Idemitsu Kosan Co.,Ltd. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director and CEO: Shunichi Kito; hereinafter, “the company”), has decided to invest in an open innovation evergreen fund, managed by Emerald Technology Ventures, a Swiss clean technology-focused venture capital organization (Headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland; hereafter Emerald). In addition, the company has decided to establish a new open innovation promotion base in Switzerland. The company strengthens it’s efforts to accelerate innovations with start-up companies not only in Japan but around the world. Efforts will also be strengthened to develop technologies that can contribute to expand growth businesses and to create next-generation business and to the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG).
The Emerald fund portfolio focuses on industrial innovations in both material chemistry and clean technologies that can help resolve social issues with improvements to energy efficiencies and reductions in carbon dioxide levels. The company’s investment in this evergreen fund and the creation of a partnership with Emerald will realize new synergies that play on Emerald’s technological expertise and market insight, as well as Emerald’s access to start-up companies in North America, Europe and Israel, together with the company’s existing technologies and cultivated business networks. Those synergies will in turn lead to the creation of a resilient business portfolio that can flexibly and tenaciously respond to changes in business conditions by incorporating technological innovations from start-up companies.
To further accelerate global open innovations, the company also plans to establish a European open innovation promotion base in the Swiss canton of Basel-Stadt.
The company’s Medium-term Management Plan (FY2020-2022) focuses on promoting "Expansion of growth businesses*" and "Creation of next-generation businesses**" to realize a resilient business portfolio that can flexibly and resiliently respond to changes in business conditions. This is based on the company's vision for 2030 that includes "Structural changes to energy demand," "Advancement of technological innovation," and "Changing lifestyles and demands from society." There are also aims to build a business platform suited to the needs of society, as well as promote efforts to set quantitative reduction targets for GHG as specific targets for increasing harmony with the global environment, and to meet those set targets. The resolution of these focus issues will not only involve a reliance on the superlative synergies that result from the associated technologies our corporate group has already developed, but will also stress the promotion of open innovations that build on external technologies and ideas.
The company is taking on the challenge of creating new values through the promotion of global open innovation.
* Growth businesses are the company’s functional material businesses which include lubricants, advanced materials & performance chemicals, Electronic materials, agri-bio products, and all-solid lithium-ion rechargeable battery materials and renewable energy businesses.
** Next-generation businesses are new businesses which the company is aiming to create with an eye on social changes, diversifying customer needs, lessening environment impact, such as decentralized energy business and circular business.