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April 1, 2021
Will promote businesses specializing in Synecoculture™ and other technologies related to augmented ecosystems
On April 1, 2021, the Sony Group Corporation (hereafter, Sony) founded SynecO, Inc. (hereafter, SynecO; pronounced like “SIN-uh-ko”), a new company that will promote businesses focused on Synecoculture* and other environmental technologies related to augmented ecosystems.
SynecO is the inaugural project of Sony Innovation Fund: Environment, a corporate venture capital fund established in September 2020 to foster new environmental technologies.
The company name comes from the first part of Synecoculture™: syneco, literally “ecology together.” The big O at the end of SynecO symbolizes the limitless potential of Synecoculture to create thriving, augmented ecosystems.
“Augmented ecosystems best represented by Synecoculture have been one of the most fruitful research projects for the global agenda of Sony Computer Science Laboratories, which aims at making long-term contributions to humanity and society. Over more than a decade of research and real world deployment, we have shown—notably through efforts in the Sahel region of Africa that have reversed desertification and stimulated local economies—the potential of augmented ecosystems to make a huge impact in the global sustainability issues both environmentally and societally. In the face of climate change, food insecurity, and a global pandemic, dramatic improvement of sustainability at planetary scale is urgent, making it more important than ever that we construct highly functional ecosystems with high level of biodiversity. SynecO, Inc. is created with the sense of urgency that the issue requires involvement of multiple stakeholders involving corporate sectors, governments, international organizations, and private citizens, deploy Synecoculture not only for ecosystem restoration and food production, but also as a part of basic infrastructure in cities and living spaces and next-generation education platforms that deepen understanding of the natural environment. This is the time for us to get united to make transformative change in our civilization for sustainable future.”
“For tens of thousands of years, humanity thrived without the fossil fuels, agricultural methods and scientific advances that underpin our lives today. But we would not survive a single day, even in our modern era, without the biodiversity and ecosystems that generate the clothes on our backs, the food we eat, and our habitat. Today, the growth of human activity is devastating our planet, from climate change to mass extinction. Our current economic systems will not escape the grave consequences of rising health problems, food insecurity, desertification and pandemics, among other problems. At this crossroads for the survival of our civilization, we will promote methods that build fundamentally new relationships between humanity’s necessary activities and our natural environment. We will leverage the multifaceted value of biodiversity, construct highly diverse ecosystems with synergistic functions, and provide management technology that supports the creation of a sustainable natural world and a sustainable business world through the regeneration and augmentation of natural capital, a world that brings society and the environment together on common ground.”
Sony Group's long-term vision is to achieve, by 2050, a “zero environmental footprint” for the entire life cycle of Sony Group products and business activities. In addition, Sony Group has begun promoting activities that will have a positive impact on the global environment through technology and business. As part of these efforts, Sony Innovation Fund: Environment, a corporate venture capital fund, will focus on supporting companies that are developing technologies to address global environmental issues related to climate change, natural resources, industrial chemicals, biodiversity, and more. The fund will start by investing 1 billion yen, primarily in seed-stage and early-stage startups, but we will consider expansion based on these initial activities. In the long-term, Sony aims to make both major contributions to the health of the global environment, and solid returns on its investments. In addition, the Sony Innovation Fund will add ESG to its evaluation criteria for all potential investments.