Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) and NEC Corporation (NEC) announced that they have agreed to collaborate as partners to promote digital transformation (DX) utilising 5G in the fields of imaging IoT/AI technologies, working styles, healthcare, and manufacturing. As a first step, Konica Minolta is going to introduce local 5G to its new Takatsuki R&D Building.
In December 2019, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications instituted a "local 5G" for assigning 5G radio wave licenses to companies and local governments other than mobile operators. By utilising local 5G, companies and local governments are able to flexibly build dedicated networks capable of secure and stable ultra-high-speed communication in response to their needs, and DX is expected to occur in a variety of industries.
As the first step in collaborative activities, Konica Minolta and NEC will establish local 5G verification environments using 5G network products (5G core, base stations, terminals, etc.) in the brand new Takatsuki building of Konica Minolta's development base Innovation Garden OSAKA Center, which is scheduled to be completed in October 2020. Using these environments, Konica Minolta will combine its imaging and IoT/AI technologies with a variety of assets, including office equipment and medical equipment, as well as NEC's 5G and AI technologies. Through these efforts, they will increase the value-added to industrial optical systems, medical equipment, and office equipment, thereby contributing to the achievement of Society 5. 0 and SDGs.
With local 5G environments in place, Innovation Garden OSAKA Center will be an open lab where R&D will be conducted in collaboration with co-creation partners. As a result, it will provide new value for the evolution of society by responding to the "wants" of our customers, regardless of industry or scale.
Konica Minolta has long supported Japan's growth by combining the strengths it has cultivated through its businesses with cutting-edge digital technologies to create high value-added products and services, and by offering a wide range of products, including medical equipment, offices, and industrial printing equipment. It also has a strong customer base in Europe and other international markets.
Leveraging the wireless technologies and know-how it has cultivated in its base station business for telecommunications carriers, NEC has developed 5G base stations and begun shipments of commercial equipment. By capitalising on its network strengths, NEC promotes NEC Smart Connectivity as a service business in new areas, creating new value in collaboration with various partners.
 Innovation Garden OSAKA: In August 2019, Innovation Garden OSAKA Front in Grand Front Osaka opened in front of Umeda Station and JR Osaka Station in order to develop imaging IoT/AI technologies in earnest in the Kansai area. The new "Innovation Garden OSAKA Center" in Takatsuki will function as a hub to develop the imaging IoT/AI business and promote open innovation with customers and partner companies.
 NEC Smart Connectivity: Network services that draw on NEC's accumulated expertise and track record in network technologies and related solutions. Read more about the service here.