New Value Creation
Today, the rapid evolution in digitalization is greatly transforming the very structure of industry and society. This urgently requires that we shift to a business model with an eye toward a market focused on consumer sovereignty shifting from the consumption of goods to the consumption of experiences.
Daikin is taking up the challenge to achieve co-creative innovation through industry-government-academia partnerships by defining co-creation as the comprehensive intiatives, which involve deep interaction between the tops, managers, and team members of two organizations to encourage everyone in working together in considering topics from the very core question, therefore leading to the creation of new value, to move away from a full in-house development in preparation for the coming digital age.
With the aim of creating new business that contributes to solving social issues around the world, Daikin is focusing on tie-ups with universities in Japan and other countries. In fiscal 2018, we signed a "University Corporate Relations Agreement" with the University of Tokyo for a 10-year partnership with investment of approximately 10 billion yen.
This agreement comprises three shared creation projects: tie-ups with business ventures with the aim of early market application; shared creation future vision leading to SDGs and Society 5.0*; and creation of futuristic technologies centered on advancing core technologies and creating new value. For example, for shared creation future vision, we will establish the vision for making air more valuable in the future, and come up with the technologies and businesses needed to create this value, in the process allowing both the University of Tokyo and Daikin to clarify the research tasks they need to take on.
In addition, the main feature of this agreement is the full-fledged exchange of human resources between the two parties. The University of Tokyo instructors and students, entrepreneurs, and Daikin employees can go freely between the organizations of the agreement parties with the aim of sharing knowledge, conducting joint research, and building career paths. Another aim is to accelerate mutual human resource exchange and achieve successes from shared creation by conducting global internships at Daikin worldwide sales, production, and R&D bases and providing assistance to the globalization and fostering global human resources at the Univeristy of Tokyo. As an example, we conduct joint training camp every year with the research lab of Professor Sakata (Technology Management Information Engineering), who is serving as a Daikin fellow, through which we aim to steadily promote the theme via active discussions.
Currently, we are developing a prediction system for future market and technological trends using technology informatics taught as part of the social-collaborative seminars held at the Sakata Lab. In addition, this also links to the acceleration in the advance of technologies such as frost prevention utilizing the cutting-edge technology.
Interview survey at a air conditioner sales outlet in Thailand
In fiscal 2016, Daikin established the Daikin Collaboration Research Institute at Osaka University. This institute is developing new materials, new processes, and processing technologies related to the air conditioner business and has yielded results through its efforts to date in materials and procedure development in the environmental field.
This collaboration comes up with themes on revolutionary technologies and major themes with far-reaching implications, making use of Osaka University's state-of-the-art analysis equipment and technologies, such as the world-renowned Joining and Welding Research Institute, to tackle problems from a medium-to-long-term perspective and with a view to application across numerous fields.
In fiscal 2020, we solicited new ideas for research themes on air and spaces from students attending all schools of Osaka University. Until now, Daikin has collaborated with a wide range of departments at the university including not only chemistry, engineering and information and computer sciences, but also humanities, ethnology, pharmaceutical science and dentistry, to conduct feasibility studies.* With regard to the future target value and vision that we will work together with Osaka University to achieve, our business departments and TIC have invited input for business ideas, and conducted workshops involving students of the Innovators Club and research lab of humanities and social science disciplines from the perspective of advanced technology for information science. We have formulated three main pillars of "Infrasharing," "Mass customization of environment," and "Digital Twin City" for achieving the vision of "Leading the Future of People and Space." Meanwhile, we have established technology and moved into the demonstration phase, while continuing to evaluate the commercialization concerning six themes of research conducted to date.
We established the Daikin Information Science Research Unit (Di-CHiLD), and developed the controlling technology for sleep and learning environment aimed at expanding our Air and Space Solutions Business, as well as engineering workload reduction technologies such as air conditioner automatic selection and position detection aimed at expanding the Air Conditioner and Space Design Business from sales of air conditioners. We have established these technologies that started out as joint research themes, and are in the process of multiple patent applications.
Currently, we are conducting theme development activities, which also involve business departments, with universities and hospitals as two target markets. For universities, we added sensing and control as the new themes with installation of displacement ventilation air conditioners and density alert system based on traffic sensing to provide a safe and secure space, and energy management through traffic-sensor based on air conditioning and lighting. In addition, we are in the progress of deliberating materializing the business of providing an entire building with the addition of POC* for new air conditioners as a theme for large and open spaces.
We are conducting a large verification experiment at the New Minoh Campus, School of Foreign Studies, Osaka University that just opened in April 2021. The experiment involves the concept of interaction between multitude of people, knowledge and culture, and is conducted in a safe and secure space with consideration for COVID-19, including verification testing on whole building energy management.
