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Seminar on Open Innovation and The Collaborative Mindset

Updated May 23, 2019
As part of our "Essential Skills for Leaders in 2030" seminar series, it was our pleasure to invite Alexandre Nicolau, Manager of Open Innovation at Suntory, to our campus on Saturday, May 18th to share his views on the power and importance of open innovation and the mindset required to implement it successfully.

Mr. Nicolau first explained how his career had progressed, and then introduced Suntory Holdings. Suntory is a 120-year-old private company with a wide range of subsidiary companies across Japan and the globe, but it faces the same challenge as all companies today: the question of how best to cultivate the development of new products and services that will break through and succeed in highly competitive markets. Mr. Nicolau explained that this challenge is one of the critical issues that will face tomorrow's leaders and that embracing the idea and practice of open innovation can overcome this. How is this possible? Through open innovation a company can partner together with smaller companies around the world who have developed (or are in the process of developing) new solutions or products that would be difficult to develop within a larger corporate environment.

This relationship allows a bigger company to foster innovation and development at smaller companies, while at the same time allowing for the larger company to benefit in terms of having faster access to new and novel technologies. Mr. Nicolau gave an example of a new printing technology that first was developed in Israel and then was piloted in Suntory's Pronto coffee shops before being adopted for Suntory beer in bars across Japan.

On behalf of all of the attendees to this event, as well as the students, faculty, and staff of Doshisha Business School, we'd like to extend our very sincere appreciation to Mr. Nicolau for taking time on a Saturday afternoon to share his thoughts and insights on this important topic with us. We'd also like to thank the members and staff of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) for their continued collaboration and support of this seminar series.
As part of our "Essential Skills for Leaders in 2030" seminar series, it was our pleasure to invite Alexandre Nicolau, Manager of Open Innovation at Suntory, to our campus on Saturday, May 18th to share his views on the power and importance of open innovation and the mindset required to implement it successfully.

Mr. Nicolau first explained how his career had progressed, and then introduced Suntory Holdings. Suntory is a 120-year-old private company with a wide range of subsidiary companies across Japan and the globe, but it faces the same challenge as all companies today: the question of how best to cultivate the development of new products and services that will break through and succeed in highly competitive markets. Mr. Nicolau explained that this challenge is one of the critical issues that will face tomorrow's leaders and that embracing the idea and practice of open innovation can overcome this. How is this possible? Through open innovation a company can partner together with smaller companies around the world who have developed (or are in the process of developing) new solutions or products that would be difficult to develop within a larger corporate environment.

This relationship allows a bigger company to foster innovation and development at smaller companies, while at the same time allowing for the larger company to benefit in terms of having faster access to new and novel technologies. Mr. Nicolau gave an example of a new printing technology that first was developed in Israel and then was piloted in Suntory's Pronto coffee shops before being adopted for Suntory beer in bars across Japan.

On behalf of all of the attendees to this event, as well as the students, faculty, and staff of Doshisha Business School, we'd like to extend our very sincere appreciation to Mr. Nicolau for taking time on a Saturday afternoon to share his thoughts and insights on this important topic with us. We'd also like to thank the members and staff of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) for their continued collaboration and support of this seminar series.