The Pursuit of Innovation - Episode 1
How Fujifilm’s Innovation Has Made It Prime for the 21st Century
with Teiichi Goto (President and CEO, Representative Director)
Once best known as a leading maker of photographic film, Fujifilm has reinvented itself through nonstop innovation and diversification into new business areas.
This content is produced in partnership with CNN International Commercial.
The Pursuit of Innovation.
With the digital revolution unleashing a wave of transformation and creating new opportunities across industries, Fujifilm has relentlessly pursued innovation to become a model success story among modern international businesses.
Since its founding in 1934, as a maker of photographic film, Fujifilm’s story has been one of technological excellence and diversification in keeping with changing times. Foreseeing the advancement of digitization in the marketplace, it boldly embarked upon the challenge of developing digital imaging cameras and other key technologies in the digital era.
With demand for photographic film declining sharply since 2000, Fujifilm leveraged its expertise to push growth in healthcare, materials, and business innovation.
Business Fields of Fujifilm Group
Teiichi Goto, CEO, Fujifilm Holdings
(Goto is a 38-year veteran of Fujifilm, having spent 17 years in Fujifilm’s overseas outposts)
In addition to world-class imaging solutions, the Healthcare segment now forms the core of Fujifilm’s business, making medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and biomaterials. The Materials segment includes semiconductor process materials and protective film for polarizers, while FUJIFILM Business Innovation (formerly Fuji Xerox) provides products and services that support new work styles and optimize business processes through digital transformation.
Fujifilm’s corporate slogan, "Value from Innovation", reflects its commitment to creating innovative technologies, products, and services to provide new value to the world by taking on challenges and growing together with the spirit of “NEVER STOP”.
The two phrases “express our corporate stance, our DNA, and represent our strong will to continue to improve and make society, the world, and the future better,” says Goto.
Fujifilm has a long history of involvement in healthcare: from the launch of X-ray film in 1936 to the commercialization of the world's first digital X-ray image in 1983 and the development of medical informatics, which involves the study and application of methods to improve healthcare data management. Fujifilm is also focusing on the in-house development of AI technology to support doctors' image diagnoses. It has already deployed products and services with AI technology into more than 50 countries around the world.
In addition to its evolution in the healthcare industry, Fujifilm also invests heavily in biopharma contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). Its strength lies in its ability to handle contract development of production processes for all types of biopharmaceuticals, including antibody drugs, gene therapy drugs, and vaccines.
In the semiconductor market, where demand continues to be strong due to the development of 5G and automated driving, Fujifilm has built a solid position in the semiconductor industry by providing a wide range of products used in semiconductor manufacturing processes, including cutting-edge process materials. Goto describes this market as “extremely significant” to the company’s success.
In April 2021, Fuji Xerox — a former joint venture between Fujifilm and Xerox — ended its agreement and changed its name to Fujifilm Business Innovation to start anew. This step forward allows this business segment, consisting of high-tech office printers and related solutions, to expand its activities from Asia-Pacific to a more global market. As a result, it has already started supplying OEM products to new customers and selling its brand products to new markets.
Building a Sustainable Society
Fujifilm’s underlying mission is to “find solutions for societal problems and help build a sustainable society”. One of the primary goals of its ambitious Sustainable Value Plan 2030 is to improve access to healthcare globally, reduce the burden on patients by providing innovative solutions for medical image diagnosis, and enable early detection of diseases using AI and IT.
Goto says Fujifilm is particularly focused on developing countries, such as India, where cancer patients have a relatively low survival rate, and screening isn’t yet widespread. “We opened an examination center there in February of 2021 to promote early detection and early treatment of cancer and lifestyle-related diseases,” he says, noting that this is a small part of a larger ambition to help reform struggling medical systems in developing countries.
Teiichi Goto puts emphasis on “trust” and “integrity”, which he describes as “the most important values underlying the corporate culture of the Fujifilm”. This has set the foundation for the company, and it will continue to grow its business through implementing new initiatives with an eye on the future.
“We must look three, five, or 10 years into the future to win our place in the market,” Goto says.
But it’s not merely about looking ahead but also about creating the right opportunities to continue Fujifilm’s success story.