'Mutual learning' key at innovation and cooperation forum

Themed on innovation and co-creation, the China-Japan Innovation and Cooperation Forum was held at Shanghai Jiao Tong University on Saturday.

The China-Japan Innovation and Cooperation Forum was held at Shanghai Jiao Tong University today, attracting over 200 participants from both countries. 

In October 2018, at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe paid a visit to China. It was the first official visit to China by a Japanese prime minister in seven years.

During the three-day visit, the two countries agreed to establish an initiative for innovation and signed a related memorandum, which would advance cooperation in the fields of innovation and intellectual property.

“We need to hold more activities like this forum to promote the exchange of ideas on innovation among experts from various industries, and improve the communication and mutual learning between Japan and China,” said Akio Isomata, consul general of Japan in Shanghai.

Focusing on the cultural, creative and health-care industries, scholars, officials and business representatives of emerging enterprises discussed innovation and the potential of further cooperation between the two countries.

Karube Masaru, professor with the Institute of Innovation Research at Hitotsubashi University, talked about business innovation of Japanese companies.

In the speech, he stressed monozukuri, or “manufacturing” in Japanese, which in many Japanese thoughts leads the country to a leading position in the world market.

Monozukuri refers to three aspects: art, science and craft of making things. None is dispensable,” Masaru said.

“In my opinion, the starting point for innovation shall be solving social issues, such as the aging problem which is a big issue in both Japan and China. Cooperation and competition are important. The two countries need to make good use of each strength and enhance cooperation,” he added.

Manabu Yamauchi, general manager of Amuse Shanghai, agreed. His company once worked on stage lighting design for a popular Chinese singer’s concert.

“We had different understanding of colors from the Chinese group. Based on the long-standing communication, we finally made an excellent work. We broke down competition while establishing cooperation,” Yamauchi said. “The exchange between Japanese and Chinese innovators should be exhanced.”

The forum also featured three emerging enterprises from Japan, all of which are associated with the health-care industry.

Monitoring the progression of bladder movements through ultrasonic sensors, DFree, a connected wearable device produced by Triple W Japan, can predict one's bathroom timing. It mainly targets the elderly and people with disabilities.

“The device contributes to reducing costs for diapers. For caregivers, the nursing time on toilet assistance is shortened. What’s more, the user’s quality of life is improved with the help of the device,” said General Manager Masanori Kobayashi.

The other two attending enterprises were HoloEyes and O:Sleep, focusing on VR surgery and sleep disorders respectively.

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