July 1, 2004 National University Corporation Hokkaido University Fuji Electric Holdings Co., Ltd.
National University Corporation Hokkaido University (President: Mutsuo Nakamura) and Fuji Electric Holdings Co., Ltd (President: Kunihiko Sawa) concluded today a partnership agreement to develop new technology by integrating intellectual creativities of Hokkaido University and product development capabilities of the Fuji Electric Group.
With comprehensive intellectual resources comprising 12 faculties, 3 research institutions and 10 centers and full utilization of these forces, Hokkaido University is seeking for a new direction to develop its intellectual creativities through initiatives, one of which is Creative Research Initiative "Sousei" (CRIS), established in 2002, a core function to promote the efforts for "knowledge creation" and its application to the society. The Fuji Electric Group, on the other hand, has developed a wide range of business activities covering electronic devices, power grid and distribution equipment, retail-related equipment and systems such as vending machines, monitoring and controlling systems for various industries' plants such as water treatment, electric power generation and substation and other plants. In 2003, the Fuji Electric Group made the transition to a pure holding company structure, consisting of Fuji Electric Holdings, which plays a key strategic role over the Group, and four operating companies. Underpinned by this new management system, each business group has strived to become "the industry's strongest specialist" in its own field and expand the business based on its technological development capacity.
Against this backdrop, the both two have decided to carry out the partnership program to jointly conduct researches over wide ranging fields in the medium and long terms and cooperate together for mutual development of human resources through technology exchanges between researchers, continuing education, student internship program and other projects.
Hokkaido University has focused its collective strength on environment, including water environment and hydrogen energy, nanotechnology and biotechnology, and positioned those areas as a great potential for the development going forward. The university has made the great leap in water environment researches among others. A more advanced research program in this field on "sustainable metabolic systems of water and waste for area-based society" has received the highest appraisal overseas as well as in Japan, as it was selected one of the 21st Century COEs, Center of Excellence, by Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. With a view to further expanding water environment businesses to a core pillar, Fuji Electric, on the other hand, is embarking on new businesses, such as water treatment process represented by advanced water purification systems, membrane filtration systems and sewage sludge treatment, water management operation, and other related activities, in addition to the conventional business pillars centered on electrical instrumentations. Moreover, it is also working on strengthening technical basis and human resources.
In this way, the both agreed on this tie-up program focusing on the area of water environment and new energy, as their problems are increasingly becoming critical for the future progress of humankind.
At the initial stage, individual programs in this water environment field will be launched to develop new technology for water treatment process utilizing membrane filtration and collection of phosphorus for water recycle, where innovative knowledge of the Hokkaido University including Agricultural Department and Engineering Department will be integrated. These activities will contribute to the local communities of Hokkaido, as its important challenges are "Food security/ Stable food supply" and "Sapporo city's new vision of network between water and greens".
Hokkaido University and Fuji Electric continue to advance individual programs through further technology exchanges, and with a view to acquiring cutting-edge technology of Hokkaido University, active personnel exchanges as well, through a dispatch of researchers from the Fuji Electric Group to the university and other initiatives.