Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. and Waseda University
Sign Comprehensive Agreement Related to Industry-Academia Collaboration
December 7, 2021
Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, Japan, December 7, 2021 - Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd., a leading global real estate company headquartered in Tokyo, and Waseda University announced today that they have concluded a comprehensive agreement related to industry-academia collaboration (“the agreement”).
(Pictured from left): Waseda University President Aiji Tanaka and Mitsui Fudosan’s Managing Director and Executive Vice President Yoshikazu Kitahara
■Overview of the agreement
This will be a comprehensive agreement related to an organizational collaboration that is intended for Mitsui Fudosan and Waseda University to both work on solving social issues, obtain new knowledge and create innovative values. The agreement aims to strengthen collaboration related to the promotion of joint research, exchanges and development of human resources, collaboration concerning support to create university-developed venture companies, and cooperation on the effective use of property, etc. held by Waseda University.
■Aims of the Agreement
Modern society is about to witness a paradigm shift, which includes changes in population makeup and family structure, the spread of the sharing economy and the transformation of values including diversity & inclusion, as well as heightened awareness of environmental issues such as carbon neutrality.
Additionally, the spread of COVID-19 has caused a new lifestyle, including hybrid methods of working and studying that harness not only the real world but the digital world well, to rapidly take hold. As the digital transformation accelerates in various fields, the time has come to reconsider a vision for urban areas.
Mitsui Fudosan and Waseda University will strengthen their collaborative and cooperative relationships, and work together on practical research in order to address this kind of highly uncertain future. First, through a multifaceted approach that foresees a post-COVID-19 society, Mitsui Fudosan and Waseda University will advance research into “getting better with age*1” in communities on the outskirts of urban centers where society is aging, and aim to not only make policy proposals but to create innovation for the real estate business through the social implementation of new frameworks including technology.
In future joint research, researchers in every kind of field at Waseda University will participate in developing research that fuses the arts and sciences. The researchers will strive to give the results of that research back to society in combination with the knowledge of neighborhood creation that Mitsui Fudosan has cultivated as a developer, and move forward together to contribute to the SDGs.
*1 “Getting better with age” is a philosophy that Mitsui Fudosan pursues in neighborhood creation, and signifies maturing and increasing in value along with the passage of time.
■Initiatives by both parties toward an industry-academia collaboration
In April 2020, Mitsui Fudosan newly established the Industry-Academia Collaboration Department with the goal of strengthening further collaboration with academia and systems to promote joint research. Dedicated professionals from various businesses will participate in this joint research, with a primary focus on the Industry-Academia Collaboration Department, thereby contributing to the prior experiential knowledge of neighborhood creation as well as solutions for social issues that are being faced directly right now.
Waseda University is home to researchers and students who possess an entrepreneurial spirit, including instructors with outstanding expertise and technology. It has put forth a concept for a “Waseda Open Innovation Valley *2” near the university, and is working to create new businesses such as venture capitals. With regard to university-developed venture companies, which make up one of the central pillars of this effort, Waseda University is enhancing its intellectual property strategy, and strengthening business creation and managerial support. In 2020, the university was adopted for the JST SCORE (University Promotion Type) business, and was also adopted for the JST Research Result Development Business: University Ecosystem Promotion Type (Supporting Creation of Startup Ecosystem in Startup Cities. In these and other ways, Waseda University is developing an ecosystem in its surrounding area, and actively furthering the creation of university-developed venture companies.
*2 The “Waseda Open Innovation Valley” concept was formulated to develop as a part of the research promotion to realize “a Waseda that shines on the world stage,” the slogan put forth by the university. The concept is formed by two pillars. One is the Waseda Open Innovation Ecosystem which will continue the cycle of cultivating professors with strong intellects, creating intellectual property, and creating venture companies, and achieve open innovation. The second pillar is the Research Innovation Center (Building 121), a new research and development building that consolidates bases of innovation including industry-academia collaboration, exercises synergies by creating a network between bases and envisions new knowledge so that the area around Waseda can become like America’s Silicon Valley.
[ Message from the Representatives ]
■Aiji Tanaka, President of Waseda University
Waseda University has worked hard to achieve its ideal of leaving no one behind, even during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. We have steadily moved forward together with Mitsui Fudosan so far through internships and activities at WASEDA NEO (Nihonbashi Campus), which makes up the core of recurrent education, and contracts for joint research based on a theme of creating neighborhoods that “get better with age” among other things. The conclusion of this agreement will further strengthen the cooperative relationships we have built up to this point and is intended for us to work together on solving social issues through synergies using the intellect of both groups. Promoting industry-academia collaboration with Mitsui Fudosan will not only accelerate the implementation of research that will aid the development of human resources who will help people all over the world and also make contributions to society, but create even more innovative values. This will allow us to work toward “a Waseda that shines on the world stage” in anticipation of the 150th anniversary of our foundation that we will welcome in 2032.
■Yoshikazu Kitahara, Managing Director and Executive Vice President, Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd.
Mitsui Fudosan works to foster social and economic development based on its philosophy of coexistence in harmony, linking diverse values, and achieving a sustainable society, as symbolized by the “&” logo. We hope to combine the diverse viewpoints held by a university and our knowledge as a real estate developer to create new value through the efforts of this industry-academia collaboration with Waseda University. As ways of living and working come into question in an era when people live to be 100 years-old, we will reevaluate what it means to be a better society for humanity, and globally develop proposals for and realizing a new vision of the world that will change the globe. Waseda University will fully demonstrate its enterprising spirit and anti-elitist philosophy, and through various initiatives using the industry-academia collaboration with our company, I intend to create a new vision of society, unconstrained by prior customs and rigid ways of thinking, that will amaze the post-COVID-19 world. You can expect great things to come.
Moreover, the joint research harnessing Waseda University’s knowledge is a key managerial policy for realizing the initiatives of “Drive evolution in the creation of neighborhoods” and “Innovate the real estate business” as promoted by Mitsui Fudosan in VISION 2025, and will serve as an activity that contributes to the advancement of Sustainability Development Goals 9, 11, and 17.