JETRO invited Jason Hickey, H&A for pilot tour of AIST
JETRO (The Japan External Trade Organization) invited Jason Hickey, President and CEO of H&A, in a fact-finding mission to the headquarters of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Tsukuba city, Ibaraki prefecture at the beginning of February.
As a leading consultancy advising multinationals globally about market entry and investment opportunities, H&A took part in a program designed to appeal to foreign companies and research institutes globally. The program’s aim is to not only attract new foreign investment, but also to attract new research and related technology to Japan. As part of the program, Hickey visited a research facility that rents advanced machinery to companies at very affordable levels that would otherwise not be accessible.
Tsukuba city is Japan’s key national research center. In the 1960s, the Japanese government relocated the nation’s research institutes from Tokyo to Tsukuba city. By 1973, the University of Tsukuba was established. Ten years later, when Tsukuba Science City became operational, the city was home to over forty research institutes. Today, the city hosts foreign students from over 100 countries, as well as, 19,000 researchers – equivalent to almost 10% of the total population.
“Many of the companies that we represent and assist are going to be very interested to hear about the resources that are available to them and that are very affordable. This is a great opportunity for companies, not just from the US, but all over the world, to help facilitate research and partner with this great institution.” – Jason Hickey, President and CEO, H&A
Tsukuba — Japan’s Science City
The city’s focus on scientific discovery and innovation has meant that nearly half of Japan’s public research and development budget has been spent in Tsukuba since Tsukuba Science City was established. Tsukuba is home to a consortium of nanotechnology research institutes (TIA Nano), as well as, the national center for robotics focused on medical applications for the technology. Tsukuba Space Center, the headquarters for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, is also located in the city.
Recently, Tsukuba was named as one of four “International Strategic Zones” promoting health and sustainability innovations in the life sciences and technology fields. The city’s location is 60km (37 mi) north-east of Tokyo. Connected by express train and coupled with simplified planning procedures, Tsukuba is expected to bring further development and investment to the area in the coming years.