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Contribution to Society through Practical Realization of Kyoto University’s Knowledge via Collaboration with Enterprises

Kyoto University President Juichi yamagiwa

Since its foundation in 1897, Kyoto University has worked to cultivate academic freedom under the spirit of self-reliance and self-respect and to open up creative scholarly fields. So we will consistently pursue our important goal of providing researchers with an environment where academic endeavors can proceed undisturbed to broaden new horizons in human knowledge. On the other hand, it is expected that Japan will face hardships in the future, including a declining birthrate and an aging population, a decline in the total population, as well as a shrinking labor force in particular, and a decline in existing industries due to changes in the industrial structure. As the circumstances surrounding universities are changing, so are the roles to be fulfilled as a matter of course. In this context, it should also be an important role of universities to cultivate human resources that can cope with the difficulties our country faces with creativity and practical capability.

Kyoto University has one of the biggest researcher bases in Japan as a single entity, as well as a teaching faculty of more than 2,700 members. In 2013, the initiative of our university was successfully adopted by the Center of Innovation Science and Technology-Based Radical Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Center of Innovation Stream/COI) Program, the program planned by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan. I believe that this program has given faculty members an unparalleled environment for materializing basic research and students the opportunity to create innovation that may change society drastically, as well as a place for developing human resources that can play an active role globally through experience with research and development under an industry-government-academia partnership. So I think the COI program is an approach that will provide both the faculty and students with a valuable opportunity that is not found in traditional universities.

In 2019, the program entered its phase 3. I hope that phase 3 will lead to further development leveraging the accomplishments in phase 1 & 2 and contribute to society through practical realization of Kyoto University’s knowledge through collaboration with enterprises.

Pursue the Realization of Social Change by Selection of Projects for Concentration

Special advisor Panasonic Corporation Tsuyoshi Nomura,Ph.D.

Kyoto University’s Last 5X Innovation R&D Center for a Smart, Happy, and Resilient Society was selected as a core center for the Center of Innovation Science and Technology-Based Radical Innovation and Entrepreneurship (COI STREAM) Program that started in 2013. Phase 1 (2013 to 2015) and Phase 2 (2016 to 2018) of the program were completed, and Phase 3 (2019 to 2021) as the final phase has finally begun.

In Phase 1, to develop a smart, flexible, and accommodating society where citizens remain active and pursue new challenges as a member of society throughout their entire lives, we, as the core center, worked on the four fields: cordless electrical power transmission, sensor network for peaceful life supported by advanced ICT technology, preventive/preemptive medical care and advanced medical care, and accommodating society development. Aiming at the creation of new industries and sharing a dream for achieving a social structure, 64 partner enterprises in total, Kyoto University and Kyoto Institute of Technology have pushed ahead with back-cast-type development in the International Science Innovation Building together with Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto City, and Seika Town on an under-one-roof basis. During this phase, many accomplishments were achieved, some of which made good progress toward social implementation.

In Phase 2, we worked toward the realization of social change, carrying out selection and concentration not only in the projects we had pursued to take stronger measures against a declining birthrate, which is one of the social problems, but for three fields of support for the mental and physical health of women and children, healthcare, and disaster-resilient infrastructure to make progress toward social implementation, for which we concluded the comprehensive partnership agreement with Seika Town, Kyoto Prefecture to verify it in the field.

In Phase 3, we will restructure the projects in the three fields we have tackled during Phase 2 by closing some themes and adding new ones, and while utilizing the verification field, we will further brace ourselves toward social implementation, which is the goal of COI Stream. Moreover, we also intend to approach the government to promote changes in legislation for deregulation in order to realize social change.

We will make every effort at gaining success in the program with the support of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan Science and Technology Agency, municipalities, university researchers, and partner enterprises in the future as well. We would like to ask for your continued support.

Speed Up the Creation of Innovation by Focusing on Key Points

Kyoto University Program-Specific Professor Hidetoshi Kotera,Ph.D.

“The Last5X Innovation R&D Center for a Smart, Happy, and Resilient Society” at Kyoto University, which was selected as a core center for the COI program started in FY 2013, has proceeded with research and development based on an industry-government-academia partnership comprised of about 40 private enterprises, Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto City, Seika Town, Kyoto Institute of Technology, and Kyoto University. Since the start, six projects have successfully advanced through the development stage to social substantiation, and three ones have finished the stage where support from the national government is needed and graduated from the COI into development at each enterprise’s own cost. Over the last four years, we have also worked on the formation of a field for the substantiation research on our development article in Seika Town leveraging on the Special Zone program offered by the national government. In the first phase between FY 2013 and FY 2016, we could achieve many better-than-expected results through collaboration between researchers and enterprises engaged in the program. We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the national government, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, JST, municipalities, university researchers and partner enterprises for their support.

After the interim assessment in FY 2016, we started the second phase in FY 2017 based on the result of the assessment. In the setup of the second phase, we took account of the rapid moves of the world, social circumstances surrounding IOT and big data, and Society 5.0 in the Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan in line with the consultation with the Visionary Team (Yuzuru Matsuda, Leader of Vision 1) on the procedures (mainly on the areas of focus in researches and projects). Consequently, in order to speed up the ongoing research and development in the COI along with the creation of innovation based on them and to explore further sustainability to be secured as a rapidly aging developed country with fewer children, which is a major theme of Vision 1 pursued in the Center, we have narrowed down the points of focus to the three fields: support for the mental and physical health of women and children, healthcare, and disaster-resilient infrastructure.

