Accelerating the Pioneering of New Businesses with a Social Cooperation Program at the University of Tokyo
- Developing Revolutionary New Technologies through Open Innovation -

February 9, 2018

Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. has commenced a social cooperation program at the School of Engineering of the University of Tokyo (President: Makoto Gonokami). This program combines Furukawa Electric’s new-materials technologies with the University of Tokyo’s academic insight, further elevating productivity in new kinds of innovation and accelerating pioneering work into new businesses.


The social cooperation programs are a comprehensive framework for joint research in which the University of Tokyo works to provide solutions for social (industrial) challenges with investment by companies. Through the fusion of the unique technologies, skills, and experience of these companies with the sophisticated technology and wide-ranging insight of the University, diverse and innovative new technologies are developed.
Furukawa Electric is working toward the application of IoT/AI-related technologies to “Monozukuri,” with the goal of improving quality and productivity. This initiative requires us to assemble the diverse, applied knowledge and experience we have cultivated to date, for example, in implementing sensing and data gathering, analysis, and utilization in process design and control technology. Additionally, in our pursuit of innovation in research of cutting-edge new materials, we have pushed forward with our evaluation of industry-academia partnerships in order to achieve better results more quickly in terms of development of promising production technologies.


From February of this year, Furukawa Electric will open the social cooperation program “Creation of Next-Generation Signal and Power Transfer Technologies” at the University of Tokyo’s School of Engineering. The program will run until the end of January 2021, for a total of three years.
In the new social cooperation program, we will fuse Furukawa Electric’s long history of research into new materials, its production technologies, and more together with the University of Tokyo School of Engineering’s keen academic insight, and leverage innovative new ideas to improve product quality and productivity, create new businesses and products, and bring about a higher level of specialized personnel development. The topics of the program will be centered on the following fields.

Left: Makoto Gonokami (University of Tokyo), Right: Keiichi Kobayashi (President, Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.)

Left: Makoto Gonokami (University of Tokyo), Right: Keiichi Kobayashi (President, Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.)

  1. Utilization of IoT-related technologies that will lead to “Monozukuri” innovation
    Research and development that contributes to improvements in product quality and productivity, based on the themes of the IoT and AI
  2. Creation of new businesses and products (product design, process design, and control technologies)
    Research and development into new materials, such as carbon nano tube wires and thermoelectric exchanger elements


Program name: “Creation of Next-Generation Signal and Power Transfer Technologies”
Research objective: To carry out research and make proposals for design theory and production technologies in relation to functional components (e.g. for electronics, communications, and energy transmission).
Research sites: University of Tokyo and Furukawa Electric
Research period: February 1, 2018 to January 31, 2021

About Furukawa Electric Group

Furukawa Electric (TSE; 5801, ISIN; JP3827200001) Group started business in 1884, when its copper-smelting facility and wire manufacturing factory was established. Since then Furukawa Electric has become pioneers in the latest technologies by addressing diverse technological issues. Furukawa Electric has released products in a number of areas, including telecommunications, electronics, automobiles, and construction, with the three types of materials it works with at their core, namely, optics, plastics, and metals. Many of these products have attained the top global market share, and all of its products have contributed to society in numerous business areas. Furukawa Electric reported consolidated revenues of JPY 843.3 billion (approximately USD 7.8B) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.