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  5. Report on and Training Course Textbooks of “Furusato Design Academy” for Developing Design Producers in Regional Areas Publicized

Report on and Training Course Textbooks of “Furusato Design Academy” for Developing Design Producers in Regional Areas Publicized

April 20, 2020

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency (SMEA) publicized a report on and training course textbooks of the “Furusato Design Academy ichi,” which is a program for supporting regional areas in developing human resources who are ingrained in such areas and able to produce products, services, businesses, regional activities and other initiatives for the areas taking into consideration the perspectives of both designs and management.

1. Purpose

As part of the FY2019 Commissioned Project for Supporting Development of Designers in Local Areas, METI and SMEA conducted “Furusato Design Academy ichi,” a program, mainly targeting supporters of SMEs and micro enterprises, for supporting regional areas in developing human resources in the field of design, which was commissioned to JR East Marketing & Communications, Inc.

This program aims to: develop “design producers” in respective regional areas, i.e., human resources who are able to produce products, services, businesses, regional activities and other initiatives taking into consideration the perspectives of both designs and management; and thereby not only encourage regional SMEs, micro enterprises and other businesses to promote design-driven management* but also vitalize regional economies.

This program consists of two training programs: the Short-term Intensive Program mainly focusing on classroom lectures; and the Design Producing Program mainly focusing on on-the-job training (OJT).** Specifically, the Short-term Intensive Program provides four-day classroom lectures and workshops at 20 places across Japan in which participants are able to master basic and other knowledge on design production, and the program brought together over 600 representatives of companies and supporters ranging from designers to staff of municipalities to high school students in regional areas. In addition, the Design Producing Program brought together 61 teams, which consisted of representatives of companies and supporters who are engaging in a variety of projects and were selected from the participants in the Short-term Intensive Program, and these teams took on OJT for about six months while receiving coaching services from experts.

METI and SMEA publicized the report containing the overview of the entire program and the results of the Design Producing Program and also released the textbooks for the basic training courses used in the Short-term Intensive Program. Toward a better future in regional areas and regional companies, METI hopes that the handbook will help administrative organizations, support organizations, companies and supporters across Japan that intend to develop design producers or promote design-driven management using it as a reference in advancing their efforts in the future.

Notes:

*1. The term “design-driven management” refers to a management approach to improving companies’ competitiveness by taking advantage of designs that contribute to establishing brands and creating innovations by companies. For more information, visit the following link to the Declarations of “Design-Driven Management,” a report compiled by the Study Group on the Relation between Industrial Competitiveness and Designs in May 2018.
**2. The term “on-the-job training” or “OJT” refers to an educational method to encourage workers to master knowledge and skills through experiencing practical matters at target sites.

2. Links to the report and the training course textbooks

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