Japanese technology conglomerate Hitachi is set to open a financial technology research laboratory in the US that will focus on blockchain applications.
The research center will open next month in partnership with its technology innovation division based in Silicon Valley, California.
Hitachi indicated that it plans to use the research center as a means to work on initiatives with its customer base. Hitachi operates in a number of industries including IT, consumer electronics and power generation.
Hitachi said in a statement:
"By establishing the Financial Innovation Laboratory in the Silicon Valley, Hitachi will accelerate research [and] development of blockchain technology, collaborative creation with customers, and development of solutions to support business innovation in financial institutions."
The announcement marks the latest step in the company’s move toward blockchain applications. Hitachi is member of the Hyperledger Project, an open-source blockchain initiative overseen by the Linux Foundation, having joined in February of this year.
Senior Hitachi researcher Satoshi Oshima sits on the project’s technical steering committee, and also serves in a leadership capacity in Hitachi's internal blockchain efforts. That committee appointed its first chair last month and recently heard a proposal submitted by developers for JPMorgan.