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Chiba Prefecture > Business > -News Archive- Investment Promotion Division of Chiba Prefectural Government > Invitation Program for Foreign Affiliated Campanies to Chiba

Update:April 18, 2018

Report on "Invitation Program for Foreign Affiliated Campanies to Chiba"

March 30, 2018
Investment Promotion Division
Commerce, Industry and Labour Department

We started a joint project with JETRO to invite foreign affiliated companies that have something to do with AI and IoT in Kashiwanoha, an area which is being developed into a base for new industries such as AI and next-generation medical equipment.

We invited eight companies and two research institutes, with a focus on healthcare companies that have a strong interest in Japan’s super ageing society, from six countries/areas around the world.

We held the ‘Chiba Prefecture Global Business Seminar on AI and IoT’ on February 1 in Kashiwanoha.

1. Our Objective

We aim to invite foreign affiliated companies and related associations that have a strong interest in aged care and medical technology that uses AI and IoT, proactively advertise our extraordinary investment environment and attract new foreign companies to Japan where the population is ageing rapidly.

2.Schedule

February 1 (Thursday)

 

Healthcare

Plant Factory

AM

  • Visit to Urban Design Center Kashiwanoha
  • Visit to Kashiwanoha Open Innovation Lab

PM

  • Visit to AIST Tsukuba Center
  • MAFF Plant Factory Experiment, Exhibition and Training Project at Chiba University Campus

Evening

Chiba Prefecture Global Business Seminar on AI and IoT

 

February 2 (Friday)

 

Healthcare

Plant Factory

AM

  • Visit to the National Cancer Center Hospital East Center of New Surgical and Endoscopic Development for Exploratory Technology (NEXT)
  • Visit to EDODESIC

PM

  • Observation at Tokyo University Institute of Gerontology
  • Visit to SOMPO CARE La vie Re Nagareyama Otaka no Mori nursing home
  • Visit to Itoh Denki’s Makuhari Underground Plant Factory

 

3. Overview of the Project

(1) Healthcare

Visits to Urban Design Center Kashiwanoha (UDCK) and Kashiwanoha Open Innovation Lab (KOIL)

For the first session, we explained about the development plan and ecosystem for startups in the Kashiwanoha area, and about how the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology is established as one of Japan’s ‘Global Bases for AI Research’ at UDCK, which is the central hub for the Kashiwanoha area’s urban development.

After the first session, we visited KOIL, an incubator for startups in the Kashiwanoha area.

 

Urban Design Center Kashiwanoha (UDCK), no.1

Urban Design Center Kashiwanoha (UDCK), no.2

 

Urban Design Center Kashiwanoha (UDCK), no.3

 

 

Visit to National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Tsukuba Center

We visited the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Tsukuba Center, which establish as one of the country’s ‘Global Bases for AI Research’ in Kashiwanoha and heard about the research that will be conducted in Kashiwanoha in the future (human sensory measurement, the development and evaluation of care robots, artificial climate chamber experience, etc.).

There was a lively discussion and Q&A session regarding the research being conducted at the AIST Tsukuba Center.

 

Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, no.1

Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, no.2

 

 

Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, no.3

 

 

Chiba Prefecture Global Business Seminar on AI and IoT

We held the ‘Chiba Prefecture Global Business Seminar on AI and IoT’ as a forum where companies in Chiba and other Japanese companies can exchange information and network with foreign affiliated companies in the fields of aged care and medical technology that uses AI and IoT.

In the first seminar part, Stanford University’s Dr. Fumiaki Ikeno spoke about the development of medical equipment in America and Japan and the appeal of the Kashiwanoha area, and we heard from many companies and research organizations invited about their products, services and research.

In the second networking part, the companies and research organizations we invited set up simple booths and the seminar participants and the invitees mingled.

 

Chiba Prefecture Global Business Seminar on AI and IoT, no.1

Chiba Prefecture Global Business Seminar on AI and IoT, no.2

 

Visit to the National Cancer Center Hospital East Center of New Surgical and Endoscopic Development for Exploratory Technology (NEXT)

We visited NEXT, a new center built in May 2017 within the National Cancer Center Hospital East.

We heard about examples of joint medical equipment development ventures between industry and academia in development environments with closely located to clinical practices and observed each of the development laboratories.

Each company also made a sales pitch (presentation) to the doctors and researchers at the hospital, and there was a lively exchange of ideas and a Q&A session.

 

The National Cancer Center Hospital East Center, no.1

The National Cancer Center Hospital East Center, no.2

 

 

The National Cancer Center Hospital East Center, no.3

 

 

Tokyo University Institute of Gerontology

In Kashiwa City (Toyoshikidai), we took a look at the current hub for ‘Frailty Prevention’ (see footnote 1), part of the ‘Toyoshikidai Project’ (see footnote 2) related to the ‘Urban Planning for an Ageing Society’ run by Kashiwa City, Tokyo University and the Urban Renaissance Agency (the Kashiwa Regional Medical Collaboration Center).

