Spring 2022 SSS Matchmaking Workshop participants meet after 18-month hiatus
The Super Smart Society (SSS) Promotion Consortium, led by Tokyo Tech, held hybrid matchmaking workshops for participating institutions, i.e. Consortium partners, and Tokyo Tech students and faculty June 8 and 29, 2022. It was the first time in two and a six months for some of the attendees to meet in person. The objective was to match the needs of consortium partners with the technological and human resources provided by Tokyo Tech members, and to provide an opportunity for direct exchanges leading to the creation of interdisciplinary research teams. The event was again co-hosted by the Tokyo Tech Academy for Super Smart Society.
Through the Seeds Round and the Needs Round, this event brought together a total of 134 people, including 37 students, 54 professionals from 23 participating institutions, and 43 professors from Tokyo Tech and other participants.
Seeds Round – Student research ideas through presentations
The June 8 Seeds Round was the first in-person meeting since November 2019 for participants. Thirty-seven students presented their research ideas and developed their ideas through a poster session.
After the keynote address by Tokyo Tech’s Vice President for Global Communication, Nobuyuki Iwatsuki, who is also a professor at the School of Engineering, Chikara Kanda of MITSUBISHI ESTATE CO., LTD. delivered a keynote address titled “Proof of Concept in Otemachi-Marunouchi-Yurakucho District. Participating students then took the stage to give a one-minute overview of their own research, after which they moved on to the poster presentation area to present their research in more detail. On site, participating Consortium partners voted for the best posters and three students received prizes for their excellent presentations. At the end of the session, Kei Akiyama of ITOKI CORPORATION gave an overall review, closing the Seeds Round in a lively atmosphere.
Round of needs — Research sought by partner companies
This spring round of needs was held online. During this session, Special Advisor for Super Smart Society, Fumio Watanabe of Tokyo Tech Academy for Super Smart Society, delivered a keynote address titled “Innovation with Questions”, which offered a thought-provoking perspective on why innovation has not progressed in Japan over the past 20 years. years. Consortium partners then had two minutes to introduce their companies and organizations, after which they moved to online chat rooms for Q&As and discussions with Tokyo Tech students and faculty members. To close the session, Takuya Furuhashi of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation offered the students some final words of encouragement.
Positive feedback from participants
Throughout the Seeds Round and the Needs Round, there was a lively exchange of opinions between the students and the participating partners. The discussions during the Seeds Round, which was held face to face, were particularly active. After a long hiatus, this has once again confirmed the value of in-person meetings.
Comments from participating students included the following:
- This workshop was very interesting because I was able to receive a lot of feedback on my research. It also allowed me to understand the joys of research from an industry perspective. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate.
- I found it to be a useful initiative that taught me about the needs of companies, whether or not there were matches between partners and researchers.
Feedback from members of participating organizations was also positive:
- I heard many outstanding presentations and really felt the underlying power of Tokyo Tech students.
- There was an abundance of technological germs present in various fields, which was very stimulating.
Participating consortium partner companies and organizations
Members of the following Consortium partners and organizations were present at the June 2022 sessions:
- National Institute of Information and Communication Technologies (NTIC)
- National Agricultural and Food Research Organization (NARO)
- National Institutes of Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology (QST)
- Azbil Company
- ANRITSU COMPANY
- ITOKI COMPANY
- LG Japan Lab Inc.
- Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.
- KDDI CORPORATION
- JTEKT COMPANY
- Japan Central Railway Company (JR Central)
- TOSHIBA COMPANY
- Tressbio Laboratory Co., Ltd.
- NEC Corporation
- Mazda Motor Corporation
- MITSUBISHI ESTATE CO., LTD.
- Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
- YASKAWA Electric Corporation
- Yokogawa Electric Corporation
- Rakuten Mobile, Inc.
- Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF)
- Ocean Policy Research Institute, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- Marine Open Innovation Institute (MaOI)
Once again, the SSS Matching Workshop proved to be a fruitful experience for Tokyo Tech and company members. The Super Smart Society Promotion Consortium plans to conduct specific research based on participants’ intentions.
The next matching workshops are scheduled for the second half of fiscal 2022.