Shiseido opens its new Americas Innovation Center

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

the makeup lab at Shiseido's new Americas Innovation Center
the makeup lab at Shiseido's new Americas Innovation Center
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by Mayor Janice Mironov and the company’s top executives and R&D chemists, Shiseido shared its plans for new tech and product development as well as the workings of the facility that will make it all possible.

Select members of the press were also invited out to the event late last week in East Windsor, New Jersey. And Cosmetics Design was there to listen in, tour the center (with Remona Gopaul, manager of technical innovation), and speak with the executive team​.

The AIC comprises 22,000 square feet and will accommodate product information development, product safety assurance, intellectual property management as well as other functions that previously took place in Japan, where Shiseido has its headquarters.

Historical inevitability

The event coincided neatly with Shiseido’s 100 year anniversary in the cosmetics business. While the company itself is 144 years old this year, it was in 1916 that Shiseido began researching, developing, and selling beauty products that are instances of “science indistinguishable from nature,” ​as the company likes to say.

The mandate for the AIC team is “to be winning in the American market,” ​said Masahiko Uotani, president and group CEO in his remarks at the event. “We must…leverage our 100 years of cutting edge research and development to create products that deliver incredible results, marketed in new and innovative ways that are relevant to our consumers around the world.”

Masahiko went on to explain that the company now truly has the advantage of its own “global matrix for collaborative innovation.” ​Over the next few years, Shiseido’s R&D network will grow even further to included new or larger facilities in Shanghai, Singapore, and Paris.

Trickle-up innovation

Shiseido has reworked its innovation pipeline to allow for what Yoichi Shimatani, chief research and development officer of Shiseidocalls “consumer centric R&D.”

By doing extensive research in to consumer skin care and beauty practices, skin heath, and marketplace experience, the company has created a data bank of global information that will inform R&D at Shiseido going forward. 

The company acknowledges that in today’s beauty marketplace, “innovation is no longer a monologue.”

“It's a dialog we need to [have with the] consumer,”​ Marc Rey, president and chief executive officer of Shiseido Americas, told the event attendees.

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