Prior to the visit, we were given a lecture on ‘frailty prevention’ from Tokyo University’s Professor Katsuya Iijima, and there was a lively exchange of ideas and Q&A session.

 

Tokyo University Institute of Gerontology, no.1

Tokyo University Institute of Gerontology, no.2

 

 

Tokyo University Institute of Gerontology, no.3

 

(Footnote 1) Wide-ranging activities that include the traditional thinking behind care prevention but also the importance of raising awareness of prevention from an early stage. ‘Frailty’ is the state where mental and physical energy (e.g. muscle strength and cognition functions) decreases and the risk of lifestyle function impediments, the need for care and death increases. However, included in this notion of frailty is the idea that physical, social and mental health decrease in a negative chain reaction and that appropriate intervention can help patients to regain various functions reversibly.

(Footnote 2) The project (about home medical care and nursing) is positioned within the comprehensive support project within the regional support business of the Long-Term Care Insurance Act, and will be rolled out in April 2018 in all municipalities across Chiba.

 

Visit to SOMPO CARE La vie Re Nagareyama Otaka no Mori Nursing Home

We visited a private nursing home with care facilities run by SOMPO Care Next.

We listened to an explanation of the company, the services they provide and the care systems and equipment that is used in within the facility, and there was a lively exchange of opinions and a Q&A session.

We also conducted interviews with the residents of the facility.

 

Nursing Home, no.1

Nursing Home, no.2

 

 

Nursing Home, no.3

 

 

(2) Plant Factory

Visits to Urban Design Center Kashiwanoha (UDCK) and Kashiwanoha Open Innovation Lab (KOIL)

(See above)

 

Visit to Chiba University Plant Factory

We observed the MAFF Plant Factory Experiment, Exhibition and Training Project at Chiba University Campus run by Chiba University.

We listened to an explanation by Chiba University’s Professor Toru Maruo on the research such as the joint experiments being conducted together with private organizations based on the support of the non-for-profit organization the Japan Plant Factory Association while observing the facility.

There was a lively discussion and Q&A session about the cultivation process inside the plant factory, an extremely well-insulated and airtight dome made out of a special type of polystyrene.

 

Chiba University Plant Factory, no.1

Chiba University Plant Factory, no.2

 

 

Chiba University Plant Factory, no.3

 

 

Chiba Prefecture Global Business Seminar on AI and IoT

 (see above)

 

Visit to EDODESIC

We visited EDODESIC (headquarters located in Kashima City) who run a plant factory which enables the cultivation of plants in a short period of time.

We listened to an introduction of the company’s original cultivation technology that shortens the number of days needed by not simply rely on increasing the activation of photosynthesis and amount of sunlight needed for plants to grow, but also encouraging the production of hormones for the plants to promote their own growth, and there was a lively exchange of opinions and a Q&A session.

We also had a look at the construction site for the plant factory the company plans to open within the Tokatsu Techno Plaza.

 

EDODESIC, no.1

EDODESIC, no.2

 

Visit to Itoh Denki’s Makuhari Underground Plant Factory

We visited Itoh Denki (headquarters in Hyogo Prefecture) which runs a plant factory in the utility tunnel the Chiba Prefecture built under the Makuhari City Center.

We observed the world’s first automated underground plant factory using the roller conveyer belt technology for which the company is originally known, where 1) after the seeds have sprouted in an above-ground facility, they are 2) transported to the underground plant factory where they are cultivated in the automated underground plant factory, after which they are transported back above ground to be 3) harvested in the above-ground facility.

We learnt about the merits of the system, such as how the electricity cost is reduced by 1/3 because there are fewer changes in temperature below ground, and there was a lively exchange of opinions and a Q&A session.

 

Itoh Denki’s Makuhari Underground Plant Factory, no.1

Itoh Denki’s Makuhari Underground Plant Factory, no.2

 

 

Itoh Denki’s Makuhari Underground Plant Factory, no.3

 

 

 4. Answers to the participant survey

Graph of answers to the participant survey

The only company that answered ‘3. It was useful’ was only able to participate on the first day which may have been the reason for this answer.

Feedback from the Participants

“Exceeded expectations in allowing us to have an overview of state of aging in Japan and insights into current research.“

“Invitation Program to Chiba was not only a great learning experience for us to discover the innovative activities that take place in the Kashiwanoha area, but it also gave us a deeper understanding of the healthcare/senior market in Japan and learn about some potential partnerships we could have in Japan.”

“This trip has accelerated our ability to build a go to market strategy for Japan, based on our current stage we project that we should have at least one partnership and plans for proof of concept late 2018 or early 2019.

Inquiries

Investment Promotion Division,
Commerce, Industry and Labor Department
1-1 Ichiba-cho, Chuo-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba 260-8667, Japan
TEL:+81-43-223-2766
FAX:+81-43-222-4092
E-Mail:rich4@mz.pref.chiba.lg.jp