Share the aspirations of people working for the Sumitomo Group
who are devoting their energy and talent
to socially beneficial endeavors in a host of fascinating fields.
General Manager Product Planning & Development Dept.
Applied Powder Materials Business Unit
Advanced Materials Div.
Sumitomo Metal Mining
Takeshi Awa, Yoshihiro Tsuboi, Hideharu Okami,
Yasuko Okano, Akira Kumada (from left)
As the era defined by mass production and mass consumption comes to an end, materials manufacturers find themselves at a turning point. Mindful of the new reality, Sumitomo Metal Mining is drawing on 430 years of experience as a leading source of materials derived from resources extracted from the Earth’s crust. Now, anticipating and meeting needs with its unique technology and products, the company aims to gain a high market share and improved profitability.
Moreover, as information flows unleashed by the progress of ICT crisscross the globe and complex relationships proliferate, collaboration with numerous stakeholders — customers, universities, NPOs, and government agencies—transcending the traditional framework of customer relations is becoming critically important. “Leveraging our strengths as a materials manufacturer, we are pursuing collaboration with partners in such fields as fashion, medicine, and healthcare, which would never have happened in the past. Through co-creation, we will be able to have a large impact on society,” says Atsushi Tofuku, General Manager of the Product Planning & Development Department of the Applied Powder Materials Business Unit.
Sumitomo Metal Mining has launched X-MINING, the website of its powder materials business. Based on the “from standalone development to co-creation” concept, X-MINING is a platform connecting people with diverse specialties and aspirations, thus transcending the company’s traditional framework. The objective is to facilitate reform of the corporate culture so as to generate new ideas leading to new businesses through open innovation. The website introduces the company’s powder materials, such as near-infrared absorbing materials and magnet materials, including their functions and related technologies. Talented researchers and personnel with sales experience are exclusively assigned to cultivate the market by developing relationships worldwide and achieving fruitful collaboration. “At a mining enterprise, miners seek new veins. But mining alone cannot unearth new value. We intend to make full use of ICT in mining to discover veins and achieve new value through research, development, and cocreation with partners in diverse fields,” says Tofuku. At first Sumitomo Metal Mining intends to establish a track record by focusing on linkage between X-MINING and the Applied Powder Materials Business Unit whose products and technology are a good fit with the X-MINING concept, and subsequently, with an eye to the future, expand the scope to include the entire company.
Reprinted from SUMITOMO QUARTERLY NO.163