Rakuten has opened its first European research and development centre in Paris to add to its research facilities in Tokyo and New York.

The Rakuten Institute of Technology (RIT) Paris lab will look into new innovations to fuel growth in the sector.

Rakuten, which owns Play.com in the UK and runs marketplaces across Europe, the US and Japan, says the research facility focuses on projects which will support the development of the e-commerce industry and aims to provide etailers with innovations to grow their brands.

RIT works on projects related to data analytics, fraud detection, language, recommendation systems, image processing, user interfaces and online-to-offline customer behaviour.

The French location will support Rakuten’s recent expansion in Europe. Chief operations officer Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet said: “The number of qualified engineers and developers in France and Europe is a real asset. Opening an R&D centre in Paris makes perfect sense for Rakuten, and is a fitting acknowledgement of the group’s success in France and across Europe.”

The institute will work alongside the internet service company’s Big Data Group in Paris. There are already a number of RIT labs around the world which have helped the company develop a bespoke analytics tracker, a recommendation engine and ROMA, an open-source key value store.