Toshiba Sets up Regenerative Innovation Hub in Germany

Toshiba Corporation has established a “Regenerative Innovation Centre” (“the Centre”) in Düsseldorf, Germany. Most importantly, the location is where it will work with business partners and collaborators to accelerate leading-edge capabilities. Particularly, in advancing the realization of carbon neutrality and a circular economy (“CN-CE”) through digitalization.

The Centre will be the home of a pioneering technology hub in Europe, focused on technological development and social implementation related to CN-CE. Moreover, by utilizing the CN-CE technologies owned by Toshiba Group, the Centre will engage in various relevant activities, including research and development projects and active participation in advanced communities in Europe. In addition, the Centre will also build relationships with potential clients and partners. Thus, contributing to standardization activities.

Opening Ceremony of Regenerative Innovation Center. (from left to right) Dr. Yutaka Sata, Executive Officer, Corporate Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Toshiba Corporation; Professor Antonello Monti of RWTH Aachen University; Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stephan Ramesohl, Co-Head of Research Unit Digital Transformation at the Wuppertal Institute; and Kohei Onizuka, General Manager, Regenerative Innovation Centre

Focus on Core Areas

The Centre will address social issues related to CN-CE from multiple perspectives, including science, engineering, economics, and society, with the goal of contributing to the realization of CN-CE for Europe and the world. The Centre’s broad range of technical areas will encompass many areas. The first area is “Devices,” such as batteries and semiconductors. Next is “Energy,” with a particular focus on renewable resources, hydrogen, and energy management followed by “Carbon Negative,” involving CO2 capture, storage and utilization. Lastly, “Digital Platforms,” aimed at harnessing energy and CO2 data.

Toshiba’s long-established Bristol and Cambridge research facilities in the United Kingdom have a rich history of advancing R&D in quantum information, AI, and IoT technologies. Particularly, by participating in various European regional R&D projects, which have resulted in numerous world-first technology breakthroughs*1. With the Regenerative Innovation Centre, Toshiba’s commitment now extends to applied R&D on CN-CE on the continent. Thus, accelerating the social implementation of CN-CE technologies.

The Centre has formed advisory partnerships with RWTH Aachen University, a leading European academic center in cutting-edge energy technologies. Also, with the Wuppertal Institute, a think tank for sustainability and transformation research focused on impact and practical application.

This strategic combination creates a powerful collaboration with renowned universities and research organizations across the European Union and the United Kingdom. As the Centre makes progress in driving CN-CE technologies through demonstration projects and building partnerships, there is also potential for it to establish satellite offices in other European countries.

Taps Hardware, Digitalization Technologies

“Regenerative” refers to initiatives that aim to achieve a positive impact, contribute to, and enhance the global environment and society. In an era marked by indisputable climate change and depletion of natural resources, the term “regenerative” is gaining prominence. Particularly, this serves as a proactive approach that transcends the neutral connotation of the term “sustainable.” Instead, it fundamentally advocates a comprehensive approach to realizing its goals, encompassing both nature and social systems.

The Regenerative Innovation Centre will play a pivotal role in advancing regenerative principles. Moreover, by developing both hardware and digitalization technologies as well as promoting early social implementation through a multidimensional systems-thinking approach.

Dr. Yutaka Sata, Executive Officer, Corporate Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Toshiba Corporation, said, “We expect the Centre to play a pivotal role in exploring novel value and roles for technology companies. (Also), to encourage multifaceted thinking that delivers substantial benefits to a wide range of stakeholders. Knowledge and expertise realized through the Centre’s activities will be a driving force for our research and development initiatives at Toshiba and will bolster our global business endeavors.”

Meanwhile, Professor Antonello Monti of RWTH Aachen University, said, “Toshiba’s new Regenerative Innovation Centre offers a great opportunity to spark new types of cooperation with a key industry partner. “

On the other hand, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stephan Ramesohl, Co-Head of Research Unit Digital Transformation at the Wuppertal Institute, said, “The vision of regenerative innovation offers new, exciting perspectives for leveraging the transformation power of technology innovations within the broader context of the needed fundamental socio-economic system changes.”

*1 Examples of our activities in Europe:
・Breakthrough in long distance quantum communication
・Development of AI dialog system with the UK academia
・Installation of open IoT testbed for smart city