Creating New Value and Solving Social Issues

Why is this important?

For Canon to realize its corporate philosophy of kyosei and to move forward with stakeholders, it is important to leverage the competitive advantage of its technologies in the development of products and services that meet the needs of the changing times.

Superior technology is part of the DNA of Canon. Since its foundation, Canon has always put a high value on utilizing unique technologies to create and deliver innovative products to the world. Starting with cameras, this history has involved applying a wealth of optical technologies to the development of multifunction devices and semiconductor lithography equipment. Canon’s proprietary technologies have also been utilized to create laser printers, inkjet printers and varied other products to expand the business into new areas.

In order to respond to changing times, Canon applies a two-pronged approach to R&D. The first is to target inventions to support development of groundbreaking products through the creation and cultivation of technological “seeds.” The second prong is to pursue innovation-focused R&D to develop the technologies that can help solve issues of global importance, such as climate change and infectious disease.

In addition, to make the most of Canon’s technological capabilities, we are pursuing Core Competence Management, bringing together Core Competence Technologies that support the diverse creation of industry-leading core products with Fundamental Technologies that form the basis of technical progress.

Canon’s strengths include the application of superior production technologies and other manufacturing know-how to enable the in-house production of key components and manufacturing equipment using automated assembly processes. The resulting high reliability and performance of Canon products creates new added value while also helping to address various societal issues.

To create new value amid the increased pace of technological evolution in today’s rapidly changing society, Canon is building on its strong in-house technical development capabilities by targeting mergers and acquisitions in fields that are compatible with existing businesses. In this way, Canon has established new businesses in the four areas of commercial printing, network cameras, medical and industrial equipment. Looking ahead, amid the digital transformation of society and other trends such as development of smart infrastructure, Canon will continue to seek to bring in new technologies from outside and to combine these with proprietary Group expertise, creating further innovations while also helping to realize a sustainable society.

The results of Canon’s stakeholder questionnaire survey identify areas where stakeholders expect the most from Canon in terms of “Creating New Value and Solving Social Issues.” In descending order, these are: development of medical technology that contributes to human health and disease prevention; advanced security technology to contribute to the safety and security of society; development of products/ technologies that lead to affluence and delight for people in the fields of photography and imaging; and development of products and services that anybody can use easily. Based on the specific concerns that stakeholders have highlighted, Canon is engaged in a range of business initiatives to support and promote the shift to a digital society that realizes safety, peace of mind, comfort and affluent lifestyles for all. At the same time, we are also working to contribute to advances in healthcare and the development of imaging technology for industrial applications.

Risks and Opportunities

When facing profound societal change, there is a risk that companies may fail to grasp opportunities to envision the creation of new value, or else lose competitiveness—either by not considering societal needs when developing products and services, or by not changing their approach or systems. Recognizing that societal change leads to opportunities to create new value, Canon aims to be a company that makes a continuous social contribution by leveraging the technologies that are its source of competitive advantage.

Canon will formulate strategies to address these material issues while working daily to implement various initiatives, taking into consideration the risks, opportunities, strengths and weaknesses in each of its four business segments (Printing, Imaging, Medical, Industrial). Please refer to the Business Strategy section for more details.


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Canon started a new five-year business plan (Phase VI of the Excellent Global Corporation Plan) in 2021. Under a policy of “accelerating our corporate portfolio transformation by improving productivity and creating new businesses,” we will reorganize our businesses into broader, industry-specific categories, and combine each of their technologies to create what we call “chemical reactions” within the company to provide a variety of products and solutions.

Based on this approach, we reorganized our entire operations into four groups of “Printing,” “Imaging,” “Medical,” and “Industrial,” concentrating our diverse and dispersed resources to raise the productivity and quality of divisions related to new product development and manufacturing, and enable prompt decision-making by unifying responsibility and authority.

This will allow higher synergies via the sharing of technologies and information without barriers which we will link to raising product competitiveness and creating entirely new growth drivers.

Relationship with SDGs