Innovation and dedication for half-a-century of success

Kyocera Corporation

04 May 2009

KYOTO – The Japanese technology corporation, Kyocera, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Technical ceramics, also known as fine ceramics, is the company's original and primary area of expertise. Early on, Kyocera's founder, Dr. Kazuo Inamori, recognised that these materials would become a key part in future technologies. Today, Kyocera is one of the major suppliers of fine ceramic components to the information technology and communications industries world-wide. The company is also a leading manufacturer in the solar energy sector. In the 50 years that the Kyocera Corporation has been in operation, it has never once posted a financial loss.

Caption: Kazuo Inamori with his employees at the company’s founding (third row, sixth from left).


Fifty years ago, on 1 April 1959 in Kyoto, Kazuo Inamori and 27 fellow colleagues established Kyoto Ceramics Co., Ltd. with starting capital of some 3 million yen (today roughly 10 thousand US dollars). Later, the words Kyoto and ceramics would be merged to form the current name, "Kyocera," and the size of the company's personnel has since increased from the initial 28 to roughly 60,000 employees world-wide. The Kyocera Group now consists of more than 200 subsidiaries located around the world with an annual turnover of 8.68 billion Euros in fiscal year 2008/ 2009.
A half-a-century ago, the company began producing fine ceramic components. Since then, it has become famous as a pioneer and specialist in this field. The company's first product was a U-shaped ceramic insulator that was used with early television picture tubes. Since then, Kyocera's product range has grown to include more than several 10.000 different items; from solar cells to ready-to-use solar modules, printers and document imaging solutions, LCDs, cutting tools for the metal-working industry, microelectronics components to kitchen knives with ceramic blades. Kyocera is represented in Germany by two independent companies, KYOCERA Fineceramics GmbH in Neuss and Esslingen, and KYOCERA MITA Deutschland GmbH in Meerbusch.
The company's success story is based on striving to be an innovative leader that continually creates value by realising the most modern of technologies and decisively advancing technical developments. Kyocera expresses this driving commitment with its slogan, "The New Value Frontier." The company's aim is to develop environmentally-friendly products and technologies that contribute significantly to improving quality of life. The dedicated work of every single one of the Kyocera Group’s employees is based on this goal, and this mindset is an important engine of growth for the company.
Kyocera is also dedicated to promoting cultural activities. One such activity is support for the Inamori Foundation, which was established by and named after Kyocera founder Kazuo Inamori. The foundation annually awards the internationally recognized Kyoto Prize, which is presented to honour superior researchers and artists for their extraordinary contributions to humankind and society. With a grant of presently 400,000 Euros per category, the Kyoto Prize is one of the most distinguished awards in the world. Among the prize winners are choreographer Pina Bausch and philosopher Jürgen Habermas.
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