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President’s Message
Newsletter "SEI WORLD" Vol. 462

Masayoshi Matsumoto President & CEO

Patience Wins the Day

Recently our redox flow battery system was selected as a winner of the 2015 Nikkei Awards for Superior Products and Services, and the award ceremony was held the other day. We are truly honored that of approximately 20,000 products and services, our product was selected as one of the 18 winners of the Award for Excellence, including a fuel-cell vehicle, a small-size business jet, and others that had attracted much public attention through TV and newspapers.

At the award ceremony, the chairman of the board of examiners especially encouraged us in his address by stating that he expects us to lead the world’s future battery technology and industry. Our representative who attended the ceremony told me that the chairman’s comments had made him tremble with excitement.

We launched the development of this battery system in around 1985. Although we finally succeeded in commercializing it after more than a decade of struggle, we soon encountered unexpected technical problems, forcing us to temporarily suspend sales of the product. However, our researchers believed that the solution to the problems would definitely ensure that the safe and long-term usable redox flow battery system would become the main item in the market for large storage batteries. These researchers waited patiently for the right time to come. Afterwards, in step with the rising momentum domestically and internationally for renewable energy development, large storage batteries began to attract a lot of attention.

Every time I give this explanation to people outside our company, they all are surprised, saying “How can you patiently wait as long as 30 years?” I always answer, “Research and development takes time,” but I actually tell our researchers not to use this fact as an excuse for their failure to generate desired results.

In the field of research and development, it is natural to pursue technical specialties, with the ultimate purpose being to create value for global society. We need to seek after themes with an excellent balance between specialty and universality. While being clearly aware of the tangible results and timelines, we also need to work on our daily duties autonomously. I believe that these constitute the minimum requirements for successful research and development.

Masayoshi Matsumoto President & CEO

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