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Innovation Management

In addition to constructing a cross-Group research network, we will leverage open innovation to create social value and business growth.

The Goals We Should Aim For

The Minatomirai and Keihanna research centers will be our core R&D facilities. In addition to materials, components, devices, equipment and systems, and software R&D divisions within the Group, we are constructing a global research network with regard to production process technologies. This will stimulate open innovation making active use of external collaborations, and will contribute to business growth and to the advancement of society. Going forward, we will reinforce development of new products and technologies designed to seize business opportunities in such advanced sectors as 5G, the IoT, ADAS, energy management, and digital health care. We will also move forward with research into the use of AI and robots to boost productivity.
Kyocera has inherited the DNA of our founder, Kazuo Inamori, who once said, “What we want to do next is something that people told me we would never be able to do.” We will persist in our unique manufacturing, and continue to be a pioneer that creates new value and is always at the cutting edge.

R&D

Examples of Open Innovation

Autonomous Bus Driving System

The Kyocera Group is participating in the Mobility Innovation Consortium led by East Japan Railway Company (JR East), testing autonomous bus driving technologies for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in the JR East area.
Kyocera is working to develop a system that supports autonomous and safe driving by collecting and transmitting dynamic information around the vehicle, such as the position of pedestrians and automobiles, acting as a cooperative autonomous driving and driving safety support system. We aim to create new value by providing technology to this consortium built on the participation of multiple companies.

BRT self-driving bus (Image courtesy of JTEKT Corporation)
BRT self-driving bus (Image courtesy of JTEKT Corporation)

Regional Energy Management

The Kyocera Group is carrying out joint research with Hioki Regional Energy Co., Ltd. and Hitachi Power Solutions Co., Ltd. on microgrid energy management in the city of Hioki, Kagoshima Prefecture. Through joint research based on collaboration between these three companies and Hioki City, the aim is to achieve regional decarbonation via the local production and consumption of renewable energy, to expand regional economic circulation via local power companies, and to implement electric power supply and demand technologies that will help to supply power when a disaster strikes.
In this joint research project, Kyocera was responsible for installing industrial storage batteries and developing an Energy Management System (EMS) for regional electric power. Hitachi Power Solutions Co., Ltd., which designed and constructed the existing microgrids, was in charge of designing the storage battery system, while Hioki Regional Energy Co., Ltd. operated the system. Demonstration tests are scheduled to begin in February 2021.
The co-creation between Hioki Regional Energy Co., Ltd., which is an electricity retailer and specified electricity transmission and distribution utility, and Hitachi Power Solutions Co., Ltd., which possesses the technology required for microgrid design and construction, has led to the early implementation of the Kyocera Group’s electric power supply and demand management technologies.
Through this joint research, all three companies are contributing to the vibrant urban development of municipalities such as Hioki City by providing a stable electricity supply through the local production of renewable energy for local consumption and expanding regional economic cycles.

Conceptual Diagram of Joint Research Demonstration Tests
Conceptual Diagram of Joint Research Demonstration Tests

Cell Preparations for Knee Osteoarthritis

The Kyocera Group has entered a technical collaboration and licensing agreement in Japan with the Australian company Regeneus Ltd. regarding cell preparations for knee osteoarthritis. Based on this agreement, we have acquired the exclusive right to develop, manufacture and sell this technology, which is owned by Regeneus Ltd., in Japan. We will move forward with the adoption and development of cell therapy technologies, and respond to the various medical care issues, also known as unmet medical needs, of patients with knee osteoarthritis. The technology developed by Regeneus Ltd. (hereafter referred to as “this cell therapy technology”) enables allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells to be formulated into a cell preparation using the company’s proprietary manufacturing methods. After approximately ten years of research and development, an early clinical test in Australia for patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis has been completed with promising results, and we hope to be able to apply this technology to meet the needs of wider society as soon as possible. (From press release published on August 18, 2020*1)
Kyocera identified this new cell preparation technology as a non-surgical alternative to surgical knee arthroplasty for patients receiving treatment for knee osteoarthritis. We believe that this will expand options for patients and enable them to choose the treatment method that best meets their needs. Research and development of pharmaceutical products generally takes 10 years or more, and the probability of successful commercialization is estimated to be approximately 1 in 25,000.* 2
The use of open innovation for this technology has contributed to a significant shortening of the development period and improving the probability of success. In addition, the process of technology transfer has served as a starting point for building up know-how relating to cell formulation within our company.

Technical collaboration on cell preparation with Australian company Regeneus Ltd.

Food Allergy Project

Kyocera launched the New Business Idea Startup Program in December 2018. This initiative solicits new business ideas from within the company and is engaged in the creation of a new Kyocera. One project that is in the process of commercialization through the New Business Idea Startup Program is the Food Allergy Project. Many people with food allergies are unable to eat out or face difficulties when traveling and eating school meals. This project aims to create a world in which these people can relax and enjoy eating delicious food with friends and family.

Solving a social issue by developing and commercializing an app and IoT device