Tohoku University was established as Japan's third national university in 1907.
Built over the ancient site of Aoba Castle in Sendai—the city of trees, Tohoku university provides a relaxing and alluring environment that attracts thousands of students annually. With the original vision: "research first," "Open door," and "Practice-oriented research," Tohoku University ranks among the top three universities in Japan for decades. The University is now pursuing the globalization era, breaking the language barrier and introduce itself as a global university. The university has established 21 overseas offices and numerous partnerships with universities around the world that leads to dozens of short and long-term exchange students. It is also accepting international students to the international, all-English program.
Among the evaluation points that led Tohoku University to be selected as a candidate for recognition as a University of International Research Excellence(2023.09.01), its international strength in all directions and the speed of its reforms stand out. Tohoku University has established cooperative relationships with international research institutions and universities and is actively engaged in multinational research projects. In THE Japanese University Rankings, international strength is a strength that has earned the university first place for four consecutive years. The university is also recognized for its reform capabilities led by President Ohno, and through his reform program, also known as the "Great Reset," bold changes are underway for the development of the university.
- 1 Promoting student innovation and entrepreneurship
- 2 Encouraging faculty innovation and entrepreneurship
- 3 Actively supporting the university technology transfer function
- 4 Facilitating university-industry collaboration
- 5 Engaging with regional and local economic development efforts
Promoting student innovation and entrepreneurship
Hult Prize On Campus Tohoku University (until 2021)
Hult Prize is a global entrepreneurship event focusing on university students to exert waves of positive impact on society. Tohoku University has been enlisted as one OnCampus competition venue since 2019 and has been a hub for more than 50 competitors in more than a dozen teams every year.
Innovation Plaza falls under Tohoku University's School of Engineering. It fosters students' creativity by exposing them to fundamental experiments and practices in using cutting-edge technology. In Innovation Plaza, there are rooms for machining processes, material processing, a material lab, a computer room, digital prototyping, digital design, etc. These rooms promote students to conduct various research and experiments. Measuring and processing devices, experimental apparatuses, and digital prototyping apparatuses are prepared for reservations, so students can start getting their hands dirty to make the coolest projects possible.
Early Work Program
Tohoku University Startup Incubation Center offers the "Early Work Program" to support students' challenging technology projects during the spring and summer long vacations. The Center selects 5-7 teams each time and provides support for hypothesis testing methods, development funds, and development locations over a period of two months. In this program, they aim to create projects that will amaze the world through learning from the activities of just making things and talking with people. This program supports students from three main perspectives. Project promotion methods, project promotion funds, development location, and MTG space.
Tohoku University Business Contest
Tohoku University has decided to hold a university-wide business idea contest to discover and support the efforts of students who are confronting social issues and trying to create a "path" on the ground. In 2022, the 6th business contest for all Tohoku University students is going to be held in December. Participants in the finals may get assistance with the following assistance. 1; Accompaniment by a mentor in charge. During the selection period, the mentor will support the progress of the adopted team through meetings with mentors who are compatible with the needs of the target team. 2; Lectures and feedback by external mentors. Provide opportunities to obtain lectures and feedback from mentors who are active at the forefront of the industry, in collaboration with external programs. 3; Provide funding for commercialization support. Accelerate hypothesis testing of ideas by providing commercialization support funds. 4; Provide e-learning, a self-directed learning system. Provide the knowledge necessary for idea generation, product and service creation, and other business assemblies.
At Tohoku University's spring and summer seminars, students serve as "Sensei'' which means a teacher and share with first-year students specific details of their student life, academic studies, research, and extracurricular activities, and what they can learn from them. Any student can become a sensei. Participants will design lessons based on their own experiences, interests, and problem awareness. These seminars have two objectives: diversity and agency. The former creates a university-based network of diverse learners, creating a place where everyone learns together while recognizing each other's diversity. The latter refers to the role of creating a conducive learning environment and conveying the joy of learning. This initiative will overcome the limitations of institutionalized university education and serve as a gateway to ambitious attempts at educational innovation.
TEDxTohokuUniversity, as a part of TEDx program, holds lots of conferences that include a variety of topics to spark discussions among different parties and inspire logical thinking. This project aims to provide a platform for students, professors, alumni and friends of Tohoku University to share their ideas, work and achievements with the community.
Check out more TEDxTohokuUniversity events.
Encouraging faculty innovation and entrepreneurship
Business Incubation program (BIP)
At Tohoku University, the Center for Business Innovation offers two types of BIP: "Nurturing and Support" for prototyping, feasibility testing, and commercialization support, and "Focus" for full-scale commercialization testing and preparation for joint research with companies. The program is focusing on getting faculties involved in innovation through collaboration with the outside industries.
