The Innovation Center is an R&D department in Yokogawa mainly responsible for innovation activities that target an uncertain, unpredictable future for which new business opportunities are sought.
The Innovation Center started as the Research and Development Department in 1971 and has led R&D activities in Yokogawa. After being renamed as the Central Research Laboratory, Technology Development Headquarters, and Research and Development Headquarters, the organization changed its name to the Innovation Headquarters in 2012, reflecting its focus on not only basic research but also innovative research toward commercial business. In 2015, the organization was placed under the control of the Marketing Headquarters to strengthen commercialization and other strategies, and was renamed the Innovation Center. The Center has continued not only business-oriented research but also basic research with a view to future possibilities.
Innovation Center's Mission
The Innovation Center defines its mission as a contribution to creating value for customers by engaging multiple organizations inside and outside the company including customers (co-creation).
Innovation Center's Three Operational Policies – Technology planning toward a possible future –
- Create innovation scenarios through co-creation and reflect them in the R&D activities.
- Link the R&D activities to the business incubation and acquire necessary technologies.
- Create a structure that enables continuous R&D and technology acquisition and develop human resources.
Innovation Center's Activity Areas and Research Themes
As a future insight activity, Yokogawa has drawn up a future scenario by using the scenario planning technique, which supposes a high possibility of the shortage of food, energy, and water in the near future. Based on this insight, the Innovation Center has defined its main activity areas as life, energy, and material. These three areas are also defined as the business focus areas in Yokogawa's long-term business framework. The figure below shows the major R&D themes in each area.
Yokogawa’s Innovation Center is dedicated to research and development for an uncertain, unpredictable future. Its Head and Managers talk about the present and future of the Center.
Roundtables on the research at the Innovation Center
The Innovation Center focuses on the three areas of biology, energy, and materials, which are the business areas targeted in Yokogawa’s long-term business framework.
Yokogawa has tailored a story of the future that aims at what Yokogawa can contribute.