We would like to ask for your continued support in the future as well.

Expectation for Kyoto University’s COI Program

Governor of Kyoto Prefecture Takatoshi Nishiwaki

Kyoto has developed thanks to many cutting-edge research institutions and universities, including Kyoto University, and enterprises with advanced technology located in the Kyoto area, which have served as the source of Kyoto’s vitality and have contributed to the development and economic revitalization of the local community.

Phase 2 (FY 2016 to FY 2018) of the Center of Innovation (COI) program in which Kyoto Prefecture participated in 2013 together with organizations related to industry and academia was completed, and the program will move forward to the final Phase 3 at last. Based on this COI program, which started with an eye to a smart, flexible, and accommodating society, a society to be realized in ten years, research results in services and products leveraging technologies, such as cordless, sensor, and ICT, are emerging from the projects we have worked on. A smart society in which everyone can actively live with these research results incorporated into our daily lives is finally approaching. I sincerely appreciate Kyoto University COI for its significant contribution through these projects to realize such a society.

Now, regarding the three themes for research and development in Phase 3, the comprehensive support for expectant and nursing mothers, as well as child care, will be developed utilizing AI and sensors in support for the mental and physical health of women and children, while a smart nutritional diet and walking assist robots will be developed for healthcare. These are very critical projects that will lead to improvements in the social environments of Japan, which has already entered the age of a declining birth rate and aging population, and even more in Kyoto Prefecture, which is aiming to become the best prefecture in Japan for child care. Furthermore, for the disaster-resilient infrastructure, based on large-scale disasters frequently occurring these days due to abnormal weather, research and development to protect the safety and peaceful minds of residents, including a system that can provide power supply even in an emergency, is expected to be conducted. I greatly anticipate the future developments of these projects in the third phase.

Collaborating with research institutions, enterprises, and universities, including Kyoto University, to support startups utilizing the Kyoto Keizai Center, the Keihanna Open Innovation Center (KICK), and the national strategic special zone program, as well as to promote social implementation of advanced technology through collaboration of industry, academia, and the public sector, Kyoto Prefecture will strive more than ever to realize the dream of delivering the world fastest innovation from Kyoto and Japan as soon as possible.

For the further development of Kyoto and Japan in the next ten to twenty years, I would like to ask for your continued support.

Kyoto has always given birth to something unprecedented.

Mayor of Kyoto City Daisaku Kadokawa

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” This is a phrase coined by Alan Kay, the father of personal computers who received an honorary doctorate from Kyoto University. So it really makes me feel proud and secure that Kyoto University was selected as one of the centers for the Center of Innovation Science and Technology-Based Radical Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Center of Innovation Stream/COI) Program, which boldly aims to invent the future of Japan as Alan Kay said, and is proceeding with research and development for the future.

To live a fulfilling life vigorously and vibrantly?this is a desire that every person would cherish. It is extremely significant to push ahead with technological innovation toward the realization of a society that fully meets this desire, with the aim of solving problems in the current social system, under collaboration among universities, enterprises, and governments, including Kyoto City.

Kyoto is a city that attracts enterprises that give free play to their own unique strengths by leveraging high technology and universities and research institutes that accumulate exceptional research results, where the fusion of them has constantly produced something unprecedented. I sincerely hope that this aggressively challenging program in Kyoto will give rise to new innovation that will open the door to the bright future of Japan.

Kyoto City will make every effort with other parties involved to promote technological innovation toward the realization of a better society, including the project to promote life science industry at Kyoto Lifetech Innovation Support Center established on the campus of Kyoto University.

Toward a New Challenge under the Comprehensive Partnership Agreement with the Kyoto University’s COI

Mayer of Seika Town Masami Sugiura

Since the participation in Kyoto University’s COI in April 2016, Seika Town has promoted collaboration with it in particular fields, including the substantive experiment on wireless electrical power transmission leveraging the national strategic special zone program. The fields of support for the mental and physical health of women and children, healthcare, and disaster-resilient infrastructure that Kyoto University’s COI is pursuing are points of focus also for our town; therefore, we have concluded a comprehensive partnership agreement in July 2017 for the purpose of establishing a stronger structure for continuous collaboration and partnership.

For realizing the knowledge of Kyoto University through research and development at the COI together with enterprises for social implementation, partnership with administrative bodies is indispensable.

I think it is very significant for the town’s residents to find through the social implementation an opportunity for experiencing and using new leading-edge technology and joining commercialization. All of Seika Town will give cooperation in order to develop a smart, flexible, and accommodating society that brings a peaceful mind to everyone, which Kyoto University’s COI aims at.

I am in great hopes that Seika Town will be a model of a smart, flexible, and accommodating society in synergy with the Seika 365 Project, the health promotion campaign that our town conducts with the aim of increasing the human health span of the town’s residents.

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