Several Japan-Based Companies Announce BIRD Initiative

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The BIRD initiative will focus on accelerating the creation of new businesses through cooperative R&D. It aims to promote a new research and development framework called “Co-creative R&D” in which issues and technologies are brought together from industry, government and academia

NEC Corporation, OBAYASHI CORPORATION, Japan Industrial Partners, Inc., Japan Investment Adviser Co., Ltd., ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation and AOI Fund 1, operated by UTokyo Innovation Platform Co., Ltd., has announced the establishment of BIRD INITIATIVE, Inc. (BIRD), a new company that will create new businesses from collaborative R&D among businesses, financial companies and academia, and will begin operations in October.

“I’m very pleased to see that we have established a mechanism to translate our research of the NEC-AIST AI Cooperative Laboratory into societal impact,” said TSUJII Jun-ichi, Director, Artificial Intelligence Research Center, Fellow National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.

Technologies from industry, government and academia

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The BIRD initiative will focus on accelerating the creation of new businesses through cooperative R&D. It aims to promote a new research and development framework called “Co-creative R&D” in which issues and technologies are brought together from industry, government and academia.

At the start of a project, BIRD uses advanced AI technologies (Intelligent Simulation and Automation) obtained through the AI research collaboration between the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research and NEC to clarify any issues that customers experience in relation to applied research and development. In addition, BIRD provides consulting services to help clients solve the challenges they have identified, and to prototype development services to prepare a research and development environment for testing.

“In recent years, the importance of research and development for speeding up problem-solving has been increasing as the issues facing society and organizations have become more and more complex with the advance of digitalization and the acceleration of social change,” read the official statement.

“Simulation, machine learning, and automatic negotiation are areas where collaboration between industry, government, and academia can be very effective, and I expect that the process from technological development to social implementation of AI can be greatly accelerated,” said SUGIYAMA Masashi, director, RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project (AIP).

The technologies handled by BIRD will initially be core technologies obtained through research collaboration, and will be gradually increased in conjunction with businesses, financial companies, academic investors and alliance partners. BIRD aims to create 6 new businesses by 2025 through carve-outs.

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