Japanese e-commerce major Rakuten on Monday said it had opened its India research and development (R&D) institute here to focus on deep learning, computer vision and robotics for warehouse logistics applications.
“The Rakuten Institute of Technology (RIT) at our operations center in Bengaluru will combine creativity and innovation with emerging technologies to fuel the growth of e-commerce,” said the Tokyo-based internet firm in a statement here.
The 20-year-old firm’s five other research centers are in Tokyo, Paris, Singapore, Boston and San Mateo in the US.
The company’s B2B2C platform Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-site in Japan and among the world’s largest by sales.
“India has a vibrant computer science research community in Bengaluru and we look forward to collaborating with academic researchers to discover and develop new technology applications,” said the Institute’s global head Masaya Mori.
The company has appointed Sunil Gopinath as the Institute’s first Chief Executive.
The applied research on deep learning will be to detect and predict financial fraud, developing applications in computer vision for e-commerce and medical imagining and advancement of automation to improve efficiency in warehouse robotics and logistics.
“India has a large technical talent and its researchers have an understanding of combining academic research with business domain applications to deliver pioneering business solutions,” said Gopinath.
The Institute will also strengthen the company’s global vision of leveraging technology to enhance the convenience of its e-commerce, fintech and digital content services.
“We collaborate with the industry and academia, hold exchanges with educational institutions and conduct research incorporating the latest academic knowledge,” said Mori in the statement.
The firm’s Bengaluru R&D facility will be a hub for collaboration with Indian universities to provide researchers with opportunities to study internet technologies and develop services for the Rakuten group companies the world over.
The RIT’s first center was set up in Japan in 2006 to keep pace with the evolution of the cyber world and the rapid growth of internet services globally.
“Our research centers are engaged in cross-location projects and support globalization of the group companies,” added the statement.
The RIT also partners with Hidehiko Masuhara of the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Ruby computer programming language creator Yukihiro Matsumoto serves as a fellow.
With 16,000 employees, the Rakuten Group operates in 30 countries worldwide.