How to spread "disaster prevention" to the world? Possibility of "BOSAI-TECH" that JETRO staff have found.
Sendai City, which experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake, is working on "BOSAI-TECH" to develop disaster prevention technology as an industry.
Its major feature is that it is considering technological innovation in the field of disaster prevention and expansion into overseas markets by cooperating not only with domestic companies but also with overseas companies.
We asked two people from the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Sendai Trade Information Center, who are involved in program management for overseas companies, about the possibility of "BOSAI-TECH" from an international perspective.
An epoch-making program that the local city “Sendai” directly attracts overseas companies
From 2019 when the "BOSAI-TECH" business was started, Sendai City started the program "RBC (Conference on Foreign Direct Investment in the Region) 2019" that collaborates with overseas companies in the field of disaster prevention together with JETRO and the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.
Eight Finnish IT companies that have an industrial promotion agreement with Sendai City have been invited to Sendai City, and they have been making efforts together by holding a technology development camp (hackathon) etc. that facilitates evacuation from the tsunami.
In 2020, "RBC" restarted as a completely online program to prevent the new coronavirus.
There were 37 applications from Western and Asian countries, and 9 selected companies participated in this program.
Genta Inoue from the JETRO Sendai Trade Information Center has been in charge of promoting and attracting overseas companies for this program. Mr. Inoue talked about Sendai City's efforts.
"From the beginning, Sendai City told me that they wanted to involve overseas companies in "BOSAI-TECH” and that they wanted overseas companies to establish a base in Sendai.
I think that the efforts by Sendai City, which is not a big city like Tokyo but a local city, to directly attract overseas companies are very epoch-making.
By utilizing the network of 76 offices in 55 countries overseas, JETRO has been working to attract people to this program by making efforts to get them interested in business in rural areas of Japan and actively approaching companies who were considering expanding their business into Japan.”
(Mr. Genta Inoue from JETRO Sendai Trade Information Center)
Making the idea of "disaster prevention tech" gathered from all over the world into a business.
For the last year's "RBC2020", four major companies: Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co., Ltd., Mitsui Knowledge Industry Co., Ltd., NTT DoCoMo Co., Ltd., and Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd., which have branches in Sendai City participated as partner companies.
We held discussions with nine companies in various countries and regions, including the United States, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, China, Thailand, and France, which were adopted as overseas companies.
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