Daikin WITH, brochure highlighting case examples of co-creation
We worked with the Joining and Welding Research Institute, which possesses the world's leading technology, on the development of technology for sophisticated manufacturing and differentiation elements for the air conditioning business, and worked on creating an innovative foundamental technology for fluorochemicals as well as strived to take full advantage of Osaka University's cutting-edge analytical devices and technology for the chemicals business. Moreover, we have also successfully implemented strategy human resources exchange, examplified by the design that launched the interdisciplinary program by professor Ogoshi (a program that fosters innovative human resources that enhances both specialized and general skills, which involves all of Osaka University's PhD students, including from humanities disciplines), the core leader of Organic Chemistry department, and cross-appointment of professor Fujita of the Design and Systems Engineering department.
We implement a training program for outstanding students of the School of Information Science and Technology at Osaka University (PhD students). We also conduct an internship program, which incorporates learning about challenges that may arise when using information technologies such as AI, IoT, and Big Data, and aims to cultivate human resources with practical skills through real life learning using actual data.
The leading researcher program receives corporate funding from the phase of fundamental research with an anticipation for advanced research results from these outstanding, young researchers, on future research themes that are not feasible by the university or corporation alone. We are contemplating the theme of the estimation system for body composition (body fat ratio) that can be useful in the sports gym business of the Defense Systems Division.
The cultivation of information science and technology engineers by the Daikin Information and Communications Technology College is getting accelerated with an upward revision of the initial target for lecture attendees from 1,000 people by fiscal 2021 to 1,500 people by fiscal 2023. Furthermore, for challenging tasks of the PBL* theme, we are inviting professors of Osaka University frequently to the TIC to conduct office hours for detailed instruction in order to solve the challenges.
For our diversity initiatives (female participation promotion), we have been implementing the innovation female participation promotion program, reception with female graduate students, and career advancement support program during childcare leaves. Given considerations for the COVID-19 pandemic, we are continuing with the implementation of symposiums via virtual meetings. In addition, we are conducting an online festival to entice more high school girls to consider studying the sciences.
Daikin began an comprehensive collaboration with Kyoto University in June 2013 with the aim of value creation through integrating humanities with sciences. Since then, we have worked on creating themes related to air and space primarily led by the Center for the Promotion of Interdisciplinary Education and Research, as well as implemented projects involving researchers in the humanities and sciences departments, such as the "100 people world café," where we launched the program of "800 keywords on the value of air." In addition, our collaboration also contributed to the creation of themes for joint research that played a part in the existing businesses of Daikin Industries, Ltd. as well as involved collaboration and exchange centered on cutting-edge technology that will transform our mainstay businesses of air condtioning and chemicals business.
In April 2021, we re-started our comprehensive collaboration under the new keyword of "well-being (a society for better living)" on subjects such as healthcare (healthcare-industry collaboration) based on DNA search using Nagahama Cohort, utilization of cutting-edge technology, collaboration in the fields of energy and cold chain, Asia and African area studies, and utilization of ventures.
In fiscal 2020, we began initiatives on next-generation batteries (solid-state batteries and fluoride ion batteries).
Through the co-creative process with the research lab, we were able to develop a network with automobile and battery manufactures, as well as gain a wealth of knowledge on batteries, in addition to materials, which contribute to creating a structure for our future business.
Moreover, we have set healthcare-industry collaboration and smart campus as our new domains, while we plan to re-start comprehensive collaboration in April 2021.
In March 2020, Doshisha University and Daikin concluded a comprehensive collaboration agreement with the goal of conducting practical R&D on the theme of environmental issues. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions through its businesses, Daikin will harness the practical academic research capabilities for use in real society of Doshisha University, which aims to use academic outcomes to benefit society, along with the university's proprietary environmental technologies and expertise in related fields. Both parties will work to put CO2 decomposition and reuse technologies into practical use and to further increase the efficiency of air conditioners that integrates technologies of mechanics, eletronics, and materials. In addition, they will develop talent in collaborative innovation through joint research.
We are conducting research on the technology to reduce CO2 emissions utilizing Doshisha University's molten salt electrolysis technology and Daikin's fluorine technology. Specifically, we are studying the decomposition and reusage of CO2 to turn CO2 into chemicals and materials via electrolysis for reuse, such as in fuels. We have confirmed that CO2 can generate useful compounds as the joint-research is progressing and results are beginning to show.
We launched a technology theme aimed at developing environmentally conscious technologies and products through making air conditioners more efficient. We are conducting research on the themes of motor structure and inverter control as well as elucidating the corrosive mechanism of heat exchangers for corrosion resistance.
