Deshima Netherlands Awards 2021 for Kubota and ACE

8th edition of biennial awards for Japanese companies making impact in the Netherlands and the world

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On Thursday 24 March 2022, Ms Hilde van der Meer, Commissioner Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), presented the Deshima Netherlands Awards 2021. The awards presentation took place during the annual reception of  DUJAT (Dutch & Japanese Trade Federation) after the original event in December 2021 was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The Award in the category ‘well-established’ was presented to Kubota Holdings Europe and in the category ‘newcomer’ to ACE (Mitsui Prime Advanced Composites Europe).

Fujitsu and Toyota Industries (Vanderlande) were also nominated in the category ‘well-established’, in addition to Kubota. In the category ‘newcomer’ Fuji Oil and Norinchukin Bank Europe made up the list of nominations together with ACE.

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Award for well-established Kubota

The Osaka-based high tech multinational Kubota has been established in the Netherlands since 2017 when it opened its European headquarters here. At the same time, Kubota began its manufacturing operations in the Netherlands. The company makes equipment for industrial use including tractors and engines for the agriculture industry.

Founded in 1890, Kubota has a long history in technological innovation. The company’s vision is on manufacturing that benefits society. It thereby focuses on the sustainability of its products and processes with an eye to reduce CO2 emissions, recycling, save water, control of chemical substances and biodiversity conservation.

Since moving to the Netherlands, Kubota has expanded, starting research in the Wageningen area and opening a new distribution center for tractors near Rotterdam. As the jury report notes, Kubota is a very active member in the Dutch and European agtech ecosystem. They are also an active participant in the discussion and search for solutions for challenges in the field of agriculture, both in the Netherlands and Japan, such as making food production more sustainable, addressing the aging farmer population and increasing labor shortages.

Underpinning their future-focus, Kubota actively supports and collaborates with agtech start-ups in the Netherlands. The company is not only an ambassador for sustainable agriculture, but also for the traditionally strong Japan-Netherlands relations.

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Award for newcomer ACE

In June 2021, Japan-based Mitsui Chemicals Group launched production of polypropylene plastic (PP) compounds at Mitsui Prime Advanced Composites Europe (ACE) in the Netherlands. Located at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus industrial park, ACE marks the Mitsui Chemicals Group’s first PP compounding site in Europe.

The ACE  production plant, located at the heart of the Dutch chemicals sector ecosystem, serves the growing demand from automotive industry for lightweight materials for use in cars. As the jury report explains, these materials reduce the weight of cars, having a positive effect on fuel consumption, the range of electric cars, and the reduction of CO2 emissions. In this way, ACE contributes to the development of sustainable, future-proof high tech solutions.

Deshima Netherlands Awards for companies contributing to economy and society

The Deshima Netherlands Awards were established in 2007 by the Dutch-Japanese Trade Federation DUJAT and the NFIA as a token of appreciation to the Japanese business community in the Netherlands. The biennial awards are given to two Japanese companies in the Netherlands that make a positive contribution to the economy, society and Japan-Netherlands relations. One award is presented to a well-established Japanese company, and the other to a Japanese company that has recently located in the Netherlands.

The Deshima Awards reflect the long history of trade relations between Japan and the Netherlands. They are named after the Japanese island of Deshima which was a Dutch trading post from 1641 to 1854.

The awards are based on nominations by the regional partners of the Invest in Holland network. For the 2021 awards, the jury consisted of Ms Hilde van der Meer, Commissioner NFIA and chair of the Invest in Holland collective; Mr Hideaki Takase, previous Chairman of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Mr Luc Houben, Dujat Chairman.

Previous winners of the Well-Established Awards:

  • FUJIFILM Europe (2007)
  • Teijin Group in the Netherlands (2009)
  • Astellas Pharma (2011)
  • Canon (2013)
  • Omron (2015)
  • Kikkoman (2017)
  • Yakult (2019)

Previous winners of the Newcomer Awards:

  • Hitachi Construction Machinery (2007)
  • Sekisui S-Lec (2009)
  • Menicon (2011)
  • Kobelco Construction Machinery Europe (2013)
  • Omori-Selo (2015)
  • Mitsubishi Corporation Life Sciences (2017)
  • MM Metal Recycling (2019)