Societal problems have become heightened and more complex since the dawn of the 21st century, both in Japan and around the world, and the public sector is reaching the limits of its capabilities to address these problems on its own. We are preparing to launch the Innovation Network for Co-Creating the Future, a platform to facilitate collaboration among industry, government, academia, and citizens by gathering knowledge from around the world and promoting co-creation and implementation through optimal combinations in order to help resolve these growing issues with groundbreaking technologies and innovations and contribute to sustainable growth.
To jumpstart this endeavor, we are holding a Business Idea Competition to address societal problems on the theme of "wellness." We look forward to receiving applications from persons and startups who are passionate about addressing societal problems in the area of wellness, both in Japan and around the world.
We have stopped accepting the applications.
This website was launched.
Our objective is to resolve societal problems in the area of wellness, both in Japan and around the world, using innovative technologies and business models to contribute to the development of active, healthy lives and sustainable social systems.
In 1961, Dr. Halbert Dunn, a public health physician, advocated "wellness" as a new concept beyond the former understanding of "health." The Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity," but Dunn proposed the concept of "wellness" as a vibrant, thriving life that goes one step beyond this state of "complete well-being."
The Innovation Network for Co-Creating the Future perceives the area of wellness as covering all of the following scope, including health care. However, medical care activities*1 are specifically
excluded from this Business Idea Competition.
*1 Activities related to medical diagnosis, treatment, drug development, or pharmaceuticals
We welcome ideas that use innovative technologies (AI, IoT, robotics, and other advanced information and communication technologies) and innovative business models.
At the Innovation Network for Co-Creating the Future, we believe that the following three changes will have a significant impact in resolving societal problems in the area of wellness.
Innovations to close gaps between supply and demand in medical and nursing care
You may submit an idea in either of the following stages.
This refers to innovative ideas for solving problems, prior to any specific product or software, etc. Realization of such ideas would be based on open innovation. Mitsubishi Research Institute can provide support to connect these ideas with companies that have the necessary resources (technologies, products, networks, sales networks, etc.).
This refers to ideas for solving problems using applicable products or software that a company already possesses. The idea does not need to consist only of the company's own products and software. If any additional resources are lacking, ideas with combinations of other resources can also be proposed after the need is clarified.
Mentoring by MRI scientists with expert knowledge
Our team of mentors, consisting of experts in fields such as wellness and business strategy, will provide support for enhancing business models, improving presentation skills, and starting up actual businesses.
Cash award and supplementary awards
Competition procedures and criteria for participants
The business plans, participants' strong points, and other information in each application form will be comprehensively evaluated, including the extent to which it addresses societal problems, the level of impact, benefits to users, business potential, and feasibility.
In addition to perspectives from the primary screening, presentations will be comprehensively evaluated, including the passion demonstrated by participants for addressing societal problems and pursuing their business plan.
Mentoring sessions will be held by MRI scientists. Our team of mentors, consisting of experts in fields such as wellness and business strategy, will provide support for enhancing business models and improving presentation skills.
Participants who pass the secondary screening will give presentations in the form of a pitch Competition before a panel that will include experts and business development officers of companies.
The website is launched.
The application guidelines are announced, and acceptance of applications for primary screening (document review) commences. (Note: Explanatory briefings will be held prior to the application deadline.)
Deadline for applications for primary screening (document review).
Notification of the results of primary screening (document review).
Participants who passed the primary screening (document review) will prepare their presentations for the secondary screening (presentations).
Secondary screening (presentations).
Notification of the results of secondary screening (presentations).
Mentoring is provided (one month).
Final screening (pitch Competition) is held.
Individuals and venture companies having less than 100 million yen or 1 million USD in capital, etc. (capital, capital reserves, and capital surplus), and having a goal of addressing societal problems within the scope defined by Mitsubishi Research Institute through business means.
Ideas and business models on the use of business to address societal problems within the scope of this program. Applications may be submitted in either of the following cases.
We are approaching a turning point in human history. As mankind faces a wide range of issues from hunger to obesity, it is no longer feasible to solve problems using models of the 20th century based on finite quantities. Knowledge-based solutions are needed in order to build a sustainable society, and there must be innovators as well as innovation platforms to support them. My hope is that the Innovation Network for Co-Creating the Future will provide a key to successful creation of new economic and social value. I would like to invite you to join us in working to co-create the future.
(In alphabetical order; honorifics omitted)
Director, MIT Media Lab
Dean and Professor, Keio University Graduate School of Media Design
Professor, Division of University Corporate Relations, University of Tokyo
CEO and Founder of TomyK Ltd.
Professor of Japanese Business, UC San Diego
Co-President, Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs / Advisor, SDG Philanthropy Platform
Professor, Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University
Director, US-Asia Technology Management Center, Stanford University
Executive Managing Director, Japan Innovation Network
Founder and CEO, ETIC.
Managing Partner, Net Service Ventures Group
Note:We plan to add more Supporters from the private sector to play important roles in promoting solutions for problems, and we will continue to add and post information about the network from time to time.
No, the program does not include nonprofit organizations.
Yes. You can also apply if you have an existing business and you want to use the technology on which your business is based to expand into the area of wellness for the first time.
Yes. However, only one business plan per company will be selected.
Intellectual property rights for business plans and products developed during the business plan Competition period will belong to the participants.
We expect that five to seven companies will participate in the final screening (pitch Competition).
Management will pay travel expenses for persons who travel from distant locations to participate in the final screening (pitch Competition).