Smart cities accelerator to be launched in Osaka

Osaka smart city

The global innovation platform firm Plug and Play is launching a smart cities accelerator programme in Osaka at the end of 2020.

It aims to make the Keihanshin metropolitan area of the Japanese city one of the world’s leading start-up ecosystems as well as contribute to Osaka’s smart city progress.

Accelerating innovation

Plug and Play Japan KK recently opened its third office in the country in Osaka City at Knowledge Capital and will carry out the accelerator programme.

Plug and Play is a global venture capital/accelerator firm that partners with leading companies to support start-ups with innovative technologies and ideas. It carries out over 60 accelerator programmes annually, providing more than 400-plus companies with solutions to drive innovations.

Plug and Play Japan has implemented five programmes so far and has selected and accelerated a total of 400 domestic and international start-ups in the programmes, together with 43 corporate partners.

Osaka has prospered as a gateway from other countries with foreign trades and diplomatic relations since ancient times. With the opportunity to hold global events such as Osaka/Kansai Expo 2025, Plug and Play wants to contribute to the development of its progress towards building a smart city.

The city is trying to tackle a range of social issues, such as challenges associated with changes in demographic structure (declining birthrate/working-age population and increasing aging population), revitalisation of urban infrastructure and new towns that were rapidly developed during the bubble economic growth period. Severe weather events are also becoming more apparent further compounding problems.

The smart cities accelerator aims to address these urban issues and the first programme will focus on areas such as smart life and construction, travel and experiences, urban mobility and clean tech and hospitality and health.

The programme will be operated with the cooperation from Osaka Prefecture, Osaka City, Kinki Economic Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Knowledge Capital.

The deadline for applications for the first programme of Plug and Play Osaka is 7 September.

Founding anchor partners in the accelerator project including Daikin Industries, Kintetsu Group Holdings, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Resona Holdings, Obayashi Corporation, Dentsu and ecosystem partner Takenaka Corporation, which are all committed to contributing to the start-up ecosystem in Keihanshin metropolitan area.


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