Innovation Challenges

Challenge Owner(s)
IHI Asia Pacific, Sojitz, NITTOKU
Organiser(s)
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), ICMG Pte Ltd
Industry Type(s)
Digital/ICT, Land Transport
Opportunities and Support Opportunities to co-develop and testbed solutions in collaboration with the Challenge Owners.
Application Start Date 1 December 2020
Application End Date 11 January 2021
Website Click here to learn more

About Challenge

In ASEAN, rapid changes and disruptive players continuously influence social reforms and digital transformation (DX) of society and businesses today.

The development of digital technology is driving changes to the values and social structure of this radically changing market.

We aim to discover and co-create with leading DX players to create new business opportunities and innovations for Japanese companies in ASEAN. The knowledge and experiences of DX will be proactively disseminated and shared across Japan, to accelerate digital transformation in Japan.   

Challenge Owner(s)Sojitz
Industry Types(s)Digital/ICT

Sojitz

To utilize HR data through DX and HR Tech to create digital infrastructure scalable for future cross-country implementation of Strategic HR Management 

Japanese general trading firms have always been changing business models and the importance of such a transformation for Sojitz today is accentuated by recent trends such as digitalization.

To accelerate its growth, Sojitz is focusing on open innovation and acquiring new functions through co-creation via:

- Expansion into new business areas and creating new business models through investment in startups and digital assets

- Increasing business value or productivity by implementing digital transformation (DX) in businesses both inside and outside of our group companies.

For Sojitz to capture demand and growth in Asia’s key market, it is important to rely on local talents for their values and discernment strategically. 

Sojitz hopes to co-create with external partners to overcome the limits in internal resources, experience and flexibility in new fields like digital products and services.

This signals a change in skill sets and competencies required in the workforce, especially after COVID-19 where workflow and working styles are expected to become more diverse and fluid. To create synergy across different cultures in various countries and industries, the management of human capital (HR) has become increasingly important for Sojitz.

Sojitz hopes to utilize HR data through DX and HR Tech to achieve the following goals: 

- Creation of digital infrastructure scalable for future cross-country implementation of Strategic HR Management

- Optimization of human capital strength by aligning Person-Job Fit to synergize workforce within and across country offices

- Extraction of high performers’ traits, accelerating their training and recruitment processes

Current challenges of HR management at Sojitz:

- HR Information System: Heavy reliance on hardcopy of documents and files

- Talent Acquisition: Inability to visualize skills and competencies required for new hires 

- Learning & Development: Development and distribution of training content requires digitalization 

- Succession Planning: Lack of know-how on selection and grooming of next generation leaders in cross-cultural scenarios 

- Performance Management: Manual and subjective evaluation and appraisal process

What We Are Looking For

Any commercial entity with a user friendly system or cloud solution to the above-mentioned problems. 

Sojitz looks forward to a broad and flexible approach in data migration and data transformation to solve the challenges coming from different industries and countries where Sojitz operates in.

Important features of the HR management solution for Sojitz:

- Easy integration to existing systems and user-friendly interface

- Easy submission and maintenance of data 

- Credible benchmarks

We are open to applications that match the content of the challenge statement, even if the solution is not a direct solution now. We encourage suggestions on possible solid ideas on solutions.

There are no limitations on operation and funding size in the partners we seek, though you should display a feasible approach to achieve the vision of collaboration.

Apply Here

Challenge Owner(s)NITTOKU
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Precision Engineering

NITTOKU

NITTOKU is a Japanese manufacturer and distributor of coil winding machines, and its products are installed and utilized by many factories clients around the world. However, due to the high customization and complexity of NITTOKU’s products, it is difficult for local client workers alone to assemble and repair the products. NITTOKU used to dispatch skilled technicians from Japan to deal with parts assembly and malfunction. However, this option has become difficult because of COVID-19.

In order for Japanese industrial machine manufacturers like NITTOKU to adhere to high standards of service and continuously create new value add to customers, NITTOKU needs to work around the issue of being unable to send engineers to set up/troubleshoot at client sites. This diversion of resources and inefficiency in work process is critical to the growth of NITTOKU’s business. 

Taking this into account, as a leading company in coil winding machine, NITTOKU would like to be front-runner in overcoming this situation.

