February 22th 2017
Tokyo Tech's School of Life Science and Technology held a kickoff forum of a new
platform, Life Science and Technology Open Innovation Hub (LiHub), at Otemachi
Sankei Plaza. This platform aims at connecting societies and industries with
the cutting edge life science and technologies in Tokyo Institute of Technology.
In October 2016, Tokyo Institute of Technology School of Life Science and Technology launched the Life Science and Technology Open Innovation Hub (LiHub), which is to be a base for collaboration on intelligence in life innovations.
Following the revolution in information technology that has led to sweeping changes in the modern era, it is now being predicted that the next industrial revolution, this time brought about by the biotechnology industry with its roots in life science, is set to occur. Life science has already become an indispensable intellectual foundation not just for medicine and drug development, but also for such fields as agriculture, food, energy, materials science, and the space industry. However, there are expectations at a global level that the applications of life science will develop far beyond anything we can imagine today, providing a source of knowledge that will give rise to hitherto unexpected value. In fact, various movements are already under way on a worldwide scale. As a result, however, research is moving forward ever faster, while research fields are becoming increasingly subdivided and specialized, making it difficult to grasp trends and thus to beat the competition in life science research and industry and to benefit from the chances for creating values. There are misgivings that this dissociation will only increase in the future.
Given this present situation, LiHub was established for the purpose of carrying out the role of academia in society with respect to the present and the future of life science and the biotechnology industry. Tokyo Institute of Technology School of Life Science and Technology, which is the parent organization of LiHub, has 75 research laboratories, the highest number of any life science or biotechnology scientific organization in the country. In addition, the Department of Life Science and Technology, which was the forerunner of the present School of Life Science and Technology, was the first university department in Japan to bear the name Life Science and Technology. Even when viewed globally, an academic organization in the field of life science that is able to cover research themes with a broad and diverse range from basic research through to applications is highly unique.
LiHub aims to make full use of the special characteristics of the School of Life Science and Technology to become a reaction field where academia and industry often meet each other to start and drive close collaborations. Respecting the open innovation concept, LiHub will conclude comprehensive agreements for businesses and public organizations to facilitate access to research resources and information that our laboratories study, possess and create. At present, the sections forming the core of LiHub form 10 groups, each with their own specific cutting-edge technology and information, and they are currently promoting the creation of academic and industrial value. LiHub regularly holds briefings on its overall activities that are open to the public, in addition to briefings whenever necessary on the activities of individual sections.