January 30th, 2018 | A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

The Bio Innovation Center Kurashiki Laboratory

Yanmar's research and development facility for gathering data and knowledge relating to plant life, the Bio Innovation Center Kurashiki Laboratory, commenced full operations from August 26, 2016. At the facility, Yanmar is leveraging its expertise in the production of machinery to pursue new research and development in the fields of horticulture, genetics, plant breeding and microbiology to create optimal solutions.

Location : Kurashiki city, Okayama prefecture, Japan
Site area : approx. 2.5ha

Key Areas

  1. Genetics & Plant Breeding Research
  2. Cultivation & Environment Data Visualization
  3. Microorganism Utilization

Hiroko Miyake: By promoting collaborative activities with new business ventures and outside parties we are able to accelerate our R&D efforts.

Research Center

At our research center we are applying artificial lighting and scientific analysis of hydroponics and soils within highly controlled environments to cultivate plants for the purpose of conducting research into plant life and their environments. Information gathered at our various centers is collated and used to optimize the advancements of our research.

Innovation Room
Cultivation Equipment Using LED Lights

Akiko Doi: We are conducting experiments within variable environments using LED lighting to optimize cultivation methods

Verification Center

The focus of our verification center is to maximize the productivity and minimize the costs of cultivation based on detailed data obtained at our research and testing centers. The first step is verifying the year-round strawberry cultivation which makes use of Yanmar Green System's strawberry crop rotation apparatus.

Kaori Itagaki: While the production of strawberries is on a rise worldwide, production is highly laborious and there are drastic seasonal fluctuations in price and production volume. Yanmar is conducting experiments on efficient year round solutions for strawberry cultivation that deliver a constant supply and minimize cost fluctuations.

Strawberry Crop Rotation Apparatus

A system for rotating the plant beds used to cultivate strawberry plants. As there is no need for walkways to access the crops, we can grow 1.5 times more strawberry plants using the same area previously. As the person tending the crops can do so from the same position without having to move around, we are looking into providing employment to disabled and elderly persons.

Testing Center

At the testing center we are analyzing the environmental elements inside the hothouses and utilizing the data to optimize cultivation environments. Here we are able to fully exploit energy conversion technologies which we have refined throughout decades of research into fluid dynamics and climate control technologies in engine development.

Teruyuki Morishita: We are testing climate control and tomato cultivation practices using our tall gothic arched shaped hothouses.

Gothic Arched Shaped Hothouses

YES Gas Heat Pump

Utilizing the gas heat pump climate control technology from Yanmar Energy System, we are conducting experiments and testing for the management of optimal temperatures for cultivation inside hothouses.

Bio Innovation Center Kurashiki Laboratory Q&A

1. What are the main areas of research?
We are advancing R&D through open innovation in collaboration with universities and other companies in three key areas.
  1. DNA and plant-breeding research: cultivar, machine and system synchronization, and tissue culturing.
  2. Cultivation & environment data visualization: hothouse environment analytics and analysis of how plants respond to their environment
  3. Microorganism utilization: residual treatment using soil microorganisms and strengthening plant functions using symbiotic microorganisms.
2. For the open innovation project, how do you plan to collaborate with external companies and universities?
Through joint research initiatives including lending rooms for use as a laboratory space or office and collaborating with the Yanmar Holdings Open Innovation Center to investigate investment options, we are aiming to build deepened relationships with outside parties.
3. Do you have something to say to Yanmar Group employees?
Our research successes in the fields of bioscience are the result of Yanmar's continual pursuit in engine and machine technologies over the past 100 years. For example, even if we understand how a plant responds, without climate control equipment we couldn't control the environment inside the hothouses. Furthermore, even with good seeds, without a seed planter we couldn't sow the seeds over such a wide area during optimal seasons. It is because of these technologies that we can achieve results here at Bio Innovation Center, and are able to collaborate with other businesses and Yanmar's Research & Development Center.

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