Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc.

Business Idea Competition to address societal problems on the theme of "Mobility", "Disaster Prevention", "Education/Human Resoures"


Innovation Network for Co-Creating the Future Business Idea Competition

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 ”Mobility”, "Disaster Prevention" and "Education/Human Resources". We look forward to receiving applications from persons and startups who are passionate about addressing societal problems in the area of each fields, both in Japan and around the world.

Advisory Board

Advisory Board

We welcome domestic and foreign experts and experts who have agreed to the activities of INCF as advisors. Please check from here for details.


  • July 18, 2017

    This website was launched.


Addressing societal problems on the theme


    The goal is for everyone to have unhindered access to safe and clean transportation.


    The goal is to protect all lives from natural disasters.

    (In addition to ideas whose applications are solely for disaster prevention, we accept submissions of ideas on how everyday products and services can also be used for disaster response.)


    The goal is for everyone to be adequately equipped to make a positive contribution to society.

Application Details

Eligible stages of ideas

You may submit an idea in either of the following stages.

Ideas using open innovation

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.).

Ideas with prototype products, services, or software

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.

Benefits for Competition participants

Mentoring by MRI scientists with expert knowledge

Our team of mentors, consisting of experts in fields such as "Mobility", "Disaster Prevention", "Education/Human Resources" and business strategy, will provide support for enhancing business models, improving presentation skills, and starting up actual businesses.

Cash award and supplementary awards

Cash award:
1 million yen + (or optionally) supplementary awards
Examples of supplementary awards:
Support from Mitsubishi Research Institute for business development (applying for permits and licenses, conducting proving tests, etc.)
Participation in prominent venture support programs (under consideration)

Screening process

Competition procedures and criteria for participants

Primary screening(document review)

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.

Secondary screening(presentations)

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(one month)

Mentoring sessions will be held by MRI scientists. Our team of mentors, consisting of experts in fields such as "Mobility", "Disaster Prevention", "Education/Human Resources" and business strategy, will provide support for enhancing business models and improving presentation skills.

Final screening(pitch Competition)

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.


  • July 18

    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.)

  • October 1

    Deadline for applications for primary screening (document review).

  • Mid October

    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).

  • Late October

    Secondary screening (presentations).

  • Early November

    Notification of the results of secondary screening (presentations).

  • November-December

    Mentoring is provided (one month).

  • December 8

    Final screening (pitch Competition) is held.

Competition requirements

Eligible participants

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.

Eligible ideas

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.

  • Ideas that promise innovative solutions, although the product or service has not yet been developed
  • Solutions using services that have already been launched or products in the prototype stage


Eligible areas of business for the program

Are nonprofit organizations included?

No, the program does not include nonprofit organizations.

Can we apply if our service has already been launched (open for business)?

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 ”Mobility”, "Disaster Prevention" or "Education/Human Resources" for the first time.

Can we apply for multiple business plans?

Yes. However, only one business plan per company will be selected.

Intellectual property rights

Who will own the intellectual property rights?

Intellectual property rights for business plans and products developed during the business plan Competition period will belong to the participants.


How many companies will be selected through the screenings?

We expect that five to seven companies will participate in the final screening (pitch Competition).

Will you pay any travel expenses or development costs, etc. during the Competition period?

Management will pay travel expenses for persons who travel from distant locations to participate in the final screening (pitch Competition).

Can individuals apply?