Story 1: The Challenge - Panasonic's Legacy for 2020 and Beyond

Photo: Executive Officer Masahiro Ido, Director of Panasonic's Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Enterprise Division

Panasonic is the proud sponsor of 17 Olympic and Paralympic events, following a tradition that extends back to 1988. The company established its Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Enterprise Division (formerly Tokyo Olympic Enterprise Division) in April 2014. In October of that year, Panasonic concluded a worldwide partner agreement with the International Paralympic Committee, the first such partnership for any Japanese company.

Panasonic has in-depth experience in the Olympic and Paralympic arena accumulated through the provision of solutions such as its latest imaging and AV equipment and its projection-mapping technology. The company provided operational support for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Rio 2016 and the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games. In addition Panasonic is developing new technologies and services that will be deployed during the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Executive Officer Masahiro Ido, director of Panasonic's Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Enterprise Division, hosted a media seminar at Panasonic's Ariake Studio in Tokyo in July 2019, one year before the start of the Tokyo 2020 Games. He used the opportunity to look back on Panasonic's thirty-plus years of sponsoring Olympic events and, with the company now an official Olympic Worldwide Partner, presented the company's vision and initiatives for 2020 and beyond.

Contributing to the Olympic and Paralympic Games

To support next year's Tokyo 2020 Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Panasonic will provide its very latest AV technology and solutions. The company will also supply and operate huge state-of-the-art LED screens at a number of stadiums. The company is already looking ahead to the Beijing 2022 Winter Games and Paris 2024, where Panasonic will continue to play an invaluable role in its support of the world's foremost athletic competition.

Photo: Executive Officer Masahiro Ido at the podium explaining the company's vision and initiatives.

"5 Smart + Next 3" Solutions for 2020 and Beyond

In preparing for 2020, Panasonic has identified a number of fields where it can make meaningful contributions through new business models, including those where it will work in collaboration with customers and partners. The result is a suite of solutions that Panasonic calls "5 Smart + Next 3." Several of these solutions are already being tested on a commercial basis in conjunction with more than 40 partner companies.

The "5 Smart" solutions are:

  • Cycle and battery-sharing using electrically assisted bicycles to reduce traffic
  • Ultra-fine misters or "green air conditioners" that cool down outdoor environments
  • Luggage-free travel services to help visitors enjoy Japan more easily and comfortably
  • Cashless next-generation ticketing systems
  • Advanced security systems that monitor entire areas on an integrated basis.

Businesses generated from these new solutions are expected to produce cumulative sales of more than 200 billion yen by 2020.

Image: Proposals for 2020 and Beyond: Five Smart. We are promoting futuristic lifestyles for 2020 and beyond based on our technology + solutions, to address the issues Japan is facing as a mature society. Both by our own efforts and in collaboration with other companies, we will offer Panasonic's hospitality solutions to Japan and the world. Social issues in Tokyo & Japan are: Transportation convenience, Accessibility, Eco-friendliness, Communication, Payments, Safety, and Disaster preparedness. To overcome these issues, Panasonic will offer Five Smart solutions which are: 1. Smart Transportation: Improving the environment and eliminating traffic congestion with electric motor-assisted bicycles. Bicycle and battery sharing. 2. Smart Communities: Comfortable lifestyles supported by social infrastructure and smart energy supply & demand. Smart street solutions, solutions to combat heat - Creating new businesses such as signage using street-level equipment installed following the removal of utility poles. 3. Smart Communication: Eliminating language barriers. Multi-language translation, optical ID, tourism solutions. 4. Smart Payment: Cashless ticketing, movement, shopping. Hospitality platform linking settlement to personal ID. 5. Smart Security: Balancing safety with hospitality. Video surveillance systems.

The "Next 3" solutions comprise:

  • Robot electric wheelchairs that transport users safely and comfortably with the assistance of autonomous movement, automatic stopping and other features
  • Solutions for healthy aging, including next-generation fitness clubs
  • Advanced systems for enhancing athletic abilities and spectator experiences
Image: Proposals for 2020 and Beyond: Next Three. Helping to realize a future vision for Tokyo and Japan Hospitality solutions. Vision for Tokyo & Japan are Assisting the disabled, Coping with a rapidly aging society, Health promotion, More exciting sporting events, and Strengthening competitiveness. Panasonic will offer Next Three solutions, which are: 1. Accessibility: A society where everyone can live comfortably. Safe and reliable control systems for robotic wheelchairs. 2. Wellness: Helping to extend healthy longevity. Next-generation fitness clubs. 3. Sports: Strengthening competitiveness and providing new spectator experiences. Sports video analysis, stadium solutions.

Maximizing Usage of Vacant Land and Buildings

The "5 Smart + Next 3" strategy will not end in 2020, because Panasonic is already planning to enhance the value of legacy Olympic and Paralympic facilities that will remain in use after 2020. The strategy is centered on the joint development of new business concepts with clients and partners who are engaged in urban development. These collaborative businesses will encompass consulting, proposals and demonstrations. Some of the specific initiatives include:

  • HARUMI FLAG (former Athletes' Village) - infrastructure in the village will be substantially upgraded with solar panels, a condominium energy-management system incorporating storage batteries, security systems and power supplies for common areas using pure hydrogen fuel cells
  • Commercial Real Estate business - idle land/building renovation and area-management systems
  • Integrated resorts - facilities incorporating hospitality, entertainment, mobility, sustainability and security
  • Stadiums and arenas - upgrading sports facilities using advanced technology to provide new experiences and services and to keep these facilities fit-for-purpose and contributing to the energy and livelihood of their host communities.

By means of such initiatives, Panasonic aims to package major facilities into single products to improve their asset values.

Image: Vision for 2020 and Beyond. Creating new business models by working back from social issues anticipated for the year 20xx. Increasing the value of facilities and open spaces by making full use of accumulated expertise and solutions created to date; evolving new businesses through collaboration with other companies. Adoption of hardware + software (services) for large-scale facilities and urban development is our aim by Collaborating with leading companies in their respective industries and Innovating and creating new businesses starting at the market / customer level. Joint development and commercialization through consultant-style business development, proposals and field tests for the upper layer of urban development stakeholders (developers, builders) will be the core of this strategy. Some of the specific initiatives include: HARUMI FLAG (due for completion in 2024), Suita SST (Sustainable Smart Town) Grand Opening (2022), Opening of IR/MICE (in or after 2024), Large-scale sporting events (Stadiums/Arenas), and Privatization of regional airports, rail stations, commercial facilities.

Cumulative Sales Expected to Exceed Initial Targets

Panasonic has been steadily receiving orders for stadiums, athletes' villages and related facilities as part of its 2020-focused activities. Cumulative sales are forecast to exceed 200 billion yen, or 1.89 billion USD, well in excess of the initial target of 150 billion yen. Thereafter, additional new business is forecast to potentially exceed 70 billion yen by 2022.

A common feature of these 2020-and-beyond initiatives is collaboration with other companies. Going forward, Panasonic will continue to pursue practical and sustainable solutions that flexibly address society's real needs, as reflected in the company slogan, "Creating the future Japan."