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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Shiseido To Open Research Center In Yokohama

Shiseido will establish a new research facility, the "Global Innovation Center” (tentative name)—an urban type open lab for research where innovative technologies and new value are created through the integration of a variety of expertise and diverse people.

On March 26, 2015, the city of Yokohama granted Shiseido permission to acquire land for the new research center in the Yokohama Minato Mirai 21 District. The new research center is scheduled to start operating by the end of 2018.

In December 2014, Shiseido announced its mid-to-long term “VISION 2020” stating that by the year 2020, it aims to become a company that responds to the expectations of active consumers. Under VISION 2020, the company will simultaneously pursue sales growth and cost optimization through various management reforms including increased investment primarily in marketing and R&D. Directed at strengthening the brands that will drive growth, with highly capable personnel and organizations, the company will strive to link and integrate innovative product development based on cutting-edge basic technologies with marketing that continues up through the customer.

In terms of R&D, Shiseido says it will promote the following:
  • Establish and expand a more regionally-oriented research framework for the purpose of strengthening product development and marketing capabilities by country and region at the research centers that currently exist in Japan, China, Southeast Asia (Thailand), Europe (France) and the U.S.;
  • Increase the number of researchers worldwide from 1,000 at present to 1,500 by 2020;
  • Strengthen the basic and generic research and research in new fields that form the foundation of innovative product development;
  • Establish the new research center “Global Innovation Center”;
  • Increase the ratio of R&D expenses to net sales to 2.5% in 2020 from the current 1.8%.
The Global Innovation Center
According to Shiseido, it has placed a great deal of emphasis on location for the Global Innovation Center, hoping it will become the forum through which it can aim to materialize an open research form where innovation is created in an environment that buzzes with activity, enabling customers, marketers, and researchers to mingle on a daily basis.

To ensure that the study of cosmetics and other beauty businesses moves forward, Shiseido says it must go beyond scientific approaches, to realize how indispensable it is to take on a more emotional approach that values a human connection when dealing with ordinary people and the market.

It's why it wants the new center to be in the heart of a busy city like Yokohama - where the ordinary people come and go. The 'ordinary people' remark was in a PR on behalf of Shiseido.

The Yokohama location was chosen for being an open area with "the sea," "the port" and "open skies"—things Shiseido claims is 'always leading the trends of the times and stands to serve as a crossroads of cultures, people and information from around the world come together.'

Shiseido says: "Moving forward, we aim to strengthen product development structures based on local needs. In terms of world markets, given that Japanese quality serves as a strong competitive advantage, we will continue to set the basis for basic and generic research in Japan, where Shiseido was born, to support future growth. With diverse human resources coming together and wisdom from around the world convening at the Global Innovation Center, we will be able to accelerate the creation of innovation."

The new Global Innovation Center will include:
  1. Urban open lab - Creating value through direct exchanges with active consumers;
  2. Integration of various expertise -Creation of new value through encounters with cutting-edge research facilities and other industries such as logistics;
  3. Global innovation hub - Broadcast value through the centralization of customer information from around the world and technical information as well as its global utilization
2-52 and 10 additional parcels of land (56-2 block in Minato Mirai 21), Takashima
1-chome, Nishi-ku, Yokohama-shi

Facility Size
7,023-square meters (Commercial zone: floor area ratio of 800% and building coverage ratio of 80%)

Building Overview
*14 floors above ground;
*two floors below ground;
*constructed with steel frame, seismic isolation and control structure;
*total floor space of 57,000 square meters
*building height of 69.4 meters

Total construction cost
¥30 to 40- billion (estimate) - (approx. Cdn $315 - $420-million);
¥6.55-billion (land costs) - (approx. Cdn $69-million)

One of the largest cosmetics research facilities in the world
The first floor will be a communication area that adds bustle to the streetscape based on the key phrase of “Meet, learn, and experience.”

The streets around the facility will have an impressive streetscape surrounded by greenery and window displays with a Shiseido feel, and a beautiful view will be created in compliance with the Basic Agreement on Town Development under Minato Mirai 21 and other ordinances.

In addition, through the use of renewable energy, conservation of energy use, and other environmental measures, the company aims to obtain the highest rank of S under CASBEE Yokohama (the Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency of Yokohama City).

Furthermore, a semi-public space will be secured for responding to emergencies and for accepting people who are unable to return home following a disaster, and emergency supplies will be stored not only for employees, but also for people who are unable to return home.

I like the fact that a disaster-relief area has been set up… which tells you as much about the nature of Japan, as it does about Shiseido's mindset.

Andrew Joseph
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