Official name

Future Center Initiative, THE UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO (Abbreviated :UTFC)

Date of establishment

March 10, 2009

What is going on at UTFC

1.Backbround

There are emerging issues such as how to respond to health longevity and safe secure society, the environment conservation, the energy crisis, natural disasters, and infectious diseases and epidemics in the world where the globalization is expanding rapidly and then not only Japan but also the entire world are facing to these issues. Under such circumstances, it used to be the role of the Universities that transferred its technology and research to major companies through the collaboration between industry-academia-government. However, it was the case of separating research from commercialization, so called “Valley of Death”, in which it was hard to gain result. In order to overcome this, we proceed social experiments by citizens between Valley of Death, while minor enterprise complies with the small and detailed demands from citizens, and they are linked to the big business or universities. So a new model of social experiment system where the citizens and S&M sized enterprise are main leaders is established to resolve the various issues that aim at the commercialization, nationwide business and transfer of new technology abroad.

2.Function

It is the role of Future Center Initiative and Kashiwanoha Campus Station Satellite (KCSS) that is to provide an experimental field. There it is very important to verify whether or not a new technology is accepted into society by the social experiments through citizens’ participation (so-called ‘public acceptance’), to sort out and consolidate numerous existing social experiments, to establish common base necessary for social experiments, to generate synergy effect and promote efficiency by carrying out social experiments intensively, and to create a new business model. KCSS, taking advantage of the good location near the station, makes a contribution to the improvement of urban environment through cooperation with surrounding area, and promotes the establishment of proper function and space as the center of the open innovation.

3.Conditions necessary for social experiment

Why are we conducting a social experiment in Kashiwa area? Because Kashiwa has advantage as a Smart City, for example, firstly it is certified as the special power zones in terms of energy usage, secondly it is designated as ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) for the public transportation, thirdly there are research institutes such as the University of Tokyo and other State-run laboratories, on top of these advantages, the amicable cooperation between the government, local businesses, citizens and big businesses is highly expected (The University of Tokyo has signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement with Kashiwa city hall, it has become a full member of the Kashiwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SME support organization) and has set the UDCK as a contact function with citizens and also there is a branch office of the industry-academia-government cooperation headquarters (organizations cooperating with large businesses) within KCSS), and the presence of incubation facilities such as Tokatsu Techno Plaza, UT Kashiwa Venture Plaza and all that, thus there are many benefits and favorable conditions available for social experiments.

4.Activity

The following activities are planned.

  1. 1. Building a common base for social experiment
    • Building a database of human-goods- services, Building of matching algorithm for human-goods- service, and solving common issues such as laws, regulations, personal information, the special zones, indemnity.
  2. Expansion of already supporting functions of field type research which have been practiced and brought forth some results
    • Smart city, On-demand bus, Regional disaster prevention plan, New transportation system, and so on