Canon Electronics Inc. (“Canon Electronics”), IHI Aerospace Co., Ltd. (“IHI Aerospace”), Shimizu Corporation, and Development Bank of Japan Inc. (“DBJ”) announced1 that the four companies have established New Generation Small Rocket Development Planning Co., Ltd. (“NSR-DP”) to develop a commercial space transport service business, aiming to capture demand in the field of small satellite launches, which is expected to experience future growth both in Japan and overseas.

Regarding the global expansion of the small satellite launch market, with the acceleration of changes in the international market as well as such factors as competitor activity and government legislative activity2, NSR-DP has been established aiming at the early stages of commercialization, based on the decision that planning and investigation must be accelerated.

NSR-DP will explore commercialization while utilizing the combined expertise and knowledge of all four companies to verify such matters necessary to determine the viability of the business as the development of rockets specialized for launching small satellites, production cost reduction and the probability of capturing demand for rocket launches.

This business, aiming to deliver a small satellite launch service, will apply the consumer electronics mass production and cost-down expertise and knowledge of Canon Electronics and the rocket development and system integration expertise and knowledge that IHI Aerospace has cultivated to this point, as well as the various infrastructure expertise and knowhow necessary for a space transport service that Shimizu Corporation and its subsidiaries that carry out such activities as space transport consulting possess. DBJ, with the equity finance expertise it has accumulated through a wide range of investment activities, will take part in the actual planning and investigation.

NSR-DP is aiming to smoothly transition from a business planning company to an operating company from the end of 2017 once investigations into the viability of the business have been carried out and once a forecast for commercialization has been determined.