February 4, 2019
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has been supporting the Innovation Net Award Program* that is to recognize organizations and individuals for their outstanding efforts for supporting regional industries across Japan by taking advantage of their unique characteristics. METI hereby announces that the winners of the METI Minister’s Award and other awards for the 8th Innovation Award Program 2019 were selected.
1. Outline of the program
The Japan Industrial Location Center (JILC) and the Innovation Initiative Network Japan (IINJ)** established the Innovation Net Award Program in FY2011 to recognize outstanding efforts that support regional industries in the creation of new business and new industries by taking advantage of regional characteristics as approaches to promoting revitalization of such industries. In FY2016, the program started recognizing individuals for their achievements in spearheading activities that led to the creation of regional industries and promoting regional revitalization.
2. Examination and selection process for determining the winners
In the 8th award program, JILC and IINJ received 31 applications for the METI Minister Award and other awards in the category of programs for supporting regional industries and 13 applications for the IINJ Masao Horiba Award (award for individuals) in the category of individuals who support regional industries.
An examination committee of external experts *** established by JILC and IINJ, organizers of the program, and a selection committee of the IINJ Masao Horiba Award Program**** which is a body established by IINJ, respectively examined the applications in a fair manner from the viewpoints of: ripple effects on regional economy, level of utilization of regional resources, uniqueness of efforts, and uniqueness/potential to become a leading model, e.g., in terms of originality and passion.
3. Winners of the METI Minister’s Award
JILC and IINJ determined the winner of the METI Minister’s Award as below as the most outstanding effort in terms of bringing about a pioneering and concrete achievement that led to the creation of new business and industries by taking advantage of regional resources or characteristics.
Title of the program: Establishment of a seamless support system ranging from fostering entrepreneurship to creation and fostering venture businesses, an effort advanced in collaboration with support organizations in Ishikawa Prefecture
Winner: Ishikawa Sunrise Industries Creation Organization
4. Other winners
Award for a support program for regional industries
MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) Minister’s Awards
The winner of the MEXT Minister’s Award was selected as the most outstanding program contributing to regional industries conducted by universities, national institutes of technology, and other schools under industry-academia-government collaboration.
Title of the program: Program for contributing to development of SME manufacturers in which university research results are utilized: Establishment and support of a new nationwide network for SMEs in the casting industry, which is named “Imono (casting) Syndicate”
Winner: Muroran Institute of Technology
MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) Minister’s Award
The winner of the MAFF Minister's Award was selected as the most outstanding program with achievements particularly in the fields of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and food, as an effort for supporting regional industries by taking advantage of regional resources and characteristics.
Title of the program: Miyazaki Food Business Consulting Station
Winner: Miyazaki Industrial Promotion Organization
IINJ (Innovation Initiative Network Japan) Chairman’s Award
The winner of the IINJ Chairman’s Award was selected as the most outstanding program with achievements in the creation of a new industry or business, in particular, as an effort that supports regional industries by taking advantage of regional resources and characteristics.
Title of the program: Fukui Open Innovation Promotion Agency
Winner: Fukui Industrial Support Center
JILC (Japan Industrial Location Center) Chairman’s Award
The winner of the JILC Chairman’s Award was selected as the most outstanding program for revitalizing regional industries and fortifying regional industrial clusters by taking advantage of such clusters and inter-company networks.
Title of the program: Development of mentor-based support measures for further development of the fishery processing industry
Winner: Miyagi Organization for Industry Promotion
Excellence Awards (two winners)
Title of the program: Establishment of a total-support system for starting businesses, including “Silky Crane,” a team supporting women in starting businesses
Winner: Gunma Credit Guarantee Corporation
Title of the program: Provision of comprehensive support for starting businesses based on three pillars: the Kobe Kaigyo Shien Concierge, the Kobe Entrepreneurial Training Center and the 100-nen Keiei Shien Jigyo
Winner: Kobe City Industrial Promotion Foundation
Award for individuals who support regional industries
IINJ Masao Horiba Awards (two winners)
The winners of the IINJ Masao Horiba Awards was selected as the most outstanding individuals who engaged in efforts supporting industrial activities involving regional innovation and revitalization.
Winner: Mr. Tomohiro Takei, Representative Director, MAKOTO
Winner: Mr. Yoshikuni Yoshimitsu, President, Kure Industrial Promotion Center
5. Commendation ceremony
Date and time: February 22 (Fri.), 2019; commendation ceremony: from 13:30 to 14:30; annual forum: from 14:40 to 17:00
Venue: Room 281, Surugadai Memorial Hall, Chuo University (3-11-5, Kandasurugadai, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo)
*1. The Innovation Net Award Program is an awards program organized by IINJ and JILC.
**2. Innovation Initiative Network Japan (IINJ):
IINJ is an organization consisting of industrial support organizations, university and other entities playing a leading role in region-oriented efforts for promoting innovation across Japan. Under the support of MEXT, MAFF and METI, it aims to establish a nationwide network in order to share information, promote exchange with other member entities and overcome common challenges among member entities as well as to enhance collaboration between member entities such as broad-based industry-academia or inter-industry collaboration, thereby revitalizing regional industries. It was inaugurated in April 2009. The chairman is Dr. Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, Executive Advisor, Japan Science and Technology Agency.
***3. Examination committee:
This examination committee examines and selects winners from the applicants that filed for the Innovation Net Award Program, e.g., the METI Minister’s Award. The committee consists of Dr. Teruo Kishi, as chair, the President of the Innovative Structural Material Association, and seven other members.
****4. Selection committee:
This selection committee examines and selects winners from the applicants that filed for the IINJ Masao Horiba Award Program for recognizing the most outstanding individual who engages in efforts for supporting regional industries. The committee consists of Dr. Hiroshi Matsumoto, as chair, the President of RIKEN, as well as the former President of Kyoto University, and four other members.
Division in Charge
Regional Business Innovation Promotion Division, Regional Economic and Industrial Policy Group