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Silicon Valley D-Lab Project x the Machine Parts and Tooling Industries Seminar Held Mobility innovation and the momentum of future growth

On March 29 (Wed.), 2017, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) held a seminar titled “Silicon Valley D-Lab x Machine Parts and Tooling Industries Seminar  mobility innovation and the momentum of future growth .”

This seminar brought together about 300 people from companies in the machine parts and tooling industries, the automobile-related industries, universities, financial institutes, municipalities and other entities that are interested in expanding business to Silicon Valley, mobility innovation, and automobile-industry reform.

Taking this opportunity, the members of the Silicon Valley D-Lab Project also released a report on the results of its activities.

1. Purpose of the seminar

Mobility innovation has begun in Silicon Valley. This innovation involves the development of vehicle sharing, connected vehicles, electric vehicles and autonomous driving technologies at a greater pace than ever before, and this trend is expected to have a major impact on the manufacturing industry, particularly the automobile industry, in Japan.

The seminar brought together the major members of the Silicon Valley D-Lab Project* and representatives of companies participating in the Overseas Mission of the Machine Parts and Tooling Industries.** Speakers provided reference information that businesses may need in expanding businesses overseas, e.g., current trends in Silicon Valley, the potential impacts of this innovation on the automobile industry in the future, necessary preparation for successful overseas business expansion, and the feasibility of the Japanese manufacturing industry playing an active role in Silicon Valley.

Notes:
*1: Silicon Valley D-Lab Project
The Silicon Valley D-Lab Project is a voluntary project initiated by a group of Japanese nationals who live in Silicon Valley to communicate the changes in the automobile industry there to Japan. The project aims to share the results of interviews with leaders and experts in the automobile industry in Silicon Valley to a broad range of people engaged in the automobile industry, and especially manufacturers of parts and raw materials that have no base in Silicon Valley. The project is undertaken with the cooperation of Toyota Research Institute, Inc., Stanford University, and Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS), an organization operated by the university to promote industry-academia collaboration.

**2: Overseas Mission of the Machine Parts and Tooling Industries
Following the successful mission to Silicon Valley in 2016, METI dispatched a mission in February 2017 to Silicon Valley, consisting of people from approximately a dozen companies in the machine parts and tooling industries that are pursuing overseas business expansion. Through the visit to Silicon Valley, the mission came to understand the imminent disruptive and revitalizing impact of mobility innovation on the automobile industry and learned various important facts, including the following: Silicon Valley is a huge manufacturing base where new vehicle models and prototypes are being manufactured vigorously and is on par with Japanese companies in terms of technology; there are sufficient opportunities for Japanese companies to develop successful business there taking into consideration the high quality of Japanese technology; and Japanese companies need a strong ability to take action if they are to take advantage of these opportunities.

2. Outline of the events

Date and time:
March 29 (Wed.), 2017; 13:30–17:00
Venue:
Lecture hall on the second basement level, METI

Opening remarks

At the beginning of the seminar, Mr. Kazuya Ashida, director, Machine Parts and Tooling Industries Office, METI, delivered opening remarks, and stated that mobility innovation has begun in Silicon Valley, which could have a major impact on the manufacturing industry and in particular, the automobile industry, in Japan and lead to a tidal wave of changes in industry, including the machine parts and tooling industries. Telling the participants to seize the opportunities provided by these changes, he encouraged them to think about the current trends in Silicon Valley, the potential impacts of this innovation on the automobile industry in the future, and the feasibility of the Japanese manufacturing industry playing a leading role in Silicon Valley, and to take advantage of this knowledge in pursuing new business.

Report by the Overseas Mission of the Machine Parts and Tooling Industries

The Machine Parts and Tooling Industries Office, METI, reported the results of the Overseas Mission of the Machine Parts and Tooling Industries to Silicon Valley, the United States, from February 27 to March 1, 2017, including the mission’s targets, overall schedule, and what members found through the mission.

Presentations organized by the Silicon Valley D-Lab Project

Speeches were delivered by members of the Silicon Valley D-Lab Project, a voluntary project initiated by a group of Japanese nationals who live in Silicon Valley to communicate the changes in the manufacturing industry there to Japan, advisers engaging in many manufacturing industries in Silicon Valley, and people from companies that have embarked on business expansion to the United States. They made presentations concerning trends in mobility innovation begun in Silicon Valley, business feasibility in Silicon Valley considered based on their positions and experience, and other matters.

Speakers (in the order of presentations)

  • Mr. Toshihiko Mori, Panasonic Corporation (Silicon Valley D-Lab Project)
  • Mr. Masayuki Kimura, Venture Support Division, Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting LLC (Silicon Valley D-Lab Project)
  • Mr. Yoshiki Endo, CEO, Beans International Corporation
  • Mr. Yuki Yamamoto, president, HILLTOP Technology Laboratory, Inc.

Panel discussion by the machine parts and tooling industries

Panelists from participating companies in the Overseas Mission of the Machine Parts and Tooling Industries made discussions concerning what they found through their participation in the mission, business feasibility in Silicon Valley, and other matters.

3. Report compiled by the Silicon Valley D-Lab Project

The Silicon Valley D-Lab Project compiled a report containing project members’ opinions based on the results of interviews with many different experts, a variety of survey and data, and other information. The report is accessible on the website below:

Release date

April 8, 2017

Division in Charge

Machine Parts and Tooling Industries Office, Manufacturing Industries Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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