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Announcement of the Winners of the 10th Innovation Net Award 2021

June 2, 2021

The winners of the 10th Innovation Net Award 2021 have been decided. The METI Minister's Award goes to the “Project for Establishing a Regional Digital Marketing Infrastructure for the Financial, Commercial, and Human Logistics Necessary for Regional Sustainable Development”, by Machidukuri-MATSUYAMA Co., Ltd.

1. Outline of the program

The Innovation Net Award Program was established by the Japan Industrial Location Center (JILC) and the Innovation Initiative Network Japan (IINJ) (*1) in FY2011 to recognize outstanding efforts that support regional industries in the creation of new businesses or industries by taking advantage of regional characteristics, as approaches to promoting the revitalization of such regions and industries. This year marks its 10th awards program. In FY2016, the program also started recognizing individuals for their achievements in spearheading activities leading to the creation of regional industries and promotion of regional revitalization.

2. Examination and selection process for deciding the winners

In the 10th awards program, JILC and IINJ received 35 applicants in the category of programs supporting regional industries, and 9 applicants for the IINJ Masao Horiba Award (award for individuals) in the category of individuals who support regional industries.
An examination committee (*2) of external experts established by JILC and IINJ, which are the organizers of the program, and a selection committee (*3) for the IINJ Masao Horiba Award Program, a body established by IINJ, respectively examined and selected the applications in a fair manner based on: ripple effects in regional economies, 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. Following the examination and selection, the winners of each award were decided as shown in the attachment.

3. Winners of the METI Minister's Award

JILC and IINJ decided the winner of the METI Minister's Award as below, as the most outstanding effort in terms of its contribution to bringing about a concrete, pioneering achievement and leading to the creation of new businesses or industries by taking advantage of regional resources or characteristics.

Title of the project:

Project for Establishing a Regional Digital Marketing Infrastructure for the Financial, Commercial, and Human Logistics Necessary for Regional Sustainable Development

Winner:

Machidukuri-MATSUYAMA Co., Ltd.

Outline of the project:

With the goal of achieving urban development lead by the citizens, the project is trying to have tools for the region created by the rejoin themselves. Specifically, it has constructed a system called "machi-pay" (which literally means “town pay”) that utilizes regional electronic money as a means of payment, and has introduced tourism apps and sensor cameras to collect and analyze information about movement patterns and consumption behavior of visitors to the town based on consumer attributes and the time of day, in order to verify and improve the effectiveness of tourism promotion measures such as events to attract customers and promote human circulation, and campaigns to boost sales. Machidukuri-MATSUYAMA Co., Ltd. is responsible for the planning and proposals for these digital marketing information infrastructures, and for supporting their introduction by the region, users, and member stores.

4. Commendation ceremony

Date:

June 22 (Tue.), 2021

Format:

Online

*1. Innovation Initiative Network Japan (IINJ):
IINJ is an organization consisting of industry support organizations, universities and other entities playing a leading role in region-oriented efforts toward 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 they face. It also aims to enhance collaboration between member entities, such as broad-based industry-academia or inter-industry collaboration. Through these efforts, it is working on revitalizing regional industries.
It was inaugurated in April 2009. The chair is Dr. Teruo Kishi, President of the Innovative Structural Materials Association (Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo, and President Emeritus, National Institute for Materials Science).

*2. Examination committee:
This examination committee examines the applications for the Innovation Net Award Program (the METI Minister's Award and other awards) and selects the winners.
The committee is chaired by Dr. Yuko Harayama, Executive Director of RIKEN and Professor Emeritus of Tohoku University, and has seven other members.

*3. Selection committee:
This selection committee examines the applications for the IINJ Masao Horiba Award Program for recognizing the most outstanding individual who engages in efforts that support regional industries, and selects the winner.
The committee is chaired by Dr. Hiroshi Matsumoto, President of RIKEN and former President of Kyoto University, and has four other members.

Division in Charge

Regional Business Innovation Promotion Division, Regional Economic and Industrial Policy Group