OKINAWA, Japan (17 June 2019) – Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) has received a pledge of ¥30M from Nikken Housing to support the Institute’s innovation and entrepreneurship programs.
Nikken Housing is an Okinawa-based real estate company that operates housing, hotel, and environmental business developments. The company’s donation, to be distributed in installments of ¥10M over 3 years, will establish the Nikken Housing Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund at OIST to promote entrepreneurship in Okinawa.
“Industry must work cooperatively with academia and government to help solve the challenges facing our society,” the Representative of Nikken Housing, Mrs. Yukari Mahoe, Director, Nikken Housing said. “I am inspired by OIST’s aim to conduct world-leading research and its vision to make an impact on Okinawa. As a developer, I am especially interested in new science and technology that fosters environmentally sustainable development on this island. Nikken Housing is pleased to support efforts to educate and train future innovators who can contribute to Okinawa and its natural environment and connect Okinawa to the world.”
The Nikken Housing Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund will support the activities of the Technology Development and Innovation Center (TDIC), which fosters innovation at OIST and in Okinawa to accelerate economic growth. TDIC takes an integrated approach to innovation by encouraging industry partnerships and alliances, managing OIST’s expanding intellectual property portfolio, and supporting technology commercialization through startup acceleration and incubation.
The donation from Nikken Housing strengthens OIST’s commitment to seeding an innovation ecosystem in Okinawa and provides flexible funding to TDIC to pursue new initiatives aimed at shortening the route from discovery science to impact.
“Many of the world’s most innovative technologies and companies can trace their roots to scientific discoveries made in academic labs,” OIST President Peter Gruss said. “OIST research, in areas such as sustainable energy, environmental protection, and healthy aging, not only advances new technologies and seeds new industries, but it can also enrich the Okinawa community.”
“This multi-year pledge from Nikken Housing represents a vote of confidence that OIST is on the right track toward advancing science, inspiring the next-generation, bringing novel ideas to market, and transforming Okinawa through research, education, and innovation,” President Gruss continued. “We are extremely grateful for the donation from Nikken Housing which will help us as we bridge the gap between discovery science and real-world applications. We hope to develop similar partnerships in the future that will further the self-sustaining development of Okinawa.”