and infiltration of its medical equipment.

In a joint study group with the University of Tokyo, Olympus is developing a new method involving the use of a special agent to make only cancerous cells fluoresce under an endoscope so that they may be more effectively removed. Through such initiatives, Olympus is building closer relationship with medical and research institutes to contribute to medical progress and human health.

Borderless Backup Technology

"Technologies to embody ideas." Leveraging ultra-fine processing technology, MEMS are used in such diverse key devices as optical switches for high-speed fiber-optic communications, mirrors for laser scanning microscopes and needles to realize highly efficient gene transfer. In addition, Olympus is aiming to develop imager, system LSI and digital image processing technologies in order to apply them to digital cameras for capturing special moments as well as to diagnostic imaging medical equipment for taking the clear images clinicians need. Furthermore, Olympus will promote the development of communication and network technology to support comfortable and convenient lifestyles while taking on as its ongoing challenge the achievement of smaller, thinner, higher-precision products for next-generation optical technology innovation.

Advanced Technology Research on a Global Scale

"Heading toward a culture of open innovation." Olympus is conducting global-scale research into advanced technologies for the next generation of businesses. As a part of these activities, Olympus has already initiated joint studies with major universities overseas while establishing an R&D facility for telecommunications technology in San Diego, California, the United States. At the same time, Olympus opened a base to collect information regarding advanced technology in San Jose, California, seeking technologies and business partners that would lead the Company to new businesses.

Acquiring the latest information about technologies from universities and research institutes both in Japan and overseas, Olympus will strive to create ample opportunities for "open innovation" that will accelerate the development of next generation core technologies.

AF Sensor

High-speed AF sensor that excels at quickly measuring distance, featuring capturing and following functions


Large-diameter aspherical lenses realized through ultraprecise lens processing technology


Mounted into camera bodies, Olympus' proprietary SWD* actuator is an image stabilizer unit that compensates for camera shake with high precision

* SWD: Supersonic Wave Drive


OSferion artificial bone replacement material using high-purity β-tricalcium phosphate


Spectroscopic video endoscopes detect minute changes in cells, contributing to the very early detection of cancer

 Zoom Mechanism

Simulation model of the zoom mechanism

 Stampo Needle

StampoNeedle for easier and more efficient gene transfer

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