INTERVIEW #7: HORIBA JOBIN YVON
“With its long history, Europe is a powerhouse of Science, springing from talented people in many international calibre academic institutions.”
“Horizon 2020, this ambitious innovation drive from the European Union, creates a favourable environment for the R&D efforts of HORIBA companies in Europe.”
GBMC Interview (2015) with:
Dr Masayuki Adachi, President & CEO,
HORIBA Jobin Yvon SAS, Saclay (Paris area), France
Interview conducted by E. Motoko Inuyi & Philippe Huysveld and written by E. Motoko Inuyi.
HORIBA JOBIN YVON
“R&D is excellent in France. The French government offers tax shelter, great facilities, within a mature continent market.” says Dr Adachi, President of HORIBA Europe Holdings, and also Senior Corporate Officer of HORIBA, Ltd (in Japan).
Installed in the Paris-Saclay campus, HORIBA Jobin Yvon benefits from both FP7 funds and French Tax credits, which are available to EU and French established R&D centres.
Dr Adachi underlines that the advantages of an acquisition (M&A) is to benefit from the local experience and from the links with the EU academic network. He also thinks that there is some future expansion to be expected in the EU Medical sector.
Dr Adachi comments upon EU strengths and opportunities for future innovation as follows: “With its long history, Europe is a powerhouse of Science, springing from talented people in many international calibre academic institutions. However, this core scientific strength does not convert enough into a business advantage for the region, with products and services able to capture global market share. As industrial competition intensifies to invent answers to tomorrow’s consumer requests and social needs, Europe needs to rejuvenate its wealth creation machine in order to sustain its progressive social model and keep the European dream alive. Faced with a difficult economic period, when imbalanced public budgets cannot be called to rescue, European entrepreneurs will have to embrace a more open approach to innovation where they can leverage not only academic discoveries but also the capabilities of partners along the value chain. Given the cultural diversity within Europe, this is both a challenge to overcome existing barriers to cooperation and an opportunity to bring to market unique solutions.”
He has also positive comments about Horizon 2020: “This ambitious innovation drive from the European Union creates a favourable environment for the R&D efforts of HORIBA companies in Europe.”
About HORIBA’s Operations and Investments (Acquisitions) in the EU
The HORIBA group employs worldwide approximatively 5,000 people, among which 1,700 are based In the EU. Therefore, the group’s global Human Resources Management policy. It is the world market leader in Automotive Exhaust analysis and, in Europe, HORIBA Holdings Europe has a turnover of €400 Million.
In Europe, the company has been conducting acquisitions:
· In 1996, the company acquired ABX in Montpelier (South of France, 600 employees) in the Medical business.
· In 1997, Jobin Yvon became part of the HORIBA group.
· In 2004, acquisition of the mechatronics division of Schenk in Germany in the Auto equipment testing business.
Nowadays, HORIBA runs factories in the Czech Republic (50 employees), in Germany (400 employees) and in UK (250 employees). There are also Sales and After-sales service offices in Sweden, Italy and Spain, as well as, a Sales office in Romania looking also after increasing sales in other Eastern EU Markets.
Finally, there are plans to develop the Czech factory but this would be production expansion for the Chinese market (for exports from the Czech Republic to Germany, then to China, which is HORIBA’s biggest market). Dr Adachi views the Czech Republic as a country technically strong in mechanics, with a great industrial past and providing a highly skilled workforce.
About HORIBA’s R&D centres in the EU
French Research facilities are located in Paris (Saclay campus), Montpelier (South of France) and Longjumeau (in the heart of the French Optics Valley). Actively involved in EU funded FP7 research (various) projects, the company is usually invited to join as industrial partner by its own clients or academic contacts. HORIBA Jobin Yvon R&D teams are granted more than 10 patents worldwide each year. The study and manufacture of diffraction gratings remains their domain of excellence, with only a few competitors worldwide.
About Jobin Yvon’s History
The famous “Ecole Polytechnique”, where Mr Jobin and Mr Yvon graduated from, used to be located near La Sorbonne, Paris, France. Pr Fresnel teaching at the same university was a lens inventor and a major science contributor in Optical Science. The original company Jobin Yvon manufactured the lens invented by Pr Fresnel and was a spin-off of the “Ecole Polytechnique”. The company came close to bankruptcy in the early eighties and, at the time of acquisition by HORIBA in 1997, it was under a restructuring Leverage Buy Out. President Horiba was familiar with Jobin Yvon’s products from his academic studies. Although not the highest bid, the LBO sellers favoured HORIBA due to their shared valued in business goal, family business style and long term vision for the company. The respect for Jobin Yvon is evident, as shown in the current company name. The Ecole Polytechnique is now located within the same Paris-Saclay campus as HORIBA Jobin Yvon’s state-of-art R&D centre. Jobin Yvon has in one way returned to its roots.