The Yokogawa Life Innovation Business is on the move

The Yokogawa Life Innovation Business is on the move

12. December 2019

Yokogawa has long been committed to the sustainability goals formulated by the UN. In this context, the focus is on good health and well-being. Against this background, the aim is to strengthen the Life Science division in a targeted and sustainable manner in the future.

In order to drive this forward in Europe, Dr. Gerd Heimlich, has now joined Yokogawa as a new a new sales and market developer at Yokogawa Germany, has now assumed responsibility for the Life Innovation Business (LIB). He has worked in the medical device industry for the past 14 years. Prior to that, he was a life science researcher in the field of programmed cell death (apoptosis).

After a first visit to Yokogawa’s global LIB headquarters in Kanazawa, Japan, Dr. Heimlich was available for an interview. Among other things, he talked about the future direction of the Life Innovation Business and the changes that the near future will bring.

Dr. Gerd Heimlich

Dr. Heimlich, what is new for Yokogawa?

Dr. Gerd Heimlich: Most of us know Yokogawa as a product and solutions provider for the oil, gas and pharma industry. Even though certain products for the Life Science field exist since decades not enough focus was put on this business area. Following our 2050 agenda aligning with the UN goals, ‘human well-being’ is of great importance to us. Therefore, our Life Innovation Business is a new and strong strategic focus area for Yokogawa.

Which Yokogawa products are you referring to as part of the Life Innovation Business?

Heimlich: The basis for our Life Innovation Business are our state-of-the-art Confocal Scanner Units (CSU) which are supporting researchers and microscopy users since many years to obtain high-resolution live cell images. The core of our Life Innovation Business encompasses the Confocal Quantitative Image Cytometer (CQ1) as well as the High-throughput Cytological Discovery System (CV8000). Further product developments are under way. With this new Yokogawa Life Science Blog Series we will display the technical features and unique offerings of our products with the next postings in the future.

What are the results of the new strategic focus in the market?

Heimlich: In the past, most of the LIB outside of Japan was performed in cooperation with external partners. Now, in developed markets like the US and Europe the local Yokogawa entities will take over the daily sales, marketing and service responsibilities themselves. This change will be performed together with the existing distributors, where we have already a long and successful collaboration. The first steps have already been taken by hiring additional employees with various experiences that bring new ideas to our Yokogawa organization supporting the growth of the Life Innovation Business in the future years.

What can we expect in the European market particularly?

Heimlich: We want to ensure a close connection and relationship with our European customers. Therefore, this market will be managed out of the German country organization instead of our European headquarter. This is somewhat special for Yokogawa, but we expect a lot of benefits by that. Furthermore, the European market will have a close and direct communication as well as collaboration with our Japanese colleagues from our Life Innovation Business headquarter in Kanazawa, Japan.

What structure follows your new strategy?

Heimlich: Since a few years we have already European Service Engineers in place to technically support our LIB products for High Content Analysis (HCA) like the Cell Voyager systems. Just last month we extended our European Sales and Marketing team to further drive our activities in the region. With the further growth of the Life Innovation Business additional talents in the field of Life Science applications and technical service will be hired.

Woman scientist and DNA molecule image at media screen

Can you give us an example for the European-Japanese collaboration?

Heimlich: Just at the end of October Yokogawa hosted a User Group Meeting for our High Content Screening (HCS) respectively High Content Analysis (HCA) customers in Paris. We had a strong presence of our Japanese colleague’s displaying some of our new product as well as software developments. Also, a lot of European customer feedback was collected and taken back to the development team in Japan. Additionally, just a couple of weeks ago, we had the chance to visit our Life Innovation Business headquarter in Kanazawa, Japan. We met many colleagues including our development team and experienced the existing as well as future Life Science products first hand. There is a great spirit in the whole global Yokogawa organization to really “start-over” and grow the Life Innovation Business in the future.

Can you tell us a little bit about the new product developments?

Heimlich: It is not a secret that Yokogawa recently acquired the start-up company called BioStinger Inc. Their technology uses a nano pipette to inject substances into or extract intracellular material from single-cells. If all goes as planned, we expect this technology next year in the European market. Furthermore, automated high-throughput applications in the field of single-cell analysis are also under development and hopefully available in the near future. Additionally, Yokogawa is developing a new bio-reactor using some of our core product technologies like near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to closely control glucose concentration and consumption with that enabling optimal conditions for cell growth in culture.

What is your take-home message for the reader?

Heimlich: The Life Science field, its scientific results and ultimately developments increasingly contribute to human well-being. Yokogawa takes on its responsibility to partner with researchers in this area offering its high-quality technology as well as customer focused service. The Yokogawa Life Innovation Business is renewing itself. We strive to take new roads, offer state-of-the-art solutions allowing researchers. So we want to obtain answers to their scientific questions in a fast and efficient way. We are all looking much forward to co-innovating tomorrow with you.


The path to a new drug

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