Promoting Global Knowledge Exchange through “hhc Initiative 2016”

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December, 2016

On November 16, approximately 130 participants, including CEO Naito, Professor Ikujiro Nonaka (Professor Emeritus, Hitotsubashi University), Professor Akihiro Okumura (Vice President of University of Shizuoka), Mr. Eiichiro Suhara (Outside Director), senior management and hhc managers from various Eisai subsidiaries worldwide, assembled at our global head office in Tokyo to participate in “hhc Initiative 2016.” Professor Nonaka and Professor Okumura have supported Eisai as advisors for many years, providing us with guidance in the fields of knowledge creation and business/innovation.

hhc Initiative is an annual event that promotes and recognizes excellence in innovative activities based on our hhc corporate philosophy. Each year, the most outstanding initiatives are selected from a range of innovative projects by Eisai employees, covering diverse hhc-driven activities that aim to realize various contributions to patients, case reports and proposals submitted by internal applicants (known as the “Eisai Innovation Paper”), as well as achievements of in-house R&D and production organizations. The overall aim of the event is to increase the understanding of the importance of innovative initiatives that emphasize health care from the patients' perspective, and by sharing these results to promote further innovation.

Award Recipients

This year's hhc Initiative featured presentations on a total of 15 innovative activity themes. Of these, we would like to highlight a selection of activities by our Korean sales branch, Eisai Korea Inc. (“Eisai Korea”), which won our Award of hhc Excellence.

Efforts to contribute to people with disabilities in Korea

Through a report issued by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Eisai Korea team noticed that 90% of people with disabilities acquire their disability after birth due to disease or injury, and many disabled persons are at the same time suffering from various kinds of diseases, however, social understanding of people with disabilities is insufficient. This theme consists of activities aimed at satisfying unmet needs of people with disabilities in Korea through promoting social understanding of people with disabilities. By socializing with people with disabilities, Eisai Korea team members have learned that many disabled persons are at the same time suffering from various kinds of diseases, such as muscle stiffness, epilepsy, etc. The members also learned that people with disabilities are far more likely to be victims of social prejudice and stigma because of their condition, they suffer from low self-esteem, are reluctant to seek medical treatment, and have a low quality of life. On the other hand, they have a strong desire for mental, physical and social support.

Through socialization, the team learned that many people with disabilities love music and that music has the power to influence people. Through a workshop, the team developed a campaign to raise awareness of the plight of disabled people and through music delivered a message to society about their unmet needs. This awareness campaign culminated in the launch of the “NOW Project” whose key message is “I am here because we are here”. The team invited a professional singer-songwriter who created lyrics based on the knowledge gained during the workshop. With the help of the singer-songwriter, they added melody to the lyrics and completed a song called “Closer”* which they recorded together with the disabled people who participated in the workshop. The team also launched a Facebook page to serve as a platform where people can interactively discuss issues that people with disabilities are facing every day in society. The team live-streamed ongoing events on the project’s Facebook page, and held a concert to showcase the song and the campaign. As a result of these activities, Eisai Korea received a proposal to hold a campaign together with local high school students who are sympathetic to the plight of disabled persons.

NOW Project members who created music video for people with disabilities in Korea

These series of activities conducted by Eisai Korea were very well received by disabilities-related organizations as reported in various media outlets, and Eisai Korea received a CSR award from the media.


Facebook (Korean, no subtitle)

YouTube (Korean, with Japanese/English subtitles)

YouTube (Korean, with Korean/English subtitles)