Breakthrough innovation specialist Cambridge Consultants today announced that it has joined the Kyōsō-no-Mori Partnership Program (“Partnership Program”), an ambitious new framework under the Kyōsō-no-Mori initiative launched on 11th April 2019 at the Central Research Laboratory by the Research & Development Group of Hitachi, Ltd. Kyōsō-no-Mori, which means co-innovation forest in Japanese, embodies Hitachi’s vision “to deliver innovations that answer society’s challenges” by accelerating innovation through open collaborative creation and realize a human-centric sustainable society. The project selected by Cambridge Consultants will investigate the applications and business models for applying synthetic biology to address the global challenge of plastic waste.
The unprecedented spotlight on the environmental damage caused by plastics is driving businesses to consider the full lifecycle impact of products, processes and packaging. Cambridge Consultants has a long-established research programme that aims both to introduce sustainable bioplastics into the product design toolkit and to harness the tools of synthetic biology to speed the decomposition of plastic waste. Hitachi too has been investigating the application of synthetic biology to tackle the issue. Under the Partnership Program, Cambridge Consultants and Hitachi will study the business case together, applying technology from both companies in an initial three-month phase.
Dr Miles Upton, Asia General Manager at Cambridge Consultants, commented: “We're proud to be a partner in the Kyōsō-no-Mori initiative. We've worked with Hitachi on radical innovation since 2014 and see this collaboration as the next step on this journey. We’re particularly excited to see Hitachi open itself up to new models of innovation, including partnering with diverse external companies that share its vision.”
Yuichi Yagawa, General Manager of the Central Research Laboratory, added: “The Central Research Laboratory was established in 1942, with the mission of pursuing research for society 10 to 20 years from now, as well as addressing the needs of present society. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, tomorrow’s innovation will require strong relationships with world-class technology partners. We look forward to working with Cambridge Consultants as we apply Hitachi's cutting-edge technology and vision design to contribute to the realization of a human-centric, sustainable society.”