We launched the pilot program of FD in fiscal 2020 in preparation for the full implementation of human resources cultivation in fiscal 2021. FD is a program for developing new technology and product ideas based on the prediction of future changes in society and technological advances. Participants of the program consisted of 18 Doshisha University students and eight junior Daikin employees, who were divided into five groups to conduct prototyping of new technologies and products. The training proved to be fruitful as both the students and young employees were about to gain a new perspective and awareness from their different points of view.
Future design exercise
In 2003, the Tsinghua University-Daikin R&D Center was established at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China's top universities. Since then, Daikin and the university have worked together to jointly develop air conditioner technologies.
In fiscal 2016, the parties began collaborating in the chemical field as well. The center will expand into environmental fields such as air and water quality and energy, as it carries out research with top-level scientists aimed at solving environmental problems.
In fiscal 2018, through participation in the University Industry Collaboration Committee (UICC), we built a strong network with Tsinghua University professors. We will utilize this network and our collaboration with the university as we carry out efforts to advance our R&D bases in China, including our base in Shenzhen.
In July 2020, professor Xudong Yang assumed the position of the president and chairman of Tsinghua University-Daikin R&D Center. Professor Yang is an expert in architecture and IAQ, and has the background of serving as a fellow in the U.S. and China. Given the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, Daikin has established specific theme and further specified and presented its awareness of issues, from the regulations on air conditioning and ventilation, to verification of the effect of sterilization technology, and the technology to visualize the air and space quality to give users peace of mind.
In addition to the Technical Group at TIC, we are also involving the Shanghai R&D team as well as company-wide project in order to determine a co-creative theme for consideration that will be adopted for commercialization and product application. In addition to development of new products, we are making efforts from a wide perspective that will lead to our business results, including developing guidelines for making the actual living space safe and secure.
Moreover, Tsinghua University, Daikin Industries, Ltd., and Daikin Fluorochemicals China Co., Ltd. are conducting joint research with the aim of putting fluorine materials to practical use in EV batteries as well as in environment-conscious vehicles (EVs, FCVs, etc.)
Daikin began a comprehensive collaboration with Tottori University in May 2021 with the aim of promoting programs such as the arid land research and healthcare research through collaboration between healthcare, industry, and agriculture. The program involves research projects such as the air conditioning solution research at Tottori University's Arid Dome, the only arid land research facility in Japan, and healthcare related research on stress reduction effect verification with the Fungus/Mushroom Resource and Research Center. In addition, we make use of the global training facility of Ales Aoya located in Tottori Prefecture to conduct active interaction between researchers and students of Tottori University as well as fostering human resources capabe of addressing issues on the themes related to global arid lands.
In October 2016, Daikin Industries Ltd. teamed up with RIKEN, Japan's only comprehensive research institution dedicated to the natural sciences, to launch the RIKEN-DAIKIN Wellness Life Collaboration Program. Under the theme of comfortable and healthy spaces, the program is working on research to extend healthy life expectancy.
In June 2017, the partners established the RIKEN BDR-Daikin Collaboration Center for joint research into creating spaces that prevent fatigue. In November 2017, test facilities were established at RIKEN's Integrated Innovation Building (IIB) in Kobe for clinical research investigating matters such as how certain levels of temperature and humidity affect levels of fatigue. Data on the impacts on fatigue caused by air environment obtained in the winter of 2017 was presented in May 2018 at a meeting of the Japanese Society of Fatigue Science.
In addition, in 2019, we concluded a co-creation agreement with RIKEN's subsidiary RIKEN Innovation Co., Ltd. Going forward, we will continue to strive to extend healthy life expectancy through collaboration.
As a co-creative theme in 2020, we participated in the COVID-19 Droplets Research Program using supercomputer Fugaku. We aim to establish a safe and secure space design with simulation of ventilation method (airflow), airflow distribution, indoor air pressure, and air cleanliness, in order to faciliate implementation of the research and development and create innovation and not merely stopping at the simulation of droplets and airflow.
Since 2015, we have begun collaboration with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in all technological fields in aiming to resolve the technical challenges we embrace at Daikin. With the establishment of game-changing new technology as our long-term collaboration theme, we are harnessing the strengths of AIST in social implementation and standardizaion in developing and standardizing the magnetic refrigeration HP development as a new technology with the most likelihood to achieve non-fluorocarbon heat pumps, as well as developing the new concept of "healthy air" in which functions of health improving effects can be instilled into the air.
In October 2012, Daikin Industries, Ltd. and the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) established the Future Joint Research Laboratories. In conventional agreements between industry and academia, the corporation generally names the project content and the university carries out the necessary project research. But this collaboration between Daikin and NAIST begins with a quest for pressing social issues, followed by discussions on how to solve them and then the start of research toward this goal.
In fiscal 2020, we launched a new project aimed at inspiring large themes such that will foundamentally transform the conventional framework. Our goal is to create a science and technology theme that combines the strengths in Information Science, Biological Science, and Material Science at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology.
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