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Social issue oriented technology development : Challenges to Resolve Customers’ New Problems through Innovation and Co-creation

Social issue Challenges to Resolve Customers’ New Problems through Innovation and Co-creation

  • The author's affiliation name is as of the time of publication.
  • The information contained in IHI ENGINEERING REVIEW is as of the time of publication.Please note that development and product manufacturing may have been terminated.

Medicine and Pharmaceuticals

To evaluate the effectiveness of ozone gas for inactivating the influenza virus attached and dried on an indoor wall and floor, IHI conducted an ozone gas exposure test using influenza virus-attached carriers. As the result of the test, we confirmed the efficacy of ozone gas fumigation for inactivation of the influenza virus.

Taking another example, production of highly effective pharmaceuticals requires a containment system to secure both production-line workers and patients. These pharmaceuticals can be hazardous for the workers while being beneficial in patients’ treatment because of their strong pharmacological activity. In addition, their contamination into other pharmaceuticals is completely unacceptable even in minute amounts. To facilitate the production, IHI Plant Services Corporation has been developing technologies needed for pharmaceuticals production safe both for production workers and patients.

As the research advances, introduction of stem cells including iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells) into regenerative medicine attracts more attention. To introduce them in a full scale, however, mass production of these cells is required. IHI had been developing a novel bioreactor for suspension culture which is generally suitable for mass production and automated cell culture system. Our plant engineering and fluid technologies accumulated over many years were applied to the bioreactor design. We are exploring worldwide needs to aim for acquiring the opportunities to apply the system to regenerative medicine.

Ocean Current Power Generation

To supply sustainable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is expected to effectively use ocean currents including the Kuroshio Current as a source of ocean renewable energy.

IHI conducted the world’s first demonstration test of a 100 kW-class ocean current power generation system off the coast of Kuchinoshima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture and obtained data for the future commercialization.

Smart Agriculture

IHI has been developing a sunlight type plant factory applicable to various kind of agricultural products to stably supply safe and secure agricultural products. The core of the factory is the IHI Integrated Environmental Cultivation Control System for Protected Horticulture (I-IECS). The IHI Group has developed the system by integrating its advanced technologies such as sensing and system control technologies. In 2019, a tomato with a high sugar content cultivated with the system won the grand prize in a fair in Japan.

Technological advancement is also required to resolve the labor shortage and aging problems, which are the biggest problems faced by the dairy and livestock farming in Japan. IHI Agri-Tech Corporation has developed Combination Baler JCB1800, which enables efficient feed crops harvesting with less labor. This baler can harvest not only conventional feed crops but also feed rice, form round bales nonstop after harvesting, and operate stably even in small fields.