Six Leading Companies Newly Join in Smart City Project Further Boosting Efforts to Deploy Japan's Homegrown Smart Cities Across the Globe
Jan. 25, 2012
Tokyo, January 25, 2012—Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., Tsuneishi Holdings Inc., Sekisui House, Ltd., Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., Toppan Printing Co., Ltd., and NEC Corporation announced today that they have participated in the Smart City Project starting from 2011. The Smart City Project is accelerating its efforts to deploy Japan's homegrown smart cities both at home and abroad, leveraging the technologies and know-how of the world's leading companies.
Addressing the World's Various Needs and Restrictions through Business Partnerships
The market size of smart cities is estimated to reach a total of approximately 4,000 trillion yen over the next 20 years. The deployment of smart cities involves addressing various needs and restrictions that exist in the world—a formidable task for a single company, even a major corporation. To overcome this challenge, eight leading global companies joined forces to launch the Smart City Project in September 2009, which they have used as a vehicle to jointly develop a one-stop total solution that addresses various needs and restrictions.
Smart City Project Continues to Grow
Since June 2011, the total solution of the Smart City Project has been fortified by the diverse range of expertise brought to the table by the six companies that have newly come on board. The Project now has at its disposal Tsuneishi Holdings's shipbuilding technology, Kawasaki's energy systems, Sekisui House's smart house technology, Tokyo Gas's smart energy network technology that optimizes the use of heat and electricity, Toppan Printing's information management and utilization know-how cultivated through its printing technology, and NEC's battery technology. The 23 participating companies are working as one to further enhance their offerings.
Projects Gain Momentum through Accelerated Proposals
In the Smart City Project, the joint-venture company Smart City Planning, Inc. serves as the catalyst for joint proposals, leveraging the extensive sales channels of the participating companies to deliver a high-value-added total solution. With 23 companies now contributing to the effort, proposals are put forward at a much faster rate, and there are over 20 projects currently underway.
Last year on December 22, the Kashiwanoha Campus, a flagship project for the joint venture, was chosen for the "Future City" Initiative and designated as a comprehensive special zone. The Smart City Project will continue to promote these and more efforts to come.
Efforts by Newly Participating Companies
Founded in 1903 as a shipping company, Tsuneishi Holdings Inc. now operates in four areas of business—shipbuilding, marine transport, environment and energy, and services. In the shipbuilding business, the company is pursuing research with the aim of developing by 2020 a "smart ship" that emits 40% less CO2 compared to 1990 levels by combining technologies to create, save and store energy. The company also aims to revitalize local communities by developing smart communities that utilize these technologies. Looking ahead into the next 100 years, Tsuneishi Holdings vows to continue challenging itself to open up new areas of business.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. operates under the group mission of "Kawasaki, working as one for the good of the planet." As a comprehensive heavy industries company, Kawasaki has provided a diverse range of products including products such as rail cars for the transportation infrastructure, and energy equipment such as gas turbines and gas engines.
After the Great East Japan Earthquake, there has been a surge of demand for off-grid power systems using distributed power sources and storage batteries all over the country.
Kawasaki offers a wide range of eco-friendly technologies and products, including power generators that produce electricity from renewable sources such as hydraulic power and biomass, nickel-metal hydride battery Gigacell, which offers rapid charging and discharging capabilities, and the Green Gas Engine, which boasts the world's highest power-generating efficiency. Kawasaki hopes to contribute to the development of low-carbon cities and disaster prevention centers with energy systems that make use of these technologies.
Sekisui House, Ltd. aims to create homes and an environment that enrich the lives of those who inhabit them. A leading company in the housing sector, Sekisui House has built over two million houses since it entered the business, becoming the first in the industry to surpass this figure. Through its "Green First" initiative, the company actively promotes smart houses—comfortable, efficient, and environmentally-friendly houses—which combine high-quality housing offering excellent safety, security, and thermal performance with solar power generation and fuel cells. In August 2011, the company launched the Green First Hybrid, the first housing unit in the world equipped with a power supply system combining three types of batteries (solar cells, fuel cells, and storage batteries) to ensure a reliable supply of electricity even in times of emergency. The company has also built a demonstration house in Yokohama under the Smart Network Project led by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. As a company that leads the way in smart house technologies, Sekisui House will play an active role in the Smart City Project as well.
Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. has pursued various initiatives to make people's lives more comfortable and cities more environmentally-friendly, including conversion to natural gas, which produces the least amount of CO2 among fossil fuels, promotion of the use of high-efficiency equipment, and efficient use of energy such as district heating and cooling. In the Smart City Project, the company will promote the development of a smart energy network system that harnesses heat and electricity produced from natural-gas-fueled cogeneration systems and renewable energy sources, and makes optimal use of them between buildings and regions by leveraging ICT. By pursuing greater energy-saving and lower carbon emission while improving energy security, the company aims to contribute to the development of smart cities that offer comfortable and environmentally-friendly lifestyles.
Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. operates under a corporate philosophy that emphasizes contributing to the enrichment of people's social lives as a guardian of information and culture. The company is active in a wide range of businesses including information and network, living environment, and electronics. The company will bring to the Project its considerable know-how cultivated in the areas of information processing, management, and provision based on printing technology, while also providing various services and operation functions in such areas as communication, BPO, and security. Through these efforts, Toppan Printing will contribute to the realization of smart cities that provide the lifestyles demanded by future generations—more fun, more comfortable, and more sustainable.
NEC Corporation aims to develop smart cities utilizing its cutting-edge ICT, including sensing, authentication, surveillance, control, and cloud, along with its highly versatile storage batteries that serve both household and industrial needs, including electric vehicles. Last December, the company set up a Smart City Promotion Office to promote efforts to open up new markets for smart cities on a global level. Toward the goal of creating an information society that improves the quality of people's lives while minimizing impact on the environment, NEC will continue to support the development of safe, secure, and comfortable cities in various urban functions.
Background of the Project
In September 2009, Smart City Planning, Inc. was founded as a joint-venture company, and the Smart City Project (http://www.smartcity-planning.co.jp) was launched as the first project of FUTURE DESIGN CENTER Incorporated Association (http://www.fdc.or.jp/index.html).
As of January 2012, the project has the following participants in addition to the six companies listed above: ITOCHU Corporation, SAP AG, NTT Communications Corporation, LG CNS, Kokusai Kogyo Group, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, Shimizu Corporation, Sharp Corporation, Nikken Sekkei Ltd., Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Japan, Ltd., Hitachi, Ltd., FUTURE DESIGN CENTER Incorporated Association, Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd., Mitsui Home Co.,Ltd., Yamatake Corporation, and e-solutions, inc.