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 now speeding up collaborative innovation using co-creation with outside parties led by industry-government-academia partnerships 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 predict needs that will arise 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 tasks they need to take on.
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 speed up the realization of successes from this shared creation by focusing on training human resources through internships at Daikin worldwide sales, production, and R&D bases.
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.
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.
With regards to information-based tie-ups, the Daikin Information Science Research Unit (Di-CHiLD) was established. Work at Di-CHiLD includes developing technologies for controlling sleep and study environments with the goal of expanding solutions for air and space; and developing engineering workload reduction technologies, such as air conditioner automatic selection technology and position sensing technology, which are aimed at expanding business from air conditioner sales to the design of air conditioning and spaces. Technologies have already been successfully developed through joint research themes and many are in the patent application process.
In fiscal 2019, we solicited new ideas for research themes on air and spaces and for the vision and social implementation that Osaka University would like to pursue in the future 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.* Meanwhile, we have established technology and moved into the demonstration phase for commercialization concerning six themes of research conducted to date.
This facility will continue acquiring and advancing core technologies in chemistry and air conditioning by expanding its organization to include areas such as machinery, construction, and information.
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 capture, decomposition and reuse technologies into practical use and to further increase the efficiency of air conditioners. In addition, they will develop talent in collaborative innovation through joint research.
June 2013, Daikin Industries, Ltd. and Kyoto University concluded a comprehensive collaboration agreement with the goal of creating and researching new themes focusing on social values toward future-oriented solutions in the fields of air quality, environment, and energy.
As a new initiative building up our previous interdisciplinary collaboration, we began creating scenarios for air and space-related solutions together with the Kokoro Research Center and Center for the Promotion of Interdisciplinary Education and Research as well as Kyoto University Original Co., Ltd., which was established in 2018 to promote open innovation. Moreover, we have begun specific evaluations of materials in the fields of air conditioning and fluorocarbons as an initiative that can be implemented in society at an early stage.
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 2019, we launched new activities to generate themes using public solicitation, with 12 themes submitted as joint research into environmentally conscious surface function materials. We also conducted feasibility studies* on three of these themes.
In November 2012, Daikin signed an agreement with Kansai University to collaborate fully on ways to contribute to communities in education, research, and human resource development. Through this collaboration, we are offering free lectures on fluorine and helping accelerate joint research. In September 2016, we established a base in the Center for Innovation & Creativity of Kansai University in order to accelerate joint research with the university's science and technology departments in areas such as battery materials.
Using the equipment of the Center for Innovation & Creativity, Daikin is now working on applied analysis using equipment it does not have access to otherwise and examining alongside technicians from the center ways to establish new analysis technologies.
We will continue to seek ways to create new value, not just in the sciences but in the arts as well.
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 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.
Looking ahead, Daikin will continue with collaboration aimed at extending healthy life expectancy.
In addition, in 2019, we concluded an agreement with RIKEN's subsidiary RIKEN Innovation Co., Ltd. with the aim of implementing the outcomes of R&D and creating innovation.
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