Aichi Prefecture with its capital at Nagoya forms the core of the third-largest metropolitan area in Japan and one of the largest in the world. Located in Japan’s Pacific Ocean coast, Aichi is home to the world’s largest automaker, Toyota Motor Corp, along with manufacturing heavyweights such as Fuji Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi, Aisin Steel, Nippon Sharyo, NGK Spark Plugs — all of which have manufacturing plants in the region. 

Aichi Prefecture has been the number one prefecture in Japan for 43 consecutive years in terms of the value of shipments of manufactured goods and the prefecture continues to lead the world in what the Japanese call “monozukuri” (manufacturing). Aichi has been traditionally strong in the automobile, aerospace, steel, and robotics industries.

As technology and startups disrupt conventional industries, Aichi Prefecture continues to challenge itself with passion for future-looking innovation. Aichi Prefecture is known for its love of new knowledge — always looking to explore, create, and disseminate new knowledge to the world. Both historically and in the present day, the prefecture continues to be driven by a mission to produce leaders with new knowledge and innovate to meet the new challenges in building sustainable cities of the future.

The co-creation challenge

The new co-creation challenge programme sponsored by Aichi Prefecture along with Singapore Innovation Ecosystem partners and ICMG as acceleration partners is on the lookout for startups interested in participating in the co-creation challenge. 

The programme will focus on co-creating with select Japanese partners, “new knowledge” on solving three broad challenges for Aichi Prefecture to build on its manufacturing expertise and lead the development of the Smart Sustainable City of the future.

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Divided into these broad areas, the Aichi Smart Sustainable City Co-Creation challenges are aimed at searching for innovation partners who can help pave the way to a more sustainable and productive future for our cities and communities.

These three categories for entry into the sustainable city co-creation challenge are:

Industrial development in Aichi Prefecture through digital transformation

The aim is to help improve the way we work with solutions that utilise the use of Toyota Industries Corporation’s  Autonomous Mobile Robots “AiR”

In this challenge, the selected partners can co-create through utilising the capabilities of the autonomous mobile robot “AiR” developed by Toyota Industries Corporation. While currently used in the industrial sector, there is a lot of potential to expand the utilisation of AiR.

Startups who have solutions in medical care support, assistance for the elderly or people with disabilities, retail and tourist experience improvement, and more that can utilise AiR in improving public well-being and experience are invited to join the challenge.

Co-creation of a sustainable municipal policy model by diverse players for a declining population

The aim is to develop ideas for building and delivering a sustainable municipal management model in a society with a declining population.

Partner Handa City aims to improve the attractiveness of the city by taking on the challenge to make a structural shift from the current urban model. To replace the old model built on the back of population growth and a high-growth economy, they need a sustainable urban model that is appropriate for the society of the future.

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Startups who have solutions that could revitalise Handa City centre (events, activities, entertainment), reform how teachers work, offer alternative learning methods for students, improve the productivity of agriculture, make agriculture more attractive and accessible to the younger generations, offer next-generation park management, and other solutions aim to realise the goal of a Smart Sustainable City is encouraged to join the challenge.

Creating a community where everyone thrives throughout their lives with high levels of well-being

The goal is to create  IT-based detection and support for young caregivers to improve the well-being of Aichi Prefecture’s residents.

Partner NGK Spark Plug aims to transform its business portfolio by developing advanced sensing technologies as well as other solutions to aid in improving the well being of Aichi Prefecture’s residents. 

Startups with solutions – whether hardware, software, or others – that could improve elderly care in their homes with the help of technology, record and detect abuse in the home, provide quicker access to emergency assistance, connect young caregivers at an early stage with appropriate support organisations, and more are invited to join the challenge.

Scale up your solutions by joining the Aichi Co-Creation challenges

Startups who are selected would get the chance to work with the organising team in validating your solution’s product fit against an existing market’s opportunities and present to Aichi Prefectural Government for a collaboration opportunity and a chance to expand to Japan.

Join the challenge and get the chance to build and launch your product to a ready market in one of the world’s most advanced economies.

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This article is produced by the e27 team, sponsored by ICMG

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