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Table 3 Properties of representative Toyota’s partners involved in four groups

From: Configuring an alliance portfolio for eco-friendly innovation in the car industry: Hyundai and Toyota

Groups Characteristics of alliance portfolios Representative Toyota’s partners
Patent quality Degree of collaboration
Potential partners HIGH LOW Mitsubishi - Blending PLA with other biodegradable plastics to improve heat resistance
Kanebo - Japan’s best PLA textile company and acquisition of PLA processing facilities that can produce 500 tons annually
Key partners HIGH HIGH Mitsui - Establishment of bioplastic plant with US chemical company Dow in Brazil
- Establishment of “Toyota bio Indonesia”, joint venture of Toyota and MISUI to sell bioplastic produced by Toyota
Shimadzu - Toyota took over bioplastic production plant from Shimadzu in 2002
Nominal partners LOW LOW Gosen - Japanese companies (sports equipment manufacturing) selling fishing supplies and rackets (such as tennis, soft tennis, and badminton)
Unitika - Commercialization of “Jekoto”, an intensively developed biomass plastic business. This is a polyamide-based engineering plastic using a raw material derived from biomass
- Acquired production capacity of 500 tons annually from the factory in Uji City in Kyoto prefecture in July 2012 and completed testing the Jekoto plant
Diligent partners LOW HIGH Hitachi - In 2010, developed an epoxy with heat resistant resin with lignin in the main raw material
- Hitachi recently expressed an interest in the production of biomass-derived plastic
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