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  5. Call for Participants for the NEDO Supply Chain Data Challenge

Call for Participants for the NEDO Supply Chain Data Challenge

March 18, 2022

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) are jointly holding the NEDO Supply Chain Data Challenge project, a competition with monetary awards for winning entries. In this connection, we are opening a public call for participants, such as companies in Japan and abroad that are working on ideas and developing applications for analysis services that use satellite data.

1. Issues regarding business based on using satellite data, and METI's efforts to address them

Amid changes such as increases in technological innovation and the number of new companies being formed, recent years have seen a significant rise in the quality and quantity of a wide variety of data derived from space (satellite data). Government plans such as the Space Industry Vision 2030 and Basic Plan on Space Policy (decided by the Cabinet on June 30, 2020) also mention the importance of expanding industries that utilize space by leveraging such satellite data.

Work is progressing in other countries to aggregate satellite, geospatial, and other data into a single data platform, then using that platform to create a variety of applications. In line with this, Japan also launched the government satellite data platform Tellus in February 2019, and new services are gradually being created based on it. Tellus 3.0 was released in October 2021. The new version offers users new functions such as requesting commercial satellite images and performing batch searches of satellite data, making it much more convenient for business use.

The government satellite data stored by Tellus is available for free. However, it remains inadequate in terms of frequency, resolution, types available, and private-sector development of solutions and AI for processing it. The lack of progress in developing solutions is also holding back investment in developing satellites and integrating commercial satellite data into Tellus. This in turn is also making it difficult for users to see the satellite data as beneficial, creating a “chicken-and-egg” situation whereby progress is stalled due to uncertainty regarding process development.

In order to solve this, METI's Space Industry Office is collecting large amounts of commercial satellite data, integrating it into Tellus, and promoting using Tellus to develop solutions to challenges facing society based on that data.

2. Outline of the NEDO Supply Chain Data Challenge

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the risks of global supply chains being cut. Economic activity in Japan has been greatly affected by suspension of operations by business partners domestically and abroad. Under these circumstances, organizations at risk of having their supply chains disrupted should be identified early so they can use satellite and other data to, for example, ascertain the situation at other bases remotely without having to visit them.

Gathering knowledge and technology and creating opportunities for participants to compete with each other are considered effective for researching and developing new solutions to social issues.

This project will therefore accept a large number of applicants, including ones who have not traditionally participated in government research and development projects (such as private individuals and researchers at companies or organizations). These participants will compete based on their ideas and approaches, and monetary prizes will be awarded to those whose results have met or exceeded the target level at the end of the development period and other stages.

3. Application overview

Application period

From March 18 to 12:00 p.m. May 17, 2022

Target categories and themes

Ideas category

Ideas relating to technology and solutions that enable the solving of issues in supply chain management through the utilization of satellite data, etc.

System development category

Theme (1): Providing impact estimation and visualization services for problems in the supply chain caused by gridlock in container distribution at ports
Theme (2): Providing impact estimation and visualization services for problems in the supply chain caused by disasters such as large-scale flooding and storm damage


Ideas category

1st prize: 1 million yen, 2nd prize: 500,000 yen, 3rd prize: 300,000 yen

System development category (for each theme respectively)

1st prize: 10 million yen, 2nd prize: 5 million yen, 3rd prize: 3 million yen

How to apply

See here for details on how to apply.

Division in Charge

Space Industry Office, Manufacturing Industries Bureau