Venture West Panel Preview: Breaking Global Innovation Barriers in Construction (Sponsored by Kajima)

Kajima, one of the largest and longest-standing construction companies in Japan, has aged like a fine wine with management continuing to push the innovative boundaries of its legacy construction operations.

Yuji Doi & Dai Ohama, Kajima’s innovation and technology leads in the US, will be guiding a global discussion focused on the regional nuances of internal and external innovation in the built environment on Day 1 of BuiltWorlds' Venture West Conference, which is less than 1 month away (and nearing capacity).

Here is what Yuji Doi had to say about this highly collaborative international Panel:

While leading the technology development by putting efforts into R&D initiatives, to better contribute to society and prosper the business and industry, companies are balancing out the activities into Open Innovation. Open Innovation is a platform to collaborate with external companies in a broader definition, to look into diverse opportunities to boost efforts. Merging the internal R&D activities with external innovation opportunities is critical and needs a defined structure to co-exist. In this panel, how and why the R&Ds are important, set the foundation, and enable to gain further acceleration for the overall innovation activities, having perspectives from different territories.

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Meet the Panel

Yuji Doi - Technology Development Manager, Kajima USA

Having a background in civil engineering, after joining Kajima, Yuji Doi served in a number of infrastructure projects in transportation. He studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He moved to the Innovation and Transformation team four years ago to start his new role, enhancing the development of Kajima’s initiatives. Kajima is a Japan-based global construction company mainly serving as a general contractor while having other arms such as Real Estate development. Yuji is responsible for leading the open innovation to expedite the technology development and improve the operation's efficiency by looking for potential partnerships in the startup ecosystem.

Yuji's ambition is to bridge the gap between construction and emerging technologies, to create a spark, Innovation.

Dai Ohama - Head of Innovation and Incubation Office, Kajima

Dai Ohama has been in charge of the innovation & Incubation Office at Kajima for more than 4 years. He's got a stranglehold of open innovation in Silicon Valley. Dai's mission is to achieve CAAF, "Construction as a factory", which is the optimization of construction, by exploring companies that have developed cutting-edge technologies and creating new businesses for the company, and cultivating an innovation mindset in the Company through the Empowerment activities in Silicon Valley.

Janis Goldbeck

Janis Pieterwas - Innovation Manager, Goldbeck

As Innovation Manager for construction, Janis constantly seeks new technologies and ideas from startups, industry partners, and construction-focused VCs to improve the construction site efficiency. His goal is to improve onsite workflows and increase productivity, focusing primarily on construction robotics and field applications. Goldbeck is one of the largest design-build companies in Europe with deep vertical integration. Overall, the scope of Goldbeck's team in the Bay Area includes innovations in the design phase and operation and maintenance services.

Janis's personal background is in civil engineering. He received his master's degree from Leipzig University of Applied Science (Germany) in 2018. As a student, Janis gained experience on construction sites all over Europe, which provided the necessary context for his work today. In the last phase of my studies, Janis worked as a research assistant at the faculty of civil engineering, investigating and publishing the impact of innovative insulation materials on the energy consumption of buildings.

Taehong Huh - Managing Partner, GS Futures

Taehong Huh has been with GS Futures for about 3 years now, the Corporate Venture Arm of GS Group, a Korean conglomerate spanning the Energy, Construction, and Retail sectors. GS is looking for both technological and business-model innovations in the Built World for a more Sustainable Future, both for industrials as well as the Planet.

Huh received his MBA from Stanford following 3 years of work for GS Shop where he rose in the ranks from Assistant Finance Manager to Manager on the Venture Investment team.

Tristen Magallanes - Director of Product Incubation, DPR

Tristen Magallanes serves as DPR Construction’s innovation R&D leader. In her 23 years in the construction industry, Tristen has worked in a variety of capacities including operations, estimating, project support, innovation, and now research and development. The daughter of a carpenter, her passion has always centered on tradespeople and creating the most effective, efficient, and safe environment possible. Through her work in innovation, Tristen has played key roles on teams leading the way in prefabrication, automation, robotics, and custom tool fabrication.

She holds an MA in Cultural Anthropology and BS in Psychology. Outside of work, you can find her training her three cattle dogs, tending her chickens, and managing a local Armored Combat team.