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.
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).
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 biology, 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.
Innovation Center's Activity Areas and Research Themes
Our aim is to provide cell culture systems integrating our proprietary technology that can be used as a bio production platform for everything from R&D laboratories to manufacturing plants.
Our aim is to quickly determine microbial contamination in food and other products by using high-sensitive fluorescence measurement technology that we have developed over the years, and a newly developed non-label gene analysis device.
Our aim is to contribute to the realization of regenerative medicine at an early stage by realizing the stable production of high-function cellular tissues through the development of in-line quality control technology, as well as technology to realize the high functionality of cellular tissues.
Yokogawa will improve the productivity of peptide drugs by using continuous flow chemosynthesis and in-line measurement as core technologies.
Our aim is to realize the efficient operation of energy storage systems through technology based on the diagnosis of the condition of lithium-ion batteries.
Our aim is to use augmented reality technology together with mobile technology to reduce human error at manufacturing plants, as well as to improve the safety and operational efficiency at the workplace.
Our aim is to create value through the optimal operation of entire factories by using data-driven modeling technology to automatically model the characteristics of equipment.
In the field of equipment management, to support production sites dealing with the problem of losing skilled engineers who have contributed to maintaining the high availability of equipment, Yokogawa is developing an anomaly detection technology equivalent to that of skilled engineers, and promoting its development.
Yokogawa is developing a noncontact pipe-defect monitoring technology to manage the health of pipes. It is possible to provide a system that constantly monitors pipe defects by connecting a sensor capable of noncontact measurement of defects to a wireless network.
Our aim is to realize a health diagnostic tool for plants and social infrastructure such as bridges, tunnels, and other large structures by using optical fiber sensor.
Yokogawa has developed a sensor that can be simply attached to a conducting cable to measure the current, eliminating the need to clamp the cable.
Yokogawa is developing sensor systems using printing technology with the aim of realizing a wide variety of thin sensors that are flexible and can be installed in large areas.
By using molecular spectroscopy, Yokogawa is developing a sensor that can perform in-line measurement of the physical and chemical properties of various things. Such a sensor will help achieve optimum operation and quality control in the fields of fine-chemical processes, foods, agriculture, and health care.
Yokogawa is helping to build a sustainable society by developing a measurement system that uses a MEMS wavelength tunable laser light source.