Message from the CEO

Akihiko Suwa

Akihiko Suwa
NineSigma Holdings, Inc.
President and CEO

The main purpose of establishing NineSigma Holdings, Inc was based on my ‘DREAM’ during my school days, which was “Creating a future where everyone can live a safe and peaceful life." While at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, I came to think “It would greatly accelerate the innovation cycle, if someone could connect the organizations or people that have a great desire to advance innovation to the talent or technology that can fulfill that desire."

In 2003, I encountered NineSigma, Inc, U.S., which enables global scale match making between companies with needs and technology solutions that potentially fulfil these needs. What I felt in my heart was, “THIS IS MY IDEAL JOB!” I took immediate action to promote this wonderful system to companies in Japan. For the longest time, the phrase "Open Innovation" was not common in Japan. We established NineSigma Japan, Inc. in 2006, working hard together with pioneering corporate leaders. In 2017, we successfully established NineSigma Holdings, Inc.

The NineSigma Group has been supporting “Open Innovation” since 2000; with over 800 companies involved worldwide and over 5000 projects. We have one of the largest “Open Innovation” networks in the world, including 2 million engineers, scientists and researchers in 105 countries around the world. This, and technical diversity is our strength. “Open Innovation” has now become a key phrase for all innovators today, however we continue to evolve to develop and deliver best OI practices for our clients utilizing the largest network of OI professionals and craftsmen, assessing emerging technologies, and applying our original know-how.

Brief Personal History

Master Degree in Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
McKinsey & Company, Inc., The Japan Research Institute, Limited, and then established NineSigma Japan in 2006, assuming the position of President and CEO. A pioneer of “Open Innovation” in Japan. Understanding the whole context of “Open Innovation” in Japan better than anyone else based on experience; negotiated with more than 500 officers of major companies, over 200 corporate clients, with over 1000 cases of successful project practice.

Executive Management Team

Atsumi Eiji

Eiji Atsumi

Vice President, NineSigma Holdings

MSc., Electrical Engineering, University of Tokyo. Visiting Research Scientist at the University of Maryland (USA). Brought into NineSigma his work experience with Mitsubishi Electric, NOKIA and Samsung. Appointed to the executive team in 2017. Plays a promoter role in the Finnish ICT business/startup community, KAATO.

Experienced in R&D and business roles in global companies, where he executed Open Innovation projects with academia, established companies and startups. Launched the NineSigma Outreach Program to help established companies build bridges with startups globally. Leads NineSigma Holding’s new business development efforts for the Asia Pacific region.

Murakami Marie

Marie Murakami

Vice President, NineSigma Holdings

M.Sc. in Agriculture, University of Hokkaido. Prior to joining NineSigma, Ms. Murakami was a consultant with NIPPON KOEI CO., LTD., a leading Japanese Engineering Consulting company. Appointed to the executive team in 2017. She has completed numerous NineSigma projects for world-class Japanese companies. Through these projects, she has supported the Open Innovation process by providing matching services and developing client open innovation skills. In addition, she has taken lead in developing an efficient technology matching platform in cooperation with the Japanese national government for companies large and small. Directs NineSigma Holding’s new business development efforts focused on government service.

Patrick Ferran

Patrick Ferran

Vice President, Chief Sales Officer (NineSigma Europe, NineSigma North America)

Patrick Ferran is Vice President of NineSigma. He joined the company in September 2010 and has since actively promoted and delivered Open Innovation services to clients across Europe.

Patrick started his career in R&D at General Electric in the USA. He then joined Thalès Avionics in France where he worked in product development and international customer support services in the aviation industry. After an MBA he was hired by Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) and worked in business process management and CRM implementation. From 2000 until NineSigma Patrick was involved as founder and executive manager in high tech start-up companies, active in CAD software, IT & Database infrastructure and Internet applications.

Patrick is a Civil Engineer from Ecole Polytechnique of the Free University of Brussels (MS in Mechanical Engineering in 1987). He got his MBA from Sciences Po Paris in 1996.

George Vincent

George Vincent

Vice President, Chief innovation officer

George Vincent is Vice President of NineSigma Europe. George joined NineSigma in July 2011 to help establish NineSigma’s presence in the United Kingdom and has since supported global client’s Open Innovation initiatives across the European region.

After gaining a BSc (Hons) degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from Brunel University, George spent 15 years working with a number of blue–chip companies in the telecoms industry including Motorola, AT&T, France Telecom, GE and Cisco Systems in a variety of senior commercial and technical roles responsible for Europe and the EMEA regions. Prior to joining NineSigma, George spent 10 years in the innovation sector in various roles which included intellectual property management, technology acquisitions & commercialisation with the British Technology Group and as an independent innovation consultant and advisor on business growth strategies.

In 2005, George was appointed Visiting Professor of Innovation Design Engineering for the Royal College of Art & Design (RCA), the world’s leading postgraduate art & design university. As part of his remit he has led a number of joint corporate initiatives and delivered the ‘Creative Business Lecture Series’ for the course and also developed mentoring and coaching programs for start-up companies joining the InnovationRCA Incubator.

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