About iPFM

Innovation Platform for Fisheries and Marine Technology Division

TUMSAT has been promoting an one-stop liaison, Innovation Platform for Fisheries and Marine Technology (ipFM) as a new matching system. This brings cooperation of the needs from the industry and the seeds, such as the results of research and patents, from all over the country. A new concept was proposed as the ipFM to the Project for the Strategic Development of Industry-University-Government (I-U-G) Collaboration of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and the region of Promotion of Distinctive Projects adopted our concept on June 23, 2008. We began implementing the 5-year plan delegated by the MEXT in 2008. The distinctive industries and public research institutions gather at the ipFM with their requests and meet their appropriate partner.We act as a coordinator between local industries and researchers all over the country, and contribute to develop new products and create new business.

Recently, we were required to create a technological innovation. The concept evolved from the premise that existence of public research institutions, such as, universities, are put into question as on how much contribution they make to the society. The university is expected to “give-back” to the society. Small- and medium-sized enterprise as well as venture company do not have the capacity to finance long-term business strategy and to develop new products. These business entities want to utilize basic research output of the university. The university also needs assistance from private companies in order to transfer its research output to the society. The essence of industry-university collaboration works this way. There is a wide range of needs and the technical seeds scattered all over the nation, thus, how all these can be connected seems very difficult. Moreover, problems might arise as to whether the industry and the university could find its appropriate partner while there is a pressing demand for industry-university collaboration (Fig. 1).

Fig.1 Complex transactions

Therefore, construction of a “Meeting Place” for the industry and the university to solve such problems stated above is a pressing need. We first considered the variety of needs from the industry and the researchers in various fields. If these elements are scattered all over the place, it is not realistic to construct a meeting place for all fields. Technical field and the industry needs should be specified. Fishery resources are one of the valuable properties of maritime nation Japan. There are many industries all over the country that utilize fishery resources but many of them are small- and medium-sized enterprise. Fisheries-related industries are locally based and support local economy and their management base is weak. Therefore, we have proposed and started a one-stop liaison, “Innovation Platform for Fisheries and Marine Technology” as a new matching system (Fig. 2). Fisheries-related industries cover a broad range of areas, from traditional knowledge and skills, like fishing methods, to advanced science and technology. These distinctive industries and public research institutions, such as universities, all over the country gather at the “Innovation Platform for Fisheries and Marine Technology” with their requests and meet their appropriate partner. This project acts as a mediator between local industries and researchers, helps to develop new products and create new business.

Fig.2 Construction of “Innovation Platform for Fisheries and Marine Technology”