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NEC Business Development Management Department

NEC’s mission is to discover its next-generation businesses by promoting new business development in five major themes: Sustainability, Agritech, Mobility & Robotics, the Metaverse, and Generative AI.

A team comprising approximately 70 members across the Incubation Group (cross-theme team of three members) and five separate business development teams for each theme, work in collaboration with many stakeholders—such as the R&D Institute, CVC, business divisions, and external partners—to plan and drive new business development projects forward.


Among many new business development proposals coming in, there was a need to develop a ‘compass’ to determine the strategy—on which proposals should the team focus their efforts? In other words, they had to specifically identify the business areas related to each theme and strategically select focus areas that aligned with their own technologies.
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However, research scope was immense and required high speciality for each theme and business domain. As a busy team dealing with daily cases, they could not take timely action.

Meanwhile, a company-wide project launch was announced, led by the Business Development Management Department, to formulate ideas from a more market perspective (until then, the research institute had been publicly announcing the technology vision strategy every October).
  1. March to April: Create a business domain map (linking themes and business domains)
  2. May to June: Identify focus business domains based on the domain map
  3. July to August: Create a business-technology matrix and determine technologies that can be utilized within the company in collaboration with the R&D Institute
  4. September to October: Create and present strategic stories along technology axes

    The Incubation Group took the lead (the cross-theme team), and the members had to tackle the enormous research tasks of Steps 1 and 2 in just four months.

The Edge Solution

Here’s how Edge helped solve their research challenges at every stage of the process.

1. Creating the business domain map

SPEEDA Edge's emerging industry list and industry analysis pages were utilized to quickly create a domain map without requiring initial research man-hours.

On SPEEDA Edge, over 200 emerging industries are categorized by themes and business axes by expert analysts. Also, each industry page can be used to quickly grasp the industry overview, market size, player map, major company business strategies, news, etc.

The team initially downloaded a list of all industries and considered which sectors to delve into from the large fields, from which they selected the five major themes.

By simply grouping SPEEDA Edge's emerging industries to their own themes, they created results extremely fast.

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2. Specifying focus business domains

Identifying focus business areas in each industry could be done quickly using the SPEEDA Edge market maps and startup profiles on the industry pages. For example, in the Carbon Management industry, the B2C Carbon Offsetting business area was already defined in the market map. The team could view profiles of startups in the segment and match solutions and business models to their own business quickly.

Also, monitoring what other incumbents were doing was a significant factor. There was value in confirming whether they were either following conventional activities or were identifying blue ocean opportunities.

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3. Creating business-technology matrix

Technology application cases in each business segment could be grasped quickly using the use case maps and startup profiles for each industry. This made discussions with R&D Institute members more efficient based on technology axes.

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The team was able to create the intended compass to strategically promote NEC's next-generation businesses discovery.

The SPEEDA Edge tool made it possible to quickly grasp which industries/business areas each incoming proposal discussed and prioritize them quickly.

The team was also able to design a strategic formulation process and outputs, allowing even new members to handle advanced strategic formulation work in an environment with frequent changes.


The team plans to identify new potential themes such as Generative AI proactively, by exploring SPEEDA Edge's Insights (10 trend reports published monthly by analysts) and innovation strategies of large companies. They will then compare their functionality to identify potential themes going forward.

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“In a perfect world, SPEEDA Edge gets totally embedded into our tools and colleagues can get some standard reports at the click of a button or through API”

Sebastiaan Nobs
Head of Business Development and Sales Excellence, Swiss Re

Curious to know more about SPEEDA Edge?


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ES bio

Shinichi Emoto

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Shinichi Emoto handles a variety of areas, ranging from Sustainability and Agritech to the Metaverse and AI, at the NEC Business Development Management Department. He joined NEC as a new graduate and has gained experience as an engineer and in business development. Shinichi has established numerous new businesses at Gree and Mixi, showcasing his versatility in areas that span from enterprise IT solutions to consumer services, including live streaming, XR, and metaverse sectors.

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Ken Fujiwara

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Ken Fujiwara has been working with NTT Data for about 25 years. He started his career as an IT engineer in financial industry, and afterwards, he was seconded to a management consulting firm and a New York branch of Japanese Mega-bank. As a result of his career, he has a lot of skills and experience of IT, consulting and financial business. For about these 10 years, he has been responsible for driving forward open innovation between NTT Data and startups, and also been serving as a mentor for overseas startups. In his free time, Ken likes mountain stream fishing and giving guides in a traditional Japanese garden to overseas tourists.