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Advancing Open Innovation, Accelerating the Creation of New Business, Products and Services – Establishment of Dedicated “Innovation Centers” in Japan and Europe –
(May 10, 2019)
Kubota Corporation (Headquarters: Naniwa-ku, Osaka, Japan; President and Representative Director: Masatoshi Kimata; hereinafter referred to as “Kubota”) is establishing Innovation Centers in Japan and Europe as organs for the creation of new business ventures, products, and services in Kubota’s fields of business including agriculture and construction. Working together with external partners, the Innovation Centers will advance open innovation for proactive engagement with ICT, AI, and other advanced technologies, and accelerate the creation of new business, products, and services.
1. Background and Aims
・To date, Kubota has pursued the development of products responsive to the needs of customers mainly through specialized development departments for each of its product lines, such as agricultural machinery and construction machinery, working in partnership with an in-house research and development department in charge of advanced technologies and component technologies. At present Kubota is developing and strengthening its research and development bases both within Japan and internationally to respond to business globalization and product line expansion.
・At the same time, in order to respond to changing customer needs such as the rising awareness of food safety, environmental conservation, and other aspects of social sustainability, the company needs to deliver new forms of value such as “system solutions” utilizing ICT, AI, and other advanced technologies, beyond the existing product lines. These technologies are evolving at an increasingly rapid pace, and in order to engage with them in a timely manner it is essential to pursue partnerships (open innovation) with venture businesses, companies in other industries, universities, research institutes, and other external partners.
・It is for this purpose that Kubota is establishing its new Innovation Centers, which will take the lead in planning and proposing new business activities, products, and services that transcend existing boundaries between different product lines, promote open innovation through investment in and joint research with external partners, and seek to create new forms of value that surpass customers’ expectations.
・In order to respond attentively to regional needs, Innovation Centers will be established in both Japan and Europe. The company will also consider establishing centers in other regions in the future.
2. Outline of the New Organization