Tokyo Institute of Technology: Super Smart Society Promotion Consortium hosts Fall 2021 matching workshops

The Super Smart Society (SSS) Promotion Consortium hosted online matching workshops for participating institutions, i.e. Consortium Partners, and Tokyo Tech students and faculty on November 17 and December 8, 2021. The aim 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. In addition to the SSS Promotion Consortium, this event was co-hosted by the Tokyo Tech Academy for Super Smart Society.

During the Seeds Round on November 17, participating students presented their current research and ideas. At the Needs Round on December 8, Consortium Partners shared their company profiles and research contents.

Seeds Round — Student presentations
The Seeds Round was attended by 41 students, 40 Tokyo Tech faculty and staff members, and 42 members from 19 Consortium Partners. After opening remarks by Dr. Nobuyuki Iwatsuki, vice president for global communication and professor at the School of Engineering, Mr. Nobuyuki Uchida, Executive Officer, Division Manager, Technology, Strategy & Compliance Division, Rakuten Mobile, Inc., gave a keynote speech titled “Rakuten Mobile: Driving Transformation in the Telecom Industry.”

Uchida from Rakuten Mobile, Inc. during his keynote speechUchida from Rakuten Mobile, Inc. during his keynote speech
Uchida from Rakuten Mobile, Inc. during his keynote speech

After the speech, participating students gave brief outlines of their research. The students then moved to individual online conference rooms to present their research in more detail and conduct lively Q&A sessions and discussions with Consortium Partners and the participating students. Finally, Mr. Naofumi Naruse from Anritsu Corporation offered his comments on the students’ presentations before closing the session.

Needs Round — Research required by companies
The Needs Round was attended by 43 students, 30 faculty and staff members, and 37 members from 18 Consortium Partners. Tokyo Tech President Kazuya Masu kicked things off with a keynote speech titled “Creating the Future We Want.” The participating partners each continued with three-minute introductions of their respective organizations, after which Tokyo Tech students and faculty joined active discussions in virtual conference rooms.

President Masu during his keynote speechPresident Masu during his keynote speech
President Masu during his keynote speech

The partners then voted on the best presentations from the Seeds Round, and awarded two students with the Outstanding Student Presentation Award.

Finally, Mr. Masanobu Sakata from Hitachi Industrial Equipment Systems Co., Ltd. gave his comments on the students’ presentations and closed the session. Members from the following Consortium Partners and organizations were present at the fall session:

Information Technology and Human Factors, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO)
Azbil Corporation
Anritsu Corporation
LG Japan Lab Inc.
KDDI Corporation
JTEKT Corporation
Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central)
Toshiba Corporation
Hitachi Industrial Equipment Systems Co., Ltd. (Hitachi-IES)
Fujitsu Limited
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, Sasakawa Peace Foundation (OPRI)
Individual member (KOSEN National Institute of Technology)
Positive feedback from workshop participants
Feedback from workshop participants was generally very positive. Comments from students included the following:

This matching workshop was a valuable experience for me because I rarely have opportunities to meet with company employees.
I sympathize with the method of future planning that considers “what we want to do” rather than “what we should do.”
As a researcher, I would like to contribute to the creation of a future that excites me while learning various things at university.
Based on this workshop, the SSS Promotion Consortium will proceed with the matching of specific research based on the intentions of the participants. The next workshops will be held in Spring 2022.

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