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DENSO opens artificial intelligence R&D lab in Montreal


January 10, 2019
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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January 10, 2019 – DENSO, one of the world’s largest mobility manufacturers, has opened a satellite research and development lab in Montreal.

As part of its “second founding,” DENSO is opening satellite R&D labs around the world to accelerate advanced R&D within the automotive industry. Research activities in Montreal will focus on innovations in advanced technology such as artificial intelligence (AI).

DENSO has a history of building hardware for the automotive market, and is expanding into software-based solutions and developing advanced technologies that will guide the future of mobility. The company, globally headquarted in Kariya, Japan, runs 220 facilities in 35 countries to produce thermal, powertrain, mobility, electrification and electronic systems.

Montreal was selected as the location for the newest satellite R&D lab due to its unique, interconnected and collaborative AI ecosystem. This new initiative will create jobs in the mobility space within the Greater Montreal region – there is an ongoing search for a local leader. In the interim, Pat Bassett, vice-president of DENSO’s North America Research and Engineering Center, will oversee the Montreal lab.

“DENSO has had a presence in Canada for 46 years,” says Kenichiro Ito, chairman of DENSO’s North America board of directors and CEO of DENSO’s North American headquarters. “We know that to quickly create and develop the best AI and mobility solutions, we must tap both local talent and global expertise. That is why DENSO is strategically investing in research labs all over the world that are entirely dedicated to agile research and development through global collaboration.”

François Legault, premier of Quebec, says, “We believe that in the next few years, artificial intelligence will lead to productivity gains of up to 1.4% per year globally. In Quebec, this means our nominal GDP would increase by over $4 billion every year. Montreal has the highest concentration of AI researchers in the world. The fact that a company of DENSO’s calibre saw that and decided to set up its new research center here is a great source of pride.”

In North America, DENSO employs 24,000+ engineers, researchers and skilled workers across 31 sites in the U.S, Canada and Mexico.