NITTOKU would like to envisage a consolidated model of business structure and focus on virtual network expansion with all machine manufacturers who faces this kind of difficulties in South East Asia.

In this program, we want to address two issues that NITTOKU is currently facing.

Challenge 1: Remote Machine Set-up

When NITTOKU’s products (e.g. coil winding machine) are exported, they are not always exported as a finished products. Instead, some products are re-assembled locally. This assembly process requires high level of knowledge and skills , which is difficult to be accomplished by local workers alone. During COVID-19 period, machine set-up and trouble shooting at site may take up to few months to complete, including the quarantine period, severely delaying the entire workflow. 

Challenge 2: Remote Malfunction Counselling

Due to the high degree of customization to each customer and the complexity of the product structure, it is often highly complicated for local staff to solve the abnormalities or malfunctions reported alone. For this reason, similarly, NITTOKU used to dispatch skilled engineers from Japan to provide solutions. However, COVID-19 situation has made this difficult. 

What We Are Looking For

Solution 1: Support for Setting Up Machines (SSUM)

For the first challenge of product assembly, NITTOKU seeks a partner with technology (e.g. 3D images, 360 degree video, etc.) that allows technicians to fully understand the local environment without leaving Japan. Based on that, they will be able to guide local workers on what tasks need to be done and in what order. This solution requires more spatial information than the second one.

Solution 2: Counseling Service by Augmented Reality (CSAR)

For the second challenge, NITTOKU looks for a partner whose technology (e.g. AR) can enable local workers to share the same real time view with Japanese technicians, regardless of their geographical location, so that the Japanese technicians can understand the problems that occurred and provide relevant solutions.

We would like to combine some kind of immersive technology (e.g. visual technologies such as XR, motion sensors, wearables) to enable skilled technicians in Japan to remotely share spatial information & give instructions to local workers. 

Through these solutions, NITTOKU hopes to overcome the travel restriction which has temporarily impaired many businesses as well as the world economy, improving the efficiency and productivity of both NITTOKU and their clients. 

We are open to applications that match the content of the challenge statement, even if the solution is not a direct solution now. 

We welcome proposals which employ technologies that achieve similar goals, including but not limited to the above. We encourage suggestions on possible solid ideas on solutions.

There are no limitations on operation and funding size in the partners we seek, though you should display a feasible approach to achieve the vision of collaboration.

Apply Here

Challenge Owner(s)IHI Asia Pacific
Industry Types(s)
Digital/ICT, Land Transport

IHI Asia Pacific

IHI is seeking knowledge and partners to expand Smart City related business & create new business opportunities in SEA by leveraging on existing IHI sensing technology. Ultimately, IHI wants to realize its transformation towards becoming a solution provider.

Over 160 years, IHI has been creating excellent product & amassed solid experience in heavy industry business & creating social infrastructure. Laser sensing technology has been one of the core competitiveness in IHI e.g. 3D LiDAR solution which had been widely applied in rail systems in Japan and Europe since 2006.

Understanding that digitalization and smart manufacturing is critical for Life Cycle Business, IHI wishes to upgrade its existing sensing technology and create a new business model in Smart City domain. In the near future, IHI plans to transform from a “Product Provider” to “Solution Provider” to enhance its value to customers. Aligning with IHI Future Smart City strategy, IHI wants to develop solutions that can support traffic monitoring & management to enhance its focus on Smart Mobility.

The key focus of this program is on IHIAP’s traffic sensor related technology and business as a foundation to building a cloud data platform. 

- This Smart Cloud Data Platform should be designed for future urban mobility management solutions which integrates various data sources such as map data, LiDAR data, video/image data, GPS data, etc. The state-of-art and user friendly User Interface (UI) design of map and dashboard are expected.

- The potential users of this cloud platform include traffic management authority, autonomous vehicle, automotive industry, V2X industry, etc. 

What We Are Looking For

We are open to applications that match the content of the challenge statement, even if the solution is not a direct solution now. We encourage suggestions on possible solid ideas on solutions.

There are no limitations on operation and funding size in the partners we seek, though you should display a feasible approach to achieve the vision of collaboration.

Apply Here

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to JETRO Innovation Team at spr_innov@jetro.go.jp