How Canon Canada’s Impact on Tech Goes Far Beyond the Camera Lens
The technology sector’s race to innovation can feel like there’s no end in sight. Many businesses that stand the test of time are equipped with a unique blend of modernization, adaptability and commitment to solving real-world challenges. Exemplifying these qualities as it celebrates its 50th anniversary, Canon Canada has evolved from its origins as a camera company to becoming a multifaceted player in the tech arena. With a rich legacy rooted in imaging and optical technologies, the company is leveraging its expertise to service various industries and positioning itself as synonymous with innovation and leadership as it looks to the future.
While Canon’s reputation is rooted in product manufacturing, the company offers much more today. “In addition to manufacturing, Canon is also a research and development company, and among the top five holders of patents in North America,” says Justin Lam, Canon Canada’s executive vice president, business operations group “We’ve evolved into much further reaching expertise in imaging that goes beyond what you might expect.”
Canon’s trek to innovation
Canon’s acquisitions have propelled the company forward by integrating complementary technologies and expanding its capacity within various sectors, making significant contributions to space technology, managed IT services, healthcare, and high-precision manufacturing. Along with Canon’s acquisition of Toshiba Medical (now Canon Medical) in 2016, “Canon Canada invested in SUPRA ITS to bring managed IT services in-house, bringing a new area of expertise that we could combine with our own, to provide a workable, timely and effective solution to a challenge our clients are facing right now,” says Lam.
Canon’s foray into Earth observation with satellites is another example of how the company demonstrates a commitment to cutting-edge solutions. Beyond imaging technology, one of its greatest strengths is high-precision manufacturing, which is critical for anything space-related. “We recognize that the Satellite industry is growing as countries and private companies look to build out their necessary infrastructure,” says Lam. “With this boom, there are limitations on manufacturing capacity. This creates a bottleneck for businesses trying to assemble satellites or buy them, and we want to be at the forefront of this venture. It’s a new area for us but it draws on some of our well-established expertise.”
Racing to a greener future
Despite its impressive legacy, Canon’s investment in research and development reflects the company’s earned status as a trailblazer in the industry. As Canon Canada celebrates its golden anniversary, it is simultaneously engaged in future-proofing not only itself but the industry as a whole, with a commitment to sustainability and environmental preservation.
Evidently, its commitment to the Electronics Product Stewardship Program positions the company as a leader in green practices within the tech industry. The not-for-profit organization partners with electronic manufacturers to design, promote and implement sustainable solutions for end-of-life electronics.
Additionally, Canon products like SPROUT Plant Monitoring, which uses imaging tech and AI to detect disease and malnutrition in crops–linking to a long-held set of values central to the company. “As one of Canada’s Greenest Employers, it’s important for Canon Canada to operate with the environment in mind through all our platforms, whether that be in our LEED-certified office or in our consumer recycling programs,” says Lam.
Canon Canada offered a glimpse into its promising future at its recent inaugural Open House event. “One of our goals for the next 50 years is to have higher level conversations with customers to solve the problems they’re dealing with and figure out how we can draw on our expertise to solve them together,” says Lam. Over the next 50 years, Canon Canada’s vision includes a leading role in addressing pressing problems businesses and consumers face, from cybersecurity to sustainable tech. The company’s focus extends beyond the lens, venturing further into space exploration and vision-based navigation.
“Our philosophy of Kyosei shapes our commitment to a sustainable future,” says Lam. “It means harmoniously living and working together into the future–the driving force behind all our work. Living up to that philosophy means we can’t rest on our laurels. We need to keep innovating and looking forward–and that’s one of the things we are really good at.”