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Report: COI-NEXT Kick-off Symposium
“People will change,” “Universities will change,” and “Our society will change.” Co-creation by industry, academia, and government realizes the vision of a future society

The program on open innovation platform for industry-academia co-creation(COI-NEXT)

On June 16, 2021, JST and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) jointly held an online open symposium to commemorate the establishment of an innovative platform for co-creation, COI-NEXT.

COI-NEXT was established in 2020 as a program that integrally promotes backcasting research and development (R&D) and aims to realize the vision of a future society based on the sustainable development goals and build an industry–academia co-creating system. Activities of 18 projects adopted in the focus areas of Co-creation and Policy, including the quantum technology, environmental energy, and bio areas, have launched in earnest. In FY2021, the newly formed “Regional co-creation area,” which aims to realize the future vision of local society under close partnerships between local universities, local governments, industries, etc., called for FY2021 proposals along with the “Co-creation area.” (Note: The deadline for proposals was 12:00 on July 6, 2021.)

In the symposium, stakeholders of academia, industry, and local government shared the objectives of the program and the aims of each area. These stakeholders discussed the desired deployment of the program, considering the results and knowledge gained from its predecessor: the Center of Innovation (COI) program. Approximately 600 participants, including researchers at universities and in the industry, University Research Administrator (URA), industry–academia collaboration coordinators, and local government officers, attended via Zoom Webinar and YouTube Live Stream.

Following the opening remarks made by JST President Hamaguchi Michinari and Minister of MEXT Hagiuda Koichi, the purpose of the symposium was announced by the Director of the Department of Innovation Platform, JST. Subsequently, JST Program Director Matsumoto Yoichiro, Emeritus Professor of The University of Tokyo, conveyed the basic idea of COI-NEXT. The chairman of COI STREAM Governing Committee, Komiyama Hiroshi, the chairman of Mitsubishi Research Institute, and Saito Takuya, the Director of University-Industry Collaboration and Regional R&D Division, MEXT (at the time), discussed their expectations for COI-NEXT from each standpoint. Then, the program officers (PO) of each area talked about the progress of site settings, management policy, and ambitions toward the program. The best practices from the two sites of the preceding COI program were introduced.

In the second half of the symposium, a panel discussion was held between the POs in each area of COI-NEXT and the visionary leaders of COI, where the participants discussed the key points of program management and the difficulties encountered, introducing audiences’ opinions. Finally, JST Vice President Shirokizawa Yoshiko gave a closing remark, commenting on the knowledge acquired from the symposium and the future management of COI-NEXT.

Related Links (Japanese)
Symposium Flyer:
Symposium Video:
About Lecturers: