Blazing a trail to the future for society and Komatsu - Shonan Innovation Lab

The heart of Komatsu innovation

Occupying an entire building at our Shonan Plant, Shonan Innovation Lab is one of Komatsu’s key research and development facilities. This center has been conceived to drive innovation through the exploration of ICT technologies and sharing of our discoveries throughout Komatsu.  

Until the opening of Shonan Innovation Lab, Hiratsuka City had been dotted with our R&D facilities that had paved the way for next generation technologies.

The scope of their research and development activities ranged from cutting-edge and basic technologies to the development of automation and remote control technologies for construction and mining machinery including autonomous haulage systems, and electrification systems that will contribute to carbon neutrality. By consolidating these functions in a single complex, Komatsu has facilitated communication across departments, promoted innovation through improved sharing of knowledge, and provided a place that sparks innovation.

Shonan Innovation Lab was created to bring together one-third of the engineers in Komatsu's Development Division and to create new value in a center that encourages thinking outside the box. It is a facility that instills a sense of pride in our engineers and facilitates their work with ease and comfort.

Yasumasa Toyoshima (General Manager, Development Division at the time of the interview) shared his insights of the Shonan Innovation Lab. 

Making ideas and co-creation a reality.

Shonan Innovation Lab incorporates many ideas to maximize the abilities of engineers and increase their potential.
Everything from the study and verification of technology to testing can be handled in the same building.
By strengthening mutual collaboration, we have accelerated the process of transforming unprecedented ideas into a reality. To this end, offices and lab facilities are located on the same floor to enable rapid testing whenever an idea arises.

Another aim has been to further strengthen communication between engineers. Shonan Innovation Lab has a large number of open spaces where people regardless of the time or their department can easily and quickly gather for meetings.
There are also private work booths for those times when an engineer needs to focus on a task.


Komatsu is creating workplace environment that responds to the workstyle flexibility demanded by the times and to the rich diversity of a truly global group company.
This means a facility that tackles the challenges of diversity in a variety of ways. These include not only amenities that make Komatsu a more comfortable place to work but also an environment that welcomes the culture and beliefs of our overseas engineers across the world with facilities such as prayer rooms.

Moreover, each floor of Shonan Innovation Lab is provided with space open to our network of partners companies  to strengthen our collaboration and co-creation – a vital key to accelerating innovation.
While facilitating close communication with these partners and endeavoring to improve the precision and accuracy of our research and development, this R&D facility adopts solid security measures. 


Safe, secure, and environment friendly

Komatsu is committed to reaching a 50% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030 (compared to 2010), and achieving our Group goal of carbon neutrality – virtually zero CO2 emissions – by 2050. In line with these ambitions, Shonan Innovation Lab aims to be not only a state-of-the-art R&D facility, but also at the cutting edge of environmental performance.

Every aspect of this facility has been designed and constructed with CO2 emission minimization in mind. Energy saving performance also has been significantly improved thanks to the latest in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technologies, improved building airtightness and insulation, and solar power generation.

In addition, the installation of CO2 sensors to measure CO2 concentration, sensors to monitor the presence of people, and other non-contact measures mean that the facility isthoroughly prepared and ready to respond to a pandemic.

Shonan Innovation Lab and the future

In Hiratsuka City, Komatsu has demonstrated how we practice “technological innovation” – one of our founding principles. Here we are always pursuing forward-thinking initiatives.
They have resulted in innovations a step ahead of the times, for example, our autonomous haulage system, hybrid hydraulic excavator, and the KOMTRAX system for remote monitoring and tracking of construction machinery which were all born in this city.

With eyes on a future of infinite possibilities, Komatsu engineers are thinking outside of the box, sharing ideas, and collaborating with colleagues around the world.
Their efforts continue to hone the capabilities and presence of Shonan Innovation Lab as a cutting-edge hub of innovation.  

Innovative places give birth to innovative products.