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Call for Applicants for FY2018 MITOU Target Program

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan (hereinafter referred to as the “IPA”) launched a MITOU Target program in FY2018, a new effort to discover and foster IT human resources in cutting-edge fields that make use of and create innovative technologies from a mid- to long-term perspective.

As part of the FY2018 program, under the subject titled “next-generation calculators,” they will call for applicants engaging in building new software that utilizes annealing machine technology, which is a technology that domestic companies in particular are developing. In this call, no age limitation will be set. The period of the call will be from May 31 (Thur.) to July 10 (Tue.), 2018.

1. Overview of the call

The IPA has been working on the MITOU Target Program (official title: Exploratory IT Human Resources Project) for 18 years since FY2000 and has fostered approximately 1,700 talented people as graduates of the program. These “MITOU human resources” have made contributions to many fields in Japan and over 250 of them have started their own businesses or commercialized their own inventions.

Meanwhile, research and development in new technologies in the field of IT has recently been advancing dramatically. In response to this trend, Japan needs to enhance its discovery and fostering of IT human resources in cutting-edge fields that make use of and create innovative technologies.

To this end, METI and the IPA launched a MITOU Target program in FY2018 to support pioneering IT human resources who engage in basic technologies or cross-sectoral technological innovations, setting cutting-edge fields that make use of innovative next-generation IT to dramatically change society as a focus of the program. In the FY2018 program, METI and the IPA will focus on a specific subject, i.e., “development of applications for annealing machines and development of tools and other means for development, operation and tuning for annealing machines.” They will call for applicants proposing new projects that will make use of applicants’ ideas and skills to the maximum possible extent and contribute to developing the Japanese economy in the future.

2. Support measures

Selected applicants will be entitled to receive coaching and instruction by project managers (PM) and other experts who have outstanding talent and achievements, access to environments to use annealing machines, and receive expenditures for activities according to their achievements.

Coaching system under FY2018 MITOU Target program:

  1. PM: Dr. Shu Tanaka, Chief Researcher, Green Computing Systems Research Organization/ Associate Professor, Waseda Institute for Advanced Study, Waseda University
  2. Technical advisers: Experts of Japan’s top IT companies such as Hitachi, Ltd. Fujitsu Limited and Fixstars Corporation

Note: METI and the IPA will invite experts as an adviser in the field that selected applicants have shown in their application forms.

3. Period of the call

Starting date: May 31 (Thur.), 2018
Closing date: 23:59 on July 10 (Tue.), 2018

4. Explanatory meeting of the call

METI and the IPA will hold an explanatory meeting scheduled as below. If you wish to apply for the call, please participate in the meeting. For further information on the meeting, such as how to apply, visit the website shown in Item 5. “Details of the call” below.

Date: From 14:00; June 6 (Wed.), 2018
Venue: Meeting Room C, IPA, 13th floor, Bunkyo Green Court Office; 2-8-28 Honkomagome, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo

5. Details of the call

For details of the call, e.g., application guidance and application form, visit the following IPA websites:

Reference 1: Outline of the MITOU program

  • The IPA has been working on the MITOU program (official title: Exploratory IT Human Resources Project) since FY2000 to discover and foster outstanding individuals (IT creators) who have ideas and skills unique enough to create innovations through the utilization of IT and who are able to utilize these innovations.
  • The MITOU program is characterized by the point that project managers who lead the frontline in the industrial world and have outstanding talent and achievements will discover promising individuals and invite them to the program and support them in developing unique attempts.
  • For further information, visit the following IPA portal website for the MITOU program:

Reference 2: Outline of annealing machines

  • An annealing method is an optimization method, named after the annealing process in which metal is heated until it reaches a high temperature and gradually cooled to stabilize its crystal structures. Such machines adopt innovative system to calculate, which is completely different from conventional Neumann type computers. For example, annealing machines quickly calculate combinatorial optimization, such as combination of terms “optimization of shipment routes” and “congestion alleviation.” In addition, such machines are expected to be applied to mechanical learning and other technologies. Many companies inside and outside Japan are proactively conducting research and development of annealing machines, and looking at domestic companies, Hitachi, Ltd. Fujitsu Limited and other companies are engaging in the development of annealing machines.

Release date

May 31, 2018

Division in Charge

IT Innovation Division, Commerce and Information Policy 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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