Masaya Mori, the global head of Rakuten Institute of Technology.
Masaya Mori
Global head of Rakuten Institute of Technology
Executive officer of Rakuten Inc.

Front-runner of the Global Business Evolution

E-commerce on the internet is the front line for the evolution of business, where we work to raise internet services to another level globally by utilizing academic insight and scientific approach.

In that spirit, we launched Rakuten Institute of Technology in 2006 as the dedicated R&D organization for the Rakuten group. Since then, anticipating that the constant scaling up of internet services will result in a shift from simple linear growth to a radically different paradigm, we have proposed a vision of the “Third Reality” to aim at novel research & development for the business. In a sense, our interest in the subject is not merely academic. It is the creative mind-set that drives us to open up an entirely new frontier.

Our strategy is to observe the reality. It is to be close to the actual business scene and the real end user. It is also to be networked globally around businesses. Thereby, we explore the possibility of combining actual needs with emerging technology seeds to deliver big results that propel business growth. At first, we began with the development of a recommender engine and a personalization platform. Soon after that, we defined 3 research domains called “Power”, for empowering systems, such as cloud computing, HPC, “Intelligence”, for utilizing data, as in data science or big data, and “Reality” for enriching experience, as in ubiquitous computing, AR. The 3 domains constitute a unique framework, which is flexible, robust and holistic, so that one research domain always interacts and collaborates with another, and therefore the projects are agile and diversified. In that way, we have promoted unfettered research to generate great value.

Our areas of research are now expanding also into physically-oriented applications, economic predictions, brain science, etc. We are now located in Tokyo, New York and Paris. We also have a plan to launch more research areas and branches. We will keep expanding. Hopefully we will keep bringing new significant insight to e-commerce. Each and every Rakuten Institute of Technology member will keep setting his or her own research goals to push the limits of the business.

We at Rakuten Institute of Technology aim at a variety of research & development contributing to the global business growth. Even if we invent cutting-edge technology inspired by state-of-the-art research, if our attitude is to ask someone to apply that in the actual business after the fact, we will never achieve great results. We laser-focus on the goals for the business. Therefore, we are actively involved in the change of the business system. Run a practical course, inspire the business and unlock the future. That's our mission.

E-commerce on the internet is the front line for the business. And also, Internet is the front line for the knowledge of humanity. They are evolving. It is open ended. It is on the run. We are aware of ourselves continuously as the front-runner on the road where business and knowledge overlap. So, we will keep real research & development here.

We keep running.