The Innovation in Japan – U.S. Business and Technology Awards program <http://www.usjinnovate.org> today announces the winners of the 2012 SunBridge “World Changer” Awards.
The awards program, known also as the Japan – U.S. Innovation Awards, each year recognizes one Japanese and one U.S. company in each of three award categories: Emerging Leader, Intrapreneur, and World Changer. The “World Changer” Awards go to large, dynamically successful companies whose innovations have had a significant, lasting impact of such magnitude that they can genuinely be said to have “changed the world.”
The SunBridge “World Changer – U.S.” award this year goes to VMware Inc. <http://www.vmware.com> for its development of virtualization technology as a key, fundamental technology for cloud computing. The ability to run applications and processes on virtual machines in the cloud has been an essential enabler for the growth of major new industries, such as social media, mobile applications, location-based services, and Internet television. Virtualization has also greatly reduced the cost of IT infrastructure, thereby playing a major role in promoting the creation of new companies across many domains.
The 2012 SunBridge “World Changer – Japan” Award will be presented to Toray Industries <http://www.toray.com/> in recognition of its development and commercialization of carbon fiber materials that are revolutionizing industries from transportation to sporting equipment. Toray’s lightweight and extremely strong carbon fiber composites are the main materials used for the primary structures (main wing and fuselage, etc.) of the new Boeing 787 “Dreamliner,” yielding significant energy savings over previous generation aircraft. Other expanding markets for Toray’s carbon fiber materials range from new generation automobile parts and sporting goods to fuel cells, advanced power cables, deep sea oil platforms, and windmills, to name just a few. Toray holds the largest share of the world market for carbon fiber material production.
The Awards will be presented at the Japan – U.S. Innovation Awards Day Symposium on Friday, June 29, 2012, from 1:30 – 6:30 pm at Stanford University. For details and to register, see <http://www.usjinnovate.org>.
At the Symposium, Mr. Tod Nielsen, Co-President, Application Platform, VMware will accept the SunBridge “World Changer – U.S.” Award on behalf of VMware. Mr. Nielsen stated, “Since VMware was founded in 1998, virtualization and cloud computing have fundamentally changed the way businesses build, deliver and consume IT resources. We are honored to accept this award and to be recognized for the global impact of virtualization and cloud computing technology.”
Accepting the SunBridge “World Changer – Japan” Award for Toray Industries will be Mr. Chiaki Tanaka, Chief Technology Officer. Mr. Tanaka stated, “Since 41 years ago, when Toray was the first in the world to begin carbon fiber manufacturing, Toray’s top management has supported continuous R&D to change the world through the miracle of materials. The close collaboration between Boeing and Toray on the Dreamliner aircraft represents the true spirit of ‘mono-zukuri’ (‘making things’ in a unique Japanese way). We are honored and delighted to accept this award.”
Mr. Tanaka and Mr. Nielsen will discuss their companies’ innovations and the future of U.S. – Japan innovation in a panel session at the Awards Day Symposium. The agenda also includes a keynote presentation by noted futurist Paul Saffo, Managing Director of Foresight at Discern Analytics <http://www.discern.com> on “Global Innovation and the Coming Creator Economy” as well as comments by U.S. Ambassador to Japan John V. Roos.
The Japan – U.S. Innovation Awards program and the Awards Day Symposium are organized by the Japan Society of Northern California <http://www.usajapan.org> in cooperation with the Stanford University US-Asia Technology Management Center <http://asia.stanford.edu>. The selection process is carried out by a distinguished 40-person Innovation Advisory Council (IAC) composed of venture capitalists, academic experts and business persons in Japan and the U.S.; see <http://www.usjinnovate.org/innovation-advisory-council-membership-2012/>. The 2012 “World Changer” Awards are sponsored by SunBridge Corporation <http://sunbridgepartners.com/>, a U.S. – Japan venture incubator and accelerator that provides venture capital, global reach, and hands-on support to technology startups.