Deshima Netherlands Awards 2023 for Yanmar Europe and Sekisui Design Studio

9th edition of biennial awards for Japanese companies making impact in the Netherlands and the world

Deshima Netherlands

© Twycer /

On Monday 11 December, 2023, Ms Hilde van der Meer, Commissioner Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, presented the Deshima Netherlands Awards 2023. The awards presentation took place during the annual reception of DUJAT in Amsterdam.

The Deshima awards are given jointly by NFIA and the Dutch-Japanese Trade Federation DUJAT to acknowledge Japanese companies that are making a positive contribution to the economy, society and Japan-Netherlands relations.

The award in the category ‘well-established’ was presented to Yanmar Europe / ELEO and the award for ‘newcomer’ went to Sekisui Design Studio.

The other nominated companies in the category ‘well-established’ were Daiwa House Modular Europe and Mitutoyo Nederland. In the category ‘newcomer’, Quest Photonic Devices and Shionogi were the other nominees.

Award for well-established company for Yanmar Europe / ELEO

Yanmar Europe, a subsidiary of Yanmar Co. Ltd., was founded in 1989 with sales and services in agricultural, marine commercial and industrial sectors. With 350 employees and the dedication to providing sustainable solutions through technological innovation, Yanmar Europe is an important economic force in the city of Almere and province of Flevoland.

In 2022, Yanmar acquired a majority ownership of ELEO Technologies in Helmond which is a fast-growing battery technology company.

Yanmar Europe was chosen for a Deshima Award because of its initiatives towards sustainable solutions and its contribution to Social Corporate Responsibility in the Netherlands. Yanmar is working diligently on decarbonization through electrification and ultra-high fuel efficiency solutions. With its Green Challenge strategy, Yanmar strives to become an ‘ecologically footprint-free, GHG-free corporation based on recycled resources’, a global project with local impact. Across all of Yanmar’s company activities, sustainability is the driving force – ‘Achieving Maximum Prosperity with Minimum Resources’.

Yanmar Europe collaborates very closely with the municipality of Almere on the city’s energy transition efforts, in particular Almere’s electrification. Yanmar is also one of the major partners of the city of Almere in the development of a new technology university.

Yanmar Europe has been actively engaging in corporate social responsibility (CSR) for many years. With the sponsorship of Yanmar Stadion, the longterm commitment to the Almere City Football Club, and their active support of the local sport activities such as YANMAR Almere city Run, Yanmar takes seriously its responsibility in promoting sports and healthy lifestyles.

With the Beehive Project, which is an employee’s initiative to help save the bees including sowing flowers and arranging a professional beehive keeper, Yanmar is dedicated to protecting nature and enhancing a healthy living environment.

For more than a decade Yanmar has been investing in the generations of the future. With their programme Practical Education Almere, Yanmar provides practical study support to secondary school students to gain real-world experience with an employer and to prepare for the job market.

Through these numerous CSR activities, Yanmar has been contributing to the wellbeing of the city of Almere and its people.

Yanmar Europe has been continuously providing strong support to enhance the understanding and business relationship between Japan and the Netherlands. Yanmar plays a very active role in the Dutch & Japanese business communities, and sponsors, among other events, the annual Japan Festival in Amstelveen and the Cherry Blossom festival in Almere.

The Deshima Awards jury report stated: ‘Yanmar has proven to be a great value to the city of Almere, the province of Flevoland and the Netherlands through its unique economic, social and cultural contributions.’

Yanmar’s partner ELEO is focused on becoming a leader in the battery technology industry, with cutting-edge technology and techniques that are enabling even the most difficult of machines and vehicles to electrify. In regard to CSR, ELEO is very much committed to innovation and strongly believes that through collaboration with the sector and ecosystem these goals will be achieved.

Award for newcomer for Sekisui Design Studio

Sekisui Design Studio is a subsidiary of Sekisui Chemical and was established in 2020 at the Automotive Campus in Helmond. Sekisui created the modern showroom as a ‘living lab’ to update its customers, OEMs and partners from Europe on the latest technological developments in the mobility field.

Opening this Design Studio offered Sekisui the possibility to collaborate and innovate, together with suppliers and end-users. With this studio the company is able to integrate in an open innovation ecosystem. Sekisui focuses on solutions, instead of only raw materials, which was the more traditional approach.

According to Mr. Masashi Yanai, Director of Sekisui Design Studio, IP is key. Therefore it is also smart to focus on specific and high end solutions, instead of raw materials. This will enable Sekisui to attain and maintain IP. Sekisui’s goal is to register patents in the Netherlands – it sees the Design Studio as an ‘Idea Generator’ for its sustainable innovations.

Although Sekisui Design Studio is based at the Automotive Campus Helmond, the solutions it offers are suitable and adapted for many purposes, including: smart cities, smart mobility, smart housing and smart offices. But also e-flight solutions are offered, using battery technologies from Sekisui.

Mr. Yanai and Sekisui have shown that they support and promote the Dutch Open Innovation philosophy and approach. At the Automotive Campus Helmond Sekisui is part of the so-called ‘triple helix’, where the industry, academia/knowledge institutes and government, work closely together. They work company-neutral, in order to create the best solutions for our society – innovation for good.

Sekisui Design Studio collaborates with local educational institutes to support talent development. It offers internships for students of Fontys University of Applied Sciences. In addition, it is connecting with Summa Automotive & Smart Mobility, which offers secondary vocational education. In this way, Sekisui Design Studio has become an active participant in the local community.

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.

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)
  • Kubota Holdings Europe (2021)

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)
  • ACE (Mitsui Prime Advanced Composites Europe) (2021)
12 December 2023

Get In Touch

Contact us