Tokyo Tech-led Innovation design Platform selected for JST startup incubation program

The Innovative design Platform (IdP), a multi-institutional, Tokyo Tech-led proposal has been selected for the Program of Start-up incubation from COre REsearch (SCORE) (University Promotion Type, specifically Gateway City Environment Improvement Type), a one-year initiative supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) to promote the creation of high-potential startups originating at universities and other institutions. IdP’s selection for the program came on March 19, 2021.

Tamachi Campus

What is SCORE (University Promotion Type)?

In 2020, Japan’s Cabinet Office announced Startup City Project Japan, an initiative that provides support to eight so-called startup cities around the nation where it aims to build entrepreneurial ecosystems together with local governments, universities, and the private sector. The University Promotion Type (Gateway City Environment Improvement Type) SCORE program offers support to universities and institutions in these areas that strive to create an environment where entrepreneurial minds develop and startup companies are born. By supporting the practical application of university-born technological seeds and the mentoring of budding entrepreneurs, SCORE aims to contribute to ecosystems that sustainably create impactful startups which have the potential to create significant change during and after the COVID-19 era.

In the SCORE program, a minimum of three universities and institutions join forces to form a so-called platform. Initiatives on this platform must fit in with the broader plans of the startup city to which the universities and institutions belong. Tokyo Tech and its collaborating institutions — Keio University, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, and the University of Tokyo — belong to the Startup Ecosystem Tokyo Consortium. A number of external collaborators, including private businesses, financial institutions, and local governments also belong to IdP. The Tokyo Tech-led platform was one of nine selected for the SCORE program.

Overview of Innovation design Platform (IdP)

Principal institution

Tokyo Tech

Platform director

Tokyo Tech Executive Vice President for Research Osamu Watanabe

Principal investigator

Professor Masaharu Tsujimoto, School of Environment and Society, Tokyo Tech

Collaborating institutions

Keio University, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, University of Tokyo

Implementation chart

Under the Innovation design Platform (IdP), Tokyo Tech, its three collaborating universities, and other cooperating institutions seek to develop and utilize best practices for supporting academic, student, and “carve-out” entrepreneurs through customized programs in areas such as deep tech and medical engineering. A platform-wide Search and Development Committee involving all participating institutions seeks out potential entrepreneurs and conducts selections using public Innovation design Festivals. IdP also aims to build a common database of potential entrepreneurs, or seeds, by linking the activities of participating institutions effectively, and to expand and obtain funding from overseas by utilizing the extensive networks of its participants. While continuously increasing the number of participating institutions, IdP aims to achieve market capitalization of JPY 5 trillion in approximately five years through the startups created via this program.

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