Business Category : Environmental, medical and welfare
Created on 2014-4-17
Updated on 2015-3-19
euglena Co., Ltd.(Bunkyo Ward)
euglena Co., Ltd is a bio-venture company from the University of Tokyo. Since their establishment in 2005, they have been in the business related to Midorimushi (academic name: Euglena) and became listed in Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers in 2012. We visited and interviewed Mr. Akihiko Nagata (photo), the Director of corporate strategy, accounting and financial affairs, and general affairs and human resources, of the company which aims to resolve food and global warming problems by utilizing the characteristics of euglena.
We were established as a venture company from the University of Tokyo in August 2005. Euglena, in our company’s name, has a Japanese name of Midorimushi. Since it has “mushi” (meaning “insect” in Japanese) at the end of the word, it is easy to misunderstand; however, it is a kind of an alga (single-celled, microalgae) same as seaweed and kelp. It includes almost every nutrient component that is necessary for a human being and is used as functional food. We have been conducting research for over 30 years, since before our establishment, and in December 2005 we became the first in the world to succeed in outdoor mass cultivation of Midorimushi for edible use. From this, we were able to produce food raw materials with high protein and high nutrition, and to develop and produce functional food. In 2010, our technique for outdoor mass cultivation of Midorimushi was awarded the grand prize for “Tokyo Venture Technology Grand Prize.” Currently, we handle everything from cultivation of Midorimushi to planning and development of products by ourselves, and we have established a domestic market of 75 hundred million Japanese yen annually as of 2014. Moreover, in addition to edible use, Midorimushi also has the possibility of solving environmental and energy problems. Since it grows with just water and sun light and has high production efficiency, we believe that it holds a potential of defeating these worldwide issues.
As a pioneer company related to Midorimushi, we wish to expand into various businesses for the health and environment of the world. Since 2010, in addition to our food business, which is already commercialized, we have been developing a technique to produce bio jet fuel from Midorimushi through a collaborative research with JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation and Hitachi, Ltd. Since biofuels purified from sugar canes and corns face competition with use of those materials for food, we believe that Midorimushi, which does not compete in terms of farmland utilization, can become a core supply source of second generation biofuel. By realizing an “algae fuel” as an energy source to replace fossil fuel, we intend to contribute to resolving energy problems. Additionally, as a research development of environmental improvement technology, we are engaged in an effort that utilizes the Midorimushi’s characteristics of absorbing carbon dioxide. In 2009, we held a demonstration experiment to immobilize carbon dioxide at a coal-fired power plant in Okinawa, and as a result, we were able to confirm that it was possible to grow Midorimushi even if exhaust fumes were ventilated, and its growth was rapid. From this, we are hopeful that it could be utilized efficiently for CO2 reduction and global warming strategies in the future.
As one of the advantages of being located in Tokyo, we can mention the brand power that the geographical name “Tokyo” has. Since we are a venture company established in 2005, we need to continue making ourselves better known. Because we needed research facilities and large-sized factories, we also considered moving away from Tokyo. However, when we thought about the merit of being able to easily transmit both domestically and internationally, we arrived at the answer of “Tokyo” after all, and we are continuing our business in Tokyo. As a venture company that continues taking on new challenges, a brand named “Tokyo” sounds appealing.
As a top company of Midorimushi-related companies, we wish to be a company that “makes human beings and Earth healthy” with “Changing yesterday’s impossible into today’s possible with bio technology” as our corporate mission. The future that we envision is a sustainable circulating society. Midorimushi can grow with sun light, carbon dioxide, and water. By raising and harvesting Midorimushi that grow by absorbing carbon dioxide in the air, there is a possibility that they can prevent global warming. Moreover, by transforming Midorimushi into food, feed, and fuel, we intend to provide sustainable circulating society for the future. We would like to change the future with Midorimushi, which has the possibilities to resolve nutrition, environmental, and energy issues.
Address (Iidabashi Office): 31F, Iidabashi First Tower, 2-6-1 Koraku, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo