Toshiba Establishes "Regenerative Innovation Centre" in Germany

A Central Hub in Europe for Advancing Realization of Carbon Neutrality and a Circular Economy

September 21, 2023

Düsseldorf, Germany – Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) an innovator in technologies for a better future, has established a “Regenerative Innovation Centre” (“the Centre”) in Düsseldorf, Germany, where it will work with business partners and collaborators to accelerate leading-edge capabilities 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. By utilizing the CN-CE technologies owned by Toshiba Group, the Centre will engage in various relevant activities, including research and development projects, active participation in advanced communities in Europe, building relationships with potential clients and partners, and contributing to standardization activities.

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 "Devices," such as batteries and semiconductors; "Energy," with a particular focus on renewable resources, hydrogen, and energy management; "Carbon Negative," involving CO2 capture, storage and utilization; and "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 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, that will accelerate social implementation of CN-CE technologies.

The Centre has formed advisory partnerships with RWTH Aachen University, a leading European academic centre in cutting-edge energy technologies, and the Wuppertal Institute, a think tank for sustainability and transformation research focused on impact and practical application. This strategic combination creates a powerful nexus for 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 or regions.

“Regenerative” refers to initiatives that aim to achieve 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 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, by developing both hardware and digitalization technologies as well as promoting early social implementation through a multidimensional systems-thinking approach.

"We are proud to announce the Regenerative Innovation Centre, which will spearhead technological advances and their early social application,” said Dr. Yutaka Sata, Executive Officer, Corporate Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Toshiba Corporation. “We expect the Centre to play a pivotal role in exploring novel value and roles for technology companies, and 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."

“Energy is a global challenge, which can only be solved through cooperation at an international level and also between academia and industry,” said Professor Antonello Monti of RWTH Aachen University. “Toshiba’s new Regenerative Innovation Centre offers a great opportunity to spark new types of cooperation with a key industry partner. I am excited about the opportunity for RWTH Aachen to work closely with Toshiba, a leader in our sector and a company that has a clear commitment to research and innovation. We are looking forward to building partnerships in Germany and Europe and to together shaping the energy transition."

“Within the next decades, mankind is facing historic challenges to safeguard human wellbeing within the limits of ecological boundaries of global ecosystems,” said Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stephan Ramesohl, Co-Head of Research Unit Digital Transformation at the Wuppertal Institute.

“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. We are looking forward to partnering with the new Regenerative Innovation Centre of Toshiba for jointly exploring this emerging opportunity for sustainability.”

Long guided by the principles "Committed to the people, Committed to the future" Toshiba is dedicated to ensuring the sustainability of people and the Earth. The establishment of the Regenerative Innovation Centre is another milestone in the company’s journey of advancing technologies for carbon neutrality and a circular economy, and making a positive impact on the world.

Picture of the Opening Ceremony(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, Kohei Onizuka, General Manager, Regenerative Innovation Centre)

*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