Eduardo López Santamaria

Innovation, the engine of the Second Fujifilm Foundation

Innovation, the engine of the Second Fujifilm Foundation

The association of "Amics de la UAB" with the support of the Catalunya Europa Foundation organized on April 11, a new dinner discussion this time with Eduardo López Santamaria, business director of photographic image, recording process and the optical mechanism from Iberia Regional (Fujifilm).

Beyond accepting the change, you have to create the change. (Masato Yamamoto, current president of Fujifilm Europe)

"Innovation" has been a word that has always been linked to Pasqual Maragall, but also to the company Fujifilm. Since its begginings, in 1934, Fujifilm has managed to reinvent, innovate and adapt its products to the digital age. "What is true in the end is that knowledge is the centrifugal force of innovation. Through life sciences, it translates into business competitiveness and social cohesion," explained Pasqual Maragall in one of his speeches. The company has diversified into a successful, international corporation that occupies a leading position in many areas of the business. Innovation focused on different fields of activity. Moreover, Fujifilm now focuses its efforts on two central areas to create value from innovation. From his own perspective, Pasqual Maragall has always developed a special care towards innovation throughout his career; the emergence of new types of entrepreneurs, new forms of organization of work and leisure, new ways of thinking and acting are currently creating new industrial fabrics, a result that has led to a total transformation of the economy, societies and culture.

What is innovation, then? It is precisely this word that has marked the political and social agendas of the 21st century and that has taught us the path of social transformation. According to Pasqual Maragall himself; "The basic idea to face globalization and the growing competition of the economy is, basically, not to lose sight of the train of the technological revolution". The innovation marks the agendas as a significant change that introduces new features and that refers to modifying existing elements to improve or renew them.

It is important to remember the origins of Fujifilm as a manufacturer of photographic material. Unfortunately, as of 2000, the photographic film market suffered a sharp drop due to the appearance of digital photography. What the company has achieved today is an unprecedented revolution in its own technology to continue to maintain itself in the international business fabric. They have managed to expand their product offers into different fields: going through image, graphic systems, recording media to the field of health. In addition, they have a strong development in research, from microscopy to outer space. They have managed to refine their technologies until introducing them in their products.

Consistency and dedication to work make transformation and revolution words that go along with innovation. That is why, since Fujifilm, throughout its history (as we have said before), three foundations of the company have been carried out that have allowed innovation to be part of this company, which has been able to adapt and address itself towards the specific needs of the new generations.

The transition of the company in 2017 consists of a completely radical change in the structure of the business: it dedicates 46% to products that are related to the area of office documents; 38% to industrial businesses / life sciences and finally 15% to businesses related to photography. The Japanese group reinvents itself with a business of 20,000 million euros divided into three main areas: health, documentation and industry; basically with the diversification of the technology that already had, making it more active to develop technologically towards the future and in the long term. Talking about innovation, the company has started from collagen, used in photographic films and applies it to regenerative medicine and, specifically, in the fight against cell-based diseases such as cancer. In the words of the current president of Fujifim Europe, Masato Yamamoto: "health is an increasingly promising area for us".
The company, oriented towards a B2B model (business to business), is not closed to new acquisitions. "We grow organically, although if necessary, we buy to attract new technologies and assets, but we must provide synergies. We do not buy for financial reasons, we look at technology, the market and customers".

Reference articles
De las Heras, Iñaki. "Fujifilm is not Kodak because it never abandoned innovation." Expansion. Of the Investor, p.3. Saturday May 11, 2019.