Innovation Examples

Creating business value and fostering a new corporate culture through digital transformation

To accelerate value creation, the MCHC Group promotes digital transformation (DX) across all operations, from R&D to manufacturing and supply chain management.

Three strategies to realize DX

The Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings (MCHC) Group approach to DX is centered on three principal strategies.
First, we are optimizing operations across the full range of MCHC Group businesses. For example, we are digitalizing global supply chain communications in the MMA business, enabling dependable product supply to customers worldwide even when market conditions fluctuate. In other businesses, we leverage production plant data to reduce downtime and improve product quality, and we apply AI-based technologies to increase product development efficiency.
Second, we are creating new business models. We use digital technology to create new customer touch points and foster customer engagement in product development. The results are propelling the MCHC Group beyond the traditional B2B model by providing novel solutions to customers and making supply chains more dependable and resilient.
Finally, we are developing and applying technologies, such as quantum computing, that hold the potential to revolutionize business and R&D processes. These activities will enable the MCHC Group to remain a digital leader within our industry and adapt to market changes more quickly than our competitors.

Global MMA supply network linked via digital technologies

Promoting MCHC Group-wide DX through “MCHC Methods”

The MCHC Group has developed unique approaches to digitalization that can be leveraged by all companies of the Group, in businesses ranging from chemicals to healthcare services. Through these “MCHC Methods,” we promote greater familiarity with digital technologies and enable closer collaborations. In addition, to keep employees up to date on the latest digital applications, we off¬er a DX training program and machine learning project workshops covering 12 essential topics.
There is now a renewed appreciation of the importance of DX in responding and adapting to “black swan” events like the COVID-19 pandemic. While the outlook surrounding the pandemic is uncertain, the Group is prepared to take on any future challenges by establishing a more resilient business model and integrating both in-person and online communications.

Creating new business opportunities through corporate venture partnerships and investments

Recognizing that strategic partnerships with promising startups can create opportunities for business growth, the MCHC Group established a global venture capital network based in Tokyo, Japan and Silicon Valley, California.

Creating business growth for both the MCHC Group and our startup partners

The MCHC Group has much to off¬er our startup partners, including access to markets, manufacturing at scale, resources, and capital. Our deep connection with business units across the Group ensures that our startup partnerships yield powerful business synergies. Beyond our investments, we have facilitated more than 70 collaborations between select startups and MCHC Group business units, leading to numerous successful proof-of-concept demonstrations.

Corporate venture capital investment through Diamond Edge Ventures, Inc. (DEV)

Even in long-established industries, startup partnerships can ignite revolutionary change. DEV was established to tap into this rich international source of innovation and help create the MCHC Group of tomorrow. We partner with and invest in startups directly related to our current businesses, and we also explore emerging areas to create the next pillar of growth for the MCHC Group.

Startup investments by Diamond Edge Ventures, Inc. (As of March 31, 2020)

Startup partner Specialty and scope of collaboration Comments from startup partner
DigiLens, Inc.
United States
Specialty:Enabling the next generation of waveguide-based AR/VR displays
Collaboration:Development of plastic substrates for AR/VR waveguides
“DEV has proven to be a knowledgeable investor willing to advocate for us to the MCHC Group’s business units, to its corporate leaders, and to other like-minded investors.”
Chris Pickett, CEO.
Fluence Analytics, Inc.
United States
Specialty:Real-time monitoring of polymerization reactors through realization of IIoT*
Collaboration:Polymer process optimization in R&D labs and plants; new product development
“We’ve been impressed by the speed and breadth of our engagements with multiple business units in both Japan and the US”
Alex Reed, CEO.
AddiFab ApS
Specialty:Additive manufacturing technology merging 3D printing and injection molding
Collaboration:Partnership in parts manufacturing; joint development of materials
“After the investment, DEV has been essential in helping to develop the business with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation.“
Lasse Staal, CEO.
Lactips S.A.
Specialty:Fully biodegradable natural polymer contributing to circular economy
Collaboration:Development of “green” materials and applications for customers; enhancement of biodegradability focus in product portfolio
“We are very happy with DEV’s investment, as they led a win-win process with the MCHC Group’s affiliates by identifying and following our engagements until a product is on the market.”
Marie Hélène Gramatikoff, CEO.

IIoT: Industrial Internet of Things

Stepping up investment in semiconductor materials and healthcare startups

The MCHC Group has identified semiconductor materials and healthcare as strategic business areas. Accordingly, we have begun actively exploring relevant investment opportunities in the United States, Europe, and Japan. We have built our corporate venture framework with a long-term perspective, maintaining active and steady engagement to maximize the success of our startup partners. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruption around the world and greatly changed our business environment, we continuously provide investment funds and partnership opportunities to startups with the potential to drive the innovations and solutions most needed in the world today.