Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Industry sector: Information technology, electronics

Headquartered in Tokyo, NEC is a leading provider of IT solutions, network solutions and electronic devices. It is committed to the continued development and improvement of its products: one such success story is its fingerprint technology, which was first commercialised in 1982 and has since been consistently fine tuned to become a security system of choice for both law enforcement and identity management in North America, Europe and Asia. A collaborative approach to R&D has seen it further the advancement of the OpenFlow systems that support the operations of complex data networks; it has also teamed up with Panasonic, NTT Docomo and Fujitsu to launch large-scale integration chips for modems in mobile devices. NEC has a flair for extracting maximum value from its 64,000-strong patent portfolio and has been strategically selling off underutilised assets: most recently, it sold $122 million’s worth of display-panel related patents to Taiwanese electronics outfit Hon Hai.