This, Omron's corporate philosophy, is at the heart of what we believe. Since our founding in 1933, our goal has been to create products that free up time for further innovation and design.
Innovation is at the core of Omron. Our founder, Kazuma Tateishi, was an inventor. In 1933 he came up with the world's first 1/20 DIN timer for x-ray machines. This timer became Omron's first product. Further innovations followed in our corporation's history. 1960 ushered in the invention of the world's first solid state proximity switch. Omron then went on to invent the world's first ATM in 1978. In our recent history, our invention of the first micro machined relay (MMR) stands out. Omron has valued the importance of creativity over the years; it is deeply entwined in our corporate culture. With R & D centers in the U.S., Japan, Singapore, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Germany, and with 7% of our global revenues invested in R & D, we continue to carry on this tradition of innovation.
Design engineers should be given the opportunity and latitude to create. In this spirit, Omron is sponsoring the Design News Engineering Awards' second Global In- novation Award. The year 2000 marks the ninth consecutive year of Omron's sponsorship of the Engineering Education Foundation's awards program. The Global Innovation Award honor will be presented to the appropriate engineer at the company that best demonstrates how they designed a specific product for the global marketplace and effectively dealt with international standards, cultural differences, and other global issues. The winner will receive a $5,000 technology award from Omron and a $15,000 grant to designate to the engineering school of his or her choice.
Engineering education is key to raising up the next generation of design engineers. Along with the Design News Global Innovation Award, Omron continues to provide other scholarships and awards for students. Education has laid the foundation for the engineers who create our industrial automation and control component products. Their strong educational background has helped Omron become the $5 billion company it is. Education impacts each engineer we have in 65 countries around the world. Their challenge, like yours, is to design for the global marketplace.
As design engineers, you are continuously looking for solutions with your innovations. Omron is proud to support the men and women who are looking to be these solution providers. In fact, at Omron, we feel that's one of our strengths—providing a complete solution for our customers. We realize that in today's world connectivity is key. Omron seeks to connect the world through our innovation and full product solutions. And we encourage you to do the same.