The Center of Innovation (COI) proposal, submitted jointly by Shinshu University, Hitachi Infrastructure Systems Company, Toray Industries, Inc., Showa Denko K.K., the National Institute for Materials Science, and Nagano Prefecture, was selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Japan Science and Technology Agency at the end of October 2013 under their Center of Innovation Science and Technology based Radical Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program (COI STREAM). Shinshu University's Center, one of 12 such sites in Japan, has been launched as Global Aqua Innovation Center for Improving Living Standards and Water-sustainability.
The Center of Innovation (COI) Program
- Employ the "backcasting approach", visualizing an ideal society at the starting point and subsequently setting R&D plans which lead to practical benefit to the society, rather than the "forecasting approach" which relies on existing researches or technologies aiming at their commercialization.
- Establish an innovation platform (COI Site) where universities and companies can work on R&D together under one roof.
- Support each COI Site up to 9 fiscal years with expenses from 100 million to 1 billion yen per year, including overhead expenses.