T-Biz (Tohoku University Collaborative Business Incubator)
T-Biz (Tohoku University Collaborative Business Incubator) is an incubator for university research seeds that is established and operated by the Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, Japan, based on the Law for Strengthening Management of Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, upon request from Miyagi Prefecture and Sendai City, and in cooperation with Tohoku University and is located on the Aobayama Campus (Faculty of Engineering) of the same university. It is a "university-collaborated business incubation facility" to promote the creation and business development of Tohoku and university-originated ventures by providing rental rooms for their commercialization and business development, promoting the mutual study and industry-academia collaboration, and providing management support.
T-Biz will also serve as a base for building a regional innovation system by establishing a cooperative system among universities, local industries, local governments, and support organizations. The Science Park is scheduled to be built on the Tohoku University campus and the Tohoku and Miyagi regions and will serve as a stepping stone to the development of regional industrial clusters by encouraging companies to locate in the region.
Actively supporting the university technology transfer function
TOHOKU TECHNO ARCH
TOHOKU TECHNO ARCH is a Technology Licensing Organization (TLO) that aims to support the creation of new businesses and industries by utilizing intellectual property created at universities. The group serves as a coordinator to return the profits of university researches to society, and as a seed provider for partners to strengthen the competitiveness of business creation by introducing university technologies. There are more than 50 licensed technologies categorized as suitable for commercialization, and several of those have already been launched into successful businesses.
Facilitating university-industry collaboration
TOHOKU University Venture Partners
TOHOKU University Venture Partners is a venture capital company wholly owned by Tohoku University. It was established in February 2015 in response to social demands to enhance Japan's industrial competitiveness. It invests in university-launched venture companies with the aim of commercializing challenging and creative research results that lead to the creation of new social value.
Tohoku University's New Industry Creation Hatchery Center (NICHe) promotes joint research with industry and other organizations and conducts advanced and original development research. The organization fosters cross-department cutting-edge research to the creation of new technologies that meet societal demands, and in the meantime exploring possibilities for new uses and new industry fields.
Tohoku University Startup Garage
The Tohoku University Startup Garage (TUSG) supports activities by faculty, students, and alumni related to Tohoku University who, based on their own intellectual curiosity, aim to solve users' problems in a sustainable way through entrepreneurship, and also support the dissemination of information about Tohoku University-born ventures established in this way. In this way, we promote the creation of social and economic impact through Tohoku University's knowledge and human resources. TUSG supports each of the resources necessary for company activities, i.e., members, funding, location, and guidelines, and aims for continuous company activities by teams that include researchers.
Engaging with regional and local economic development efforts
Project Zoom Miyagi
This project encourages international students to get jobs at local companies in Miyagi prefecture. In this project, students interview local companies' CEOs, then summarizes them into a brochure and a website. The program connects with local companies to serve as a training ground for entrepreneurial students to gather their experience before launching their own businesses. Project Zoom Miyagi operates as one of the intercultural classes, supported by a local partner, MIYAX CO., Ltd.
Exploring Miyagi Local Companies
This is an international collaborative course available to all international students and domestic students of all departments. It aims for collaborative learning through group work. This course is held in cooperation with the SENDAI Young Entrepreneurs Group (SENDAI YEG), an organization of young entrepreneurs from local companies in Sendai. In the course, Students will visit a local company in Sendai, conduct research, and present solutions to a problem that the company is facing. This class is beneficial for the Sendai community through discussions and group work by international and domestic students that make use of their diverse perspectives. The course trains students to have a better understanding of business in Sendai, as well as employability, communication, and problem-solving skills. English courses in TU that promote contribution to the city - Related resources (https://intercul.ihe.tohoku.ac.jp/)
Material Solution Center
This center aims to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, and industrialization through joint research on new materials. Under the 'Under One Roof Policy', this center provides the laboratory equipment necessary to create new materials through Tohoku University and collaborated companies, thereby enabling the industrialization of our university's research. Therefore, Material Solutions Center takes part in contributing to the economic evolution of the Tohoku region.
Michinoku Academia Startup Platform
To support startups in the Tohoku region, Michinoku Academia Startup Platform is a platform consisting of a variety of projects. The objective is to encourage the formation of startup ecosystems and accelerate the emergence of startups in Tohoku that can build the resolution of domestic and international problems. EDGE-NEXT (The next-generation entrepreneur development project, adopted by universities around the world) is an educational program associated with this platform. In addition, this organization is establishing the Tohoku University Prototype Coordination Office (TPCO) to promote entrepreneurship in the Tohoku area. In the future, the platform aims to make the program self-reliant.