The EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation and UNIDO ITPO Tokyo jointly organized a hybrid pitching and networking event called “SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY DAY” on 17 February 2023. During this event, six Japanese companies (hereafter referred to as STePP companies) that hold innovative technologies registered on the UNIDO ITPO Tokyo’s Sustainable Technology Promotion Platform (STePP) made pitches about their businesses and technologies with the intention of collaborating with EU companies in Africa. About 60 people attended the event on-site, and over 100 people around the world watched the pitches online.
Given the considerable geographic distance between Japan and Africa, collaborating with EU companies provides Japanese businesses with access to vital network infrastructure for business development. In turn, EU companies can leverage Japanese firms’ innovative and sustainable technologies to bolster their own operations. By enabling the networking between Japanese and EU enterprises, the “SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY DAY” event aimed to contribute to the industrial development of Africa.
Before the pitching session, Mr. Umeda from SORA Technology Co., Ltd. first introduced the company’s malaria control project which utilizes drones and AI in Africa. The event highlighted it as a successful example of a Japanese company working together with EU partners in Africa.
In the subsequent pitching session, the six STePP companies presented their sustainable technologies in the areas of energy, environment, and agribusiness and proposed potential collaborations with EU companies in Africa. A summary of each company’s pitch is as follows.
・AGC Inc.: F-CLEAN® – High Durability Film for Greenhouse STePP page link
F-CLEAN® has a high light transmission, allowing a large amount of sunlight to enter the greenhouse for stable cultivation. It can control the heat and light of solar energy and can be introduced under any weather conditions.
・Mebiol Inc.: “Film” Farming (Imec®) STePP page link
Imec® is a film farming method in which plants are grown on a thin film made of hydrogel. High-quality crops can be grown even on the land unsuitable for agriculture, such as in areas with water shortage or soil contamination.
・Biomass Resin Holdings Co., Ltd. (Mitsui & Co. Plastics Ltd. presented on behalf at this event.): Up-cycled Rice based Plastics “Rice Resin®” STePP page link
Rice Resin® is a Japanese biomass plastic made from inedible rice. Their novel technology can upcycle unsellable rice (crushed rice, damaged rice, old rice, etc.) as well as other organic materials into eco-friendly plastic.
・NEC Corporation: Co-creating Business with Partners to Achieve SDGs in Africa STePP page link
NEC HSS® is a hybrid energy storage solution developed by NEC. This system combines storage batteries, a control system, solar panels, and a diesel generator to enable optimal power usage. It also contributes to reducing diesel fuel and CO2 emissions.
・TBM Co., Ltd.: LIMEX, an Innovative Material made from Limestone – Realizing a “Sustainability Revolution” from Japan to the World StePP page link
LIMEX is an inorganic filler composite material mainly made of limestone. It can be used as an alternative to plastic or paper. The company not only sells the material, but also promotes recycling, contributing to achieving the circular economy.
・Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.: Changing Water Changes Life – Yamaha Clean Water Supply System StePP page link
Many people in the world still do not have access to safe drinking water, and many of them are in Africa. By delivering safe and reliable drinking water using Japanese quality technology, Yamaha will contribute to improving health issues and creating business opportunities.
After the pitching session, individual business meetings were held at each company’s booth, and active interaction between the participants and the STePP companies was observed during the reception that followed.
We received many comments from participants such as: “I was impressed by the innovative technologies of each company”, “I was able to learn about companies and technologies that I had not previously known”, and “I would like to participate in similar events again in the future”.
You can watch the event recording at the below link:
Date: 17 February 2023 (Friday)
Time: Pitching 16:00-17:30; Reception 17:30-19:00 (JST)
– On-site: Delegation of the European Union to Japan, Europa House
(4-6-28 Minamiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0047)
– Online: Zoom
Organized by: The EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation and UNIDO ITPO Tokyo
Language: Japanese-English Simultaneous Interpretation
Participation: Free of charge
This event is particularly relevant for:
– EU companies and their subsidiaries in Japan or emerging countries (Africa, ASEAN, etc.) interested in Japanese sustainable technologies,
– Japanese companies interested in business cooperation with EU companies.
16:00 Opening remarks
Mr. Gelegen Ferda, Officer-in-Charge,
UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Office, Tokyo (UNIDO ITPO Tokyo)
Mr. Fabrizio Mura, Team Leader, EEN Japan, GNSS.Asia and Space.Japan,
EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation
16:00 Success story of a Japanese company working with EU partners in Africa
SORA Malaria Control: Anti-Malaria Infrastructure in Africa with Fixed Wing Drone and AI,
by Mr. Masaki Umeda, Vice Chief Executive Officer, SORA Technology Co., Ltd.
16:20 Pitching session: sustainable technologies developed by Japanese companies
・Dr. Shoko Suzuki, Manager, Sustainability Division, Corporate Planning General Division, AGC Inc.
・Mr. Yoshioka Hiroshi, CEO, Mebiol Inc.
・Ms. Saya Masuda, Manager, Bioplastics Department, Industrial Materials Business Unit, Mitsui&Co. Plastics Ltd.
(on behalf of Biomass Resin Holdings Co., Ltd.)
・Ms. Akari Saeki, Global Relations Department, NEC Corporation
・Mr. Tom Nunomura, Global Sales Leader, LIMEX Business, TBM Co., Ltd.
・Mr. Rhuichi Mototani, Supervisor, Clean Water Group, Business Promotion Division,
Overseas Market Development Operation Business Unit, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.
17:30 Closing remarks
Mr. Luca Escoffier, Project Manager, EU–Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation
Individual company meetings
17:40 – 18:00 Individual company meetings with pitching companies
18:00 – 19:00 Reception and networking