From Okinawa to the world: OIST begins collaborations with Ryubo Corporation to develop new technologies
The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology School Corporation and RYUBO Corporation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on November 25 during a press conference in Naha City to promote collaboration in product development and sales promotion for OIST startup companies using new technologies.
OIST aims to create an innovation ecosystem in Okinawa and is working to establish a close relationship with the Okinawan economy by positioning Okinawa as an early test market for the commercialization of various new deep tech*1 technologies.
As a pilot case of the collaboration, OIST will facilitate access to convenience stores, department stores, and supermarkets under the Ryubo Group as test marketing channels and utilize the long years of Ryubo’s experience in product development, marketing, sales, and logistics accumulated to establish an incubation system for a fast commercialization of deep tech developed at OIST.
Furthermore, after the testing stage, OIST will encourage the launch of the products in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) market, including other countries in Asia and the United States, by utilizing the Ryubo Group’s overseas network.
OIST CEO/President Dr. Peter Gruss says, "We are delighted that the RYUBO Group considers OIST a partner and invests in OIST's efforts to contribute to Okinawa's self-sustaining economic development.”
For the pilot case, OIST and Ryubo have agreed to commercialize “SEED-Tech” developed by REPS JAPAN. The company was established by CEO Zachary Bell, a former post-doctoral researcher at OIST and graduate of the OIST Startup Accelerator Program*2.
REPS JAPAN, Inc. is on a mission to "re-engineer performance supplements." The company aims to develop the next generation of performance supplement consumption technologies and packaging solutions with the end goal of creating convenient, eco-friendly consumer-grade products.
SEED TECH is a patent pending process for compacting performance supplements, such as protein powder, into solid capsules that can be dissolved into a beverage. REPS JAPAN aims to use minimalistic, biodegradable packaging solutions.
This deep tech addresses the following six sustainable development goals (SDGs):
Mr. Goichi Itokazu, CEO of Ryubo Corporation, commented during the press conference, “We hope that the products commercialized in this project with OIST will be marketed through the Ryubou Group to people in and outside of Okinawa, and that it will be a good opportunity for Okinawa to develop as a 'business resort'.”
Dr. Peter Gruss, CEO of OIST, says, “We would like to show our appreciation to the Okinawa Prefectural Government for the great support. We think this collaboration has great potential and we look forward to its success and the future benefits it will bring to the local community and the world.”
*1 Deep tech: Innovative technologies based on fundamental science with potential groundbreaking impacts on society.
*2 OIST Startup Accelerator Program: A program designed to attract the world's best entrepreneurs related to science and technology to Okinawa. Each year, entrepreneurs from around the world are carefully selected to receive the funding, mentoring, and partnerships as well as OIST’s human resources, facilities, and resources required to establish their companies in Okinawa. The program aims to create a new ecosystem in Okinawa. https://i2.oist.jp/ja/accelerator