Shinshu University Innovation Research and Support Center

Director's Message

Striving to Create a New Innovation System

The Shinshu University Innovation Research and Support Center was established in July 2005 with three purposes in mind: to conduct studies and research into the processes of innovation, to promote the growth of new, innovative companies based in the Shinshu region, and above all, to support the development of a new regional cluster focusing on nanotechnology.

The development of a regional innovation system requires a different approach from that used to build Japan's national innovation system. As a result of the economic growth taking place in China and across the East Asian economic sphere, the manufacturing systems of small- and medium-sized companies that have sustained Japan's competitive advantage in recent years are currently going through a process of restructuring in the Shinshu region. In that sense, our efforts to grow a regional cluster focused on nanotechnology can serve to illustrate the future possibilities and the new role that small- and medium-sized regional companies can play in Japan.

The Center is founded on the principal that universities should be places where ideas are actually implemented. With that in mind, we are teaming up with the Institute of Innovation Management, Graduate School of Shinshu University to formulate diverse management strategies for launching joint ventures between the university and the private sector, and for revitalizing the region through a new regional cluster. By taking into consideration the strengths and limitations of Japan's social institutions, the Center hopes to foster an unprecedented level of interaction between the public and private sectors-promoting interdisciplinary research between social scientists and engineers, and encouraging close cooperation between those in the university and the private sector, including researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, entrepreneurs, as well as local government officials.

Of course, the aim of the Center is not simply to enable local businesses to gain a competitive advantage, but to suggest a model for a regional society based on the notion of welfare capitalism with "a human face." The key to this goal is creating a new regional innovation system predicated on the notion of a symbiotic relationship between industry and the local community. This can be achieved by creating a vital and creative corporate cluster that synthesizes existing Japanese business culture, society, and local characteristics.

We at the Shinshu University Innovation Research and Support Center look forward to gaining the understanding and support of many people both within and outside the university.

Kazukiyo Higuch
July1, 2005


Center Director: Kazukiyo Higuchi
Advisory Committee: Mitsuharu Ishii, Yasuo Imai, Hideaki Yasukawa
Staff: 13 researchers, 3 business startup support consultants (as of September 2005)


Main Activities in 2005-2006

  1. Conducting studies and research (designing and implementing basic research into industrial trends in Nagano Prefecture)
  2. Holding research groups and forums (e.g. Innovation Finance Research Group, Brand Business Research Group, Food Business Research Group, Regional Innovation Forum, etc.)
  3. Publishing (publish Journal of Innovation, edit and publish the series Library of Innovation
  4. Supporting entrepreneurship/university-private sector cooperation (e.g. sponsored "Student Startup Workshop 2005",offer consulting services to small- and medium-sized businesses)

Address and Contact Information

Shinshu University Innovation Research and Support Center
Wakasato 4-17-1 Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture Japan 380-8553
TEL 026-269-5690 (81-26-269-5690 from outside Japan) FAX 026-269-5679 (81-26-269-5679 from outside Japan)
15 min. walk from JR Nagano Station (5 min. by taxi)