Tokyo Tech News

Spring 2022 SSS matching workshops participants meet after 18-month hiatus


Published: July 20, 2022

Spring 2022 SSS matching workshops

The Super Smart Society (SSS) Promotion Consortium, led by Tokyo Tech, hosted hybrid matching workshops for participating institutions, i.e. Consortium Partners, and Tokyo Tech students and faculty on June 8 and 29, 2022. This was the first time in two and a half years for some of the participants to gather in person. The objective was to match the needs of Consortium Partners with the technological and human resource seeds provided by members of Tokyo Tech, and to offer an opportunity for direct discussions that lead to the creation of cross-disciplinary research teams. The event was once 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 Tokyo Tech faculty members and other participants.

Seeds Round — Students' research ideas through presentations

Poster session at Digital Multi-Purpose Hall on Ookayama Campus

Poster session at Digital Multi-Purpose Hall on Ookayama Campus

The June 8 Seeds Round was the first in-person meeting since November 2019 for the participants. Thirty-seven students presented their research ideas and expanded on their ideas through a poster session.

After opening remarks by Tokyo Tech Vice President for Global Communication Nobuyuki Iwatsuki, who is also professor at the School of Engineering, Chikara Kanda of MITSUBISHI ESTATE CO., LTD. delivered a keynote speech titled "Proof of Concept in the Otemachi-Marunouchi-Yurakucho district. " The participating students then took the stage to give one-minute overviews of their own research, after which they moved to the poster presentation area to introduce their research in more detail. At the venue, participating Consortium Partners voted for the best posters, and three students received awards for their excellent presentations. At the end of the session, Kei Akiyama from ITOKI CORPORATION gave an overall critique, closing the Seeds Round in a lively atmosphere.

In-person Seeds Round participants

In-person Seeds Round participants

Needs Round — Research sought by partner companies

This spring's Needs Round was held online. During this session, Super Smart Society Special Advisor Fumio Watanabe from the Tokyo Tech Academy for Super Smart Society provided a keynote speech titled "Innovation with matters," which offered a thought-provoking perspective on why innovation has not progressed in Japan over the past 20 years. Consortium Partners then had two minutes to introduce their companies and organizations, after which they moved to online breakout rooms for Q&A and discussion with Tokyo Tech students and faculty members. To close the session, Takuya Furuhashi from Mitsubishi Electric Corporation offered the students some final words of encouragement.

Online Needs Round participants

Online Needs Round participants

Positive feedback from participants

Throughout the Seeds Round and Needs Round, there was a lively exchange of opinions between the students and participating partners. Discussions during the Seeds Round, which was held face to face, were particularly active. After a long break, this once again confirmed the value of in-person meetings.

Feedback from student participants included the following:

  • This workshop was very interesting as I was able to receive plenty 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 felt that this was a useful initiative which taught me about the needs of companies, regardless of whether or not matches were achieved between partners and researchers.

Comments from participating organization members were also positive:

  • I heard many outstanding presentations, and I could really sense the underlying power among the Tokyo Tech students.
  • There was an abundance of technological seeds present in various areas, which was very stimulating.

Participating consortium partner companies and organizations

Members from the following Consortium Partners and organizations were present at the June 2022 sessions:

  • National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT)
  • National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO)
  • National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology (QST)
  • Azbil Corporation
  • LG Japan Lab Inc.
  • Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.
  • Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central)
  • Tressbio Laboratory Co., Ltd.
  • NEC Corporation
  • Mazda Motor Corporation
  • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
  • YASKAWA Electric Corporation
  • Yokogawa Electric Corporation
  • Rakuten Mobile, Inc.
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF)
  • Ocean Policy Research Institute, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation
  • Marine Open Innovation Institute (MaOI)

Once again, the SSS matching workshop proved to be a fruitful experience for both Tokyo Tech and company members. The Super Smart Society Promotion Consortium plans to proceed with specific research matching based on the intentions of the participants.

The next matching workshops are scheduled for the second half of fiscal year 2022.


Super Smart Society Promotion Consortium Secretariat