August 8, 2023
Joint Press Release with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has selected Elephantech Inc. as the winner of the METI Minister's Award under the Award for Academic Startups 2023 Program.
1. Outline of the Award for Academic Startups 2023
Since its inauguration in FY2014, the Award for Academic Startups Program has been honoring promising, excellent university-developed startups selected from among venture businesses that make use of the research and development outcomes achieved by universities and other institutions (national, public and private universities, colleges of technology, research and development institutions under the national government and local governments, national research and development agencies, and non-profit corporations, including public interest corporations). The program also especially seeks to honor universities, companies, and other entities that have contributed to the growth of such startups.
It aims to further promote the establishment of businesses that make use of R&D outcomes achieved by universities or other entities, encourage startups to innovate further, and encourage universities and companies to support university-developed startups.
The secretariat of the program called for applicants for the FY2023 program from March 27 (Mon.) to May 16 (Tue.), 2023, and 39 entities applied. The Screening Committee of external experts for the Award for Academic Startups 2023 (see Appendix 2) examined the application documents and held interviews with the applicants. Following this screening, seven university-developed startups and the universities and companies supporting them were selected as winners.
For details on the winners, please see Appendix 1 and visit the website for the Award for Academic Startups 2023 Program here (in Japanese).
A commendation ceremony for the winners of the Award for Academic Startups 2023 Program will be held as below as part of the University Exhibition Fairs 2023 : Innovation JAPAN event.
- Date and time:
- 15:00 to 17:00, August 24 (Thur.), 2023
- Seminar room, South Hall 1, Tokyo Big Sight (3-11-1, Ariake, Koto Ward, Tokyo)
Completing prior registration on the official website (in Japanese) for the event will make it easier for you to enter the venue.
2. Outline of the winners and the awards (For details, see Appendix 1)
Winners of the METI Minister’s Award
- Startup: Elephantech Inc.
- Supporting university: Graduate School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo
- Elephantech Inc. is a startup developed by the University of Tokyo. It provides a method for manufacturing completely-new, sustainable electronic circuits that have the potential to replace existing electronic circuits worldwide.
- The startup uses a unique manufacturing method called Pure Additive™. In this method, metal is converted into a nanoparticle ink state and printed on a substrate using an inkjet printer. Following this, the metal is grown by electroless copper plating to form an electronic circuit. This method has succeeded in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75% and water consumption by 95% compared to conventional manufacturing. This is because when manufacturing printed-circuit boards, it selectively layers certain materials only on the desired sections on which these layers are intended to be formed.
- The startup has already succeeded in establishing a mass production system and is making steady progress in social implementation. In addition, its technology, which has lower environmental impacts, has the potential to provide sustainable solutions to social challenges. Accordingly, the startup is expected to achieve further growth and success in the future.
- Appendix 1: List of the winners of the Award for Academic Startups 2023 Program (in Japanese)(PDF:67KB)
- Appendix 2: List of the members of the screening committee for the Award for Academic Startups 2023 Program (in Japanese)(PDF:61KB)
- Reference: Summary of the Award for Academic Startups 2023 Program (in Japanese)(PDF:98KB)
Division in Charge
Industry-University Collaboration Office, Industrial Science, Technology and Environment Policy Bureau