Head Office for Open Innovation Strategy, Tohoku University

Open Innovation
Head Office for Open Innovation Strategy, Tohoku University

Tohoku University is a Designated National University that strives to be “a university that leads creation and innovation.” Through open innovation strategy, we aim to reinforce the function of the conventional university and lead the way in transforming society through innovation.

The Role of the Head Office for Open Innovation Strategy

Having started with the life science and material science domains, we have now added the data science domain. Going forward, we will not only expand to new domains but also focus on cross-disciplinary domains in growing our innovation efforts.

Create large-scale partnerships between organizations within industry and academia.

  • We share visions with corporate leaders and draw up new blueprints for the future.
  • Reporting directly to the university president, we make fast decisions looking at the big picture.
  • We break down organizational barriers and actively leverage the university’s assets.

Offer hands-on capability through highly experienced specialists.

  • We understand the business strategy of the organization, clarify the timeline, and go through the planning.
  • We manage projects upon clearly identifying milestones from the business perspective.
  • Rather than focusing on the points of view and plans of the creator, we strategize our approaches to R&D and IP based on an analysis of the necessary steps to achieve the milestones.

Contribute to society through innovation.

  • We classify businesses according to function and create ecosystems based on B-U-B Partnerships* to identify issues and advantages.
  • We are increasingly committed to social implementation of research results through the creation of ventures and strategic partnerships.
  • We develop talent to lead innovation in business and R&D.

*B-U-B Partnership: A partnership model focused on creating innovation ecosystems where the university acts as a platform for participation by multiple businesses. It is proposed by the Center for Innovative Integrated Electronic Systems — an open innovation center for integrated electronics technology, which is a flagship field of Tohoku University.

Value proposition of the Head Office for Open Innovation Strategy

  • With a provost at the helm, the independent office reports directly to the university president. This structure enables quick decision making and provides a framework for the entire university to join forces in tackling open innovation.
  • Teams of specialists in a variety of fields leverage their rich business experience to map out the activities that lead to new value creation with an eye to the business strategy of each company.
  • By organically connecting with the industry-academia collaboration function of the university, the office enables a unified effort by the entire university in support of co-creation initiatives between industry and academia.

Hands-on management by a specialist team

Planning of co-creation activities which are in line with companies’ business strategies

  • We collect information about the university’s assets and realize optimal matching upon understanding the company’s needs.
  • The company management and university share a common vision.
  • We plan the steps for co-creation based on the business strategy.
Hands-on management by a specialist team

Project management by a specialist team

  • Progress is managed through project milestones and end goals.
  • We will propose an IP strategy that maximizes project value.
  • We understand the project risks and control them through a mitigation plan.
Project management by a specialist team

Supporting social implementation of co-creation initiatives

  • We help create exit strategies for the existing businesses for a smooth transition into the emergence of the new business.
  • We make referrals to programs and organizations that support entrepreneurship, such as government organizations and venture capital.
  • Through collaboration among industry, academia, and government, we promote social implementation of research outcomes to tackle the problems faced by our society.
Supporting social implementation of co-creation initiatives

A liaison between business and university

We offer various opportunities to connect and provide an environment for diverse matching and emergence.

  • We provide information on Tohoku University’s cutting-edge R&D and assets to our external partners.
  • We inform the university of the activities of our external partners, such as businesses and venture capitalists.
We offer various opportunities to connect and provide an environment for diverse matching and emergence.

We have created our Tokyo Office as a base for our outreach activities

  • We have added our Tokyo Office as a location to advance our capability in sharing and collection of information.
  • We offer opportunities for emergence by spreading open innovation initiatives inside and outside the university and promoting bidirectional information exchange.
  • We welcome enquiries related to co-creation at our easy-to-access Tokyo Office.
We have created our Tokyo Office as a base for our outreach activities

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