April 10, 2020
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) conducted a first selection of applicants for the J-Innovation Hub Initiative. Nine successful hubs were selected as a result of strict examination.
1. Overview of the J-Innovation Hub Initiative
In this initiative, METI targets regional open-innovation hubs, mainly universities, and assesses and selects outstanding bases playing a leading role as a hub of companies’ networks, and, thereby, it will aim to: enhance the trust of selected hubs in society, concentrate support measures to them, enhance the potential of top-ranking innovation hubs and encourage such bases to cooperate and compete with one another.
METI selected applicants for two categories: the international development category and the regional contribution category.
The international development category: proactively engaging in industry-academia-government collaboration activities with global enterprises at home and abroad; and aiming toward further business development overseas in the future.
The regional contribution category: aiming to solve regional challenges, vitalize regional economies and take on other actions; and proactively engaging in industry-academia-government collaboration activities with regional companies and municipalities.
2. Outline of selection processes
METI opened a call for applicants from February 3 to March 6, 2020, and received 17 applications.
In response, it conducted an examination of the applications from the viewpoints below and decided on successful applicants as a result of discussions held by an examination committee of outside experts.
Major viewpoints of the examination
- Visions and purposes of applicant bases as well as strategies and plans;
- Infrastructure of such bases (systems involving researchers and support staff, financial infrastructure, facilities and equipment, systems involving contracts and security and efforts for human resource development);
- Processes for creating innovations at such bases;
- Outputs and outcomes from creating innovations at such bases;
- Expectations for technical innovativeness and creation of innovations; and
- Political significance in promoting industry-academia-government collaboration activities.
3. First selection of applicants for the J-Innovation Hub Initiative Hubs
International development category
|Center for Innovative Integrated Electronic Systems
|Innovation Center for Organic Electronics
|Kanazawa Institute of Technology
|Innovative Composite Center
|Bio-Nanomaterials Joint Research Base
|Laboratory of Flexible and Power Three Dimensional System Integration
|Research Center for Nuclear Physics, Osaka University
Regional contribution category
|University of Fukui
|Headquarters for Innovative Society-Academia Cooperation
|Kyoto University of Advanced Science
|Kyoto University of Advanced Science
|Laboratory of Bio Innovations
4. Future actions
METI will advance dialogues with each of the selected hubs and will provide them with tailor-made support measures, including budgets and relaxation of regulations.
METI has prepared the following support menu, for example, so far although it may change the details of support measures according to the selected hubs.
Supporting selected hubs in deploying PR activities at home and abroad and advancing collaboration among such hubs (allowing them to make use of the official logo, holding meetings for networking among such hubs, supporting them in developing businesses overseas, etc.); and
- Enhancing collaboration between such hubs and two projects conducted under the METI budgets:
A. Project for supporting regional companies in creating innovations; and
B. Project for supporting companies in strategically sophisticating their base technologies (“Sapoin Project”)
Division in Charge
Industry-University Collaboration Office, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau