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September 17, 2019

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Michelin China Backs Startups to Create Innovation Ecosystem

Michelin China seeks to foster an innovation ecosystem for outstanding startups in China and strengthen its long-term commitment to bring innovative solutions to sustainable mobility.

The company’s first Michelin Startup Acceleration Program, which kicked off in early 2019 and lasted about 5 months, has provided startups with rich industry knowledge and innovative challenges to create solutions for better mobility experience.

Kamran Vossoughi, the newly appointed president and chairman of Michelin China, shared with Shanghai Daily the significance of innovation on the “From 0 to Infinity” MSAP Event Day, which was held on September 5.

“Innovative spirit flows through the DNA of the Michelin Group. Over the years, Michelin has been sticking to exploration and innovation of sustainable mobility,” said Vossoughi.

Vossoughi, who arrived in Shanghai only three months ago, already has a view about one of the biggest tire markets in the world, as he sees challenges as great opportunities in this rapidly growing market.

“The fast growth and the scale are the two particularities of this huge market, and we should adapt ourselves faster to it in the coming years. The innovation was and is the engine of the growth and development of China especially in certain domains, which is unique and full of opportunities.”

As Vossoughi puts it, Michelin sees great potentials in the B2C and B2B market as China is pushing for a better quality of the business environment.

The company has already jumped on the electric vehicle bandwagon, with excellent performance in rolling resistance of tires and environment-friendly products.

It is also adapting itself to the digitalization of consumer behavior, enabling full online accessibility and experience of Michelin’s products and services.

The emergence of services for tires is leading Michelin to a new area in better mobility, including automatic systems and tracking devices.

“Today people would like to have a comprehensive service in B2B and B2C market like tracking different products as we see from the startups’ presentation. We should be a part of this journey,” Vossoughi said.

To further deploy its operations in the local market and ensure a sustainable trajectory, Michelin strives to keep its strategy consistent with other regions in the world.

“We deploy our operations in the local market to produce service, products and solutions that are environmental-friendly. Michelin Group puts great value on the sustainability regarding people.” Vossoughi said.

As a global leader in the industry, Michelin has been pushing the boundaries of its innovation, focusing on products, services and solutions, the experience of mobility including gastronomy and hotels, as well as hi-tech and environmental-friendly materials.

Multiple approaches taken by the company include the research and development of long-lasting performance of tires, connected mobility in terms of services for fleets, and 3D printing.

As an essential unit in the Michelin innovation strategy, the Michelin Asia Incubation Program Office has been created to make dedicated progress corresponding to the innovation ecosystem, and to bring more advanced solutions by facilitating the incubation of new technologies and business models.

Launched by IPO, MSAP has enabled five companies — YunKuaiChong, ShiBei, ArmorTech, LIMA and AmberLink — to work out trailblazing solutions for optimized charging experience, remote vehicle data collection, intelligent maintenance services, Internet of Vehicles and tire-tracking systems.

“We have a vision for this innovation structure and hub based in Shanghai to make great ideas happen not only here, but also in other countries after successful deployment in China,” said Vossoughi.

Currently, the second phase of the innovation acceleration program has been launched, and Michelin expects more partners to join in to create a sustainable future.

“To continue inspiring passion on innovation, Michelin endeavors to create an innovation ecosystem, and join hands with domestic partners to work together, from 0 to 1, and ultimately create unlimited possibilities,” Vossoughi said.


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