The material and chemical industries are important industries that account for a substantial ratio of all industrial activities in Japan. Japanese companies have brought about many innovations in this field, supporting the growth and development of other industries as well. In recent years, the positioning of Japanese material and chemical companies in the global arena has improved dramatically with the growing prosperity of electronics product markets, as markets targeted by these companies have more than doubled over the past 10 years. At the same time, however, many companies have been struggling to achieve balanced profit structures, and have had to create new businesses or make changes to those profit structures.
We established Universal Materials Incubator Co., Ltd. (UMI) in October 2015 based on the vision of “Strengthening Japan’s technological capabilities by fostering outstanding material and chemical companies, and cultivating an industry structure that can compete in the global arena.” Our goal is to contribute to the outstanding technologies and businesses at Japanese companies and academic institutions that will lay the foundations for future industry and to the training of human resources essential to those activities, and to provide a platform for creating new business in these industries.
The establishment of Funds is the first step in building this platform. The path to creating new business will by no means be an easy one; this success can only be achieved with the cooperation and assistance of many partners in the material and chemical industries, and in other fields as well. Through the operation of Funds, and with your invaluable assistance, we hope to contribute to growth and innovations in the Japanese material/chemical industry.
After joining Toyota Tsusho Corp., seconded temporarily to Toyota Motor Corp., and later worked in the startup of new business in the functional materials field, as well as investments in material related venture companies, and support for global rollout. In 2012, he joined The Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (currently INCJ, Ltd.), where he started up a material/chemicals team, and contributed to the planning of UMI, where he was formally named as a partner in April 2016. He appointed the Program Director of Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program(SIP) led by the Japanese Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI) in April 2023. He completed degrees in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, and the Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. He holds a Ph.D. in Engineering.
After joining JSR Corporation, he worked in the Corporate Planning Department, where he was involved in the creation of strategies, including medium-term management plans, as well as the startup of corporate venture capital (CVC) activities and the execution of investments. He served as General Manager of the Management Division at JSR Micro NV (a European subsidiary handling electronics materials), and also served as General Manager of the Strategy Division at Medical & Biological Laboratories Co., Ltd., where he was involved in PMI management and business development activities. He joined UMI in April 2017. He graduated from the Keio University Faculty of Economics, and completed a Graduate degree in International Management from the Aoyama Business School (ABS) at Aoyama Gakuin University.
Joined Ajinomoto Co., Inc. in 1985. Worked in technical development targeting the production of substances using microorganisms, as well as industrialization and the development of new business. Joined EUROLYSINE (France) in 1997. Appointed Vice President of Ajinomoto-Genetika Research Institute (Russia) in 2005. In 2015, appointed Managing Director as well as Deputy General Manager of the Aminoscience Division and General Manager of the Research Institute for Bioscience Products and Fine Chemicals. Appointed Senior Managing Director and General Manager of the R&D Planning Division in 2019, Senior Managing Director and CIO (Chief Innovation Officer) in 2020, and Advisor for Ajinomoto Co., Inc. in 2021. Received a Ph.D. in Agricultural Chemistry from the University of Tokyo.
Joined the Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, Ltd. (currently Shinsei Bank, Ltd.) in 1983. After serving as Managing Executive Officer and General Manager of the Financial Markets Division as well as Auditor for the Shinsei Bank Group, in June 2016, he was appointed President of APLUS FINANCIAL Co., Ltd., a Shinsei Bank affiliate. He also worked as an Advisor at APLUS FINANCIAL before being appointed to his current position as Chairman of UMI .
During his time with the Shinsei Bank Group, he worked in operations related to markets, governance, and consumer operations. He graduated from the University of Tokyo Faculty of Law.
Joined Tokyo Denki Kagaku Kogyo K.K. (currently TDK Corp.) in 1981. Worked in the HDD Head Business. Seconded to Hong Kong in 1988, and over the next 18 years, secured the global top share in HDD Heads. He was appointed Corporate Officer in 2002, President in 2006, and Chairman in 2016. Through M&As, he contributed to strengthening business profitability and expanding TDK’s business fields. He currently serves as Outside Director for OMRON Corp., Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., and SoftBank Corp. Graduated from the Nagasaki University School of Engineering.
Joined the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI; currently the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)) in 1978. Served as Director of Iron and Steel Division, Counselor of Japanese Embassy in Berlin, Director General of the Consumer Economy Bureau. In 2005, appointed Director in charge of General Affairs and Planning at the Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation; in 2007, appointed Representative Director at the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association; and at 2015, served as Managing Director at Sharp Corporation. Presently appointed Special Advisor to TDK Corp. in 2016, Advisor to Sankyu Inc. in 2017, and Representative Director of Japan Space Systems in 2020. He is well acknowledged at industry policy both in Japan and overseas.
Audit ＆ Supervisory Board Member (Managing Partner of Wada Accounting Office)
He served as Senior Partner in charge of Business Development at Chuo Audit Corporation, as well as President and CEO at ChuoAoyama Financial Service, Director at ChuoAoyama Consulting, and Senior Partner at Grant Thornton Taiyo LLC. He graduated from the Chuo University Faculty of Commerce with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, and is qualified as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Executive Fellow for Technology / Chairman of the Investment Council
Joined Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd. in 1980. After being assigned to the Minase Research Laboratory, he worked mainly in R&D in the startup of new business. He handled the medical and functional material fields in particular. For five years starting in 1990, he was in charge of R&D/engineering policies in the Integrated Development Office. He has been a driving force behind Sekisui Chemical’s R&D activities, serving as Director of the Minase Research Laboratory from 1999, Executive Director from 2009, and Managing Director and Head of the R&D Center from 2014. Completed a master’s course in Industrial Chemistry at the University of Tokyo, School of Engineering.
Member of the Investment Council
After joining DuPont Japan, worked in R&D and marketing management, and established a Technology Development HQ while serving as Executive Officer. Served as Managing Director in charge of the Industry Bioscience Business Division. Currently Director and Managing Executive Officer at Tomoegawa Co., Ltd., Professor and Director of the Digital Monozukuri (Manufacturing) Education and Research Center at Hiroshima University (concurrent position), provisional member of the Council for Science and Technology (concurrent position) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and Visiting Professor at the Shibaura Institute of Technology. Graduated from the Tokyo Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. in Engineering.
Member of the Investment Council
Joined Nitto Electric Industry Co., Ltd. (currently Nitto Denko) in 1983. He has been a researcher, R & D manager, and business manager. From 2009 to 2018, he carried out the duties deeply involved in Nitto Technology as CTO and CIO. His specialty is molecular design, synthesis, and physical property evaluation of highly functional polymers. Since May 2018, he has been stationed in San Jose, USA, combining powerful internal and external technologies, and exploring and implementing new business opportunities as Nitto Executive Fellow. He completed the Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Chiba University. Ph.D.