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Let's join us!

Year 2012 has been a most pleasant year at the photonics Center of Osaka University. In lJapan, people complain that our country has lost power, and its politics has been totally in a mess. But, our Photonics Center is vital, energetic and confident. 
The year has started with my message, " Why don’t we have a cannery?". We want to produce a variety of cans containing photonics. What are you guys coming from university labs and partner companies doing here? We produce cans! What is contained? That's a secret! But at least I can tell you that  many kinds of cans will be sold soon. A number of scientists and engineers are working in this cannery. I will show it to you. 

So, we titled the Photonics Day “Welcome to our photonics cannery” this year and hosted guests from optical SMEs (Small and Medium’s not a short name of Sony Music Entertainment).

There’s been a downturn in Japanese manufacturing business. Commoditization drives and competing companies in Asia manufacture similar products in low-cost. Japanese enterprises aim and try to produce higher performance, functionality manufactures to differ their products from the others, but it requires new investments that cost high. What if it’s not just a company, but a university venture...?

In our cannery, there’s various equipment and facilities open for researchers in universities and SMEs, who intend to start-up new businesses. Why don’t you build a company, and why don’t you invent a new product? That’s what Photonics Center aims at and let’s make the university-launched innovation happen.

This year all the colloquia we held had a throughout theme of entrepreneurship. All the research themes are also new business start, new products, and new market development. In my opinion, basic studies should be researched using Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research, and the grants from Photonics Center should be used for pure new industry creation. An innovation cannot be created from a plan, which is already scheduled. It can be created throughout all the failures and challenges. In this point of view, we called for entries of business startup and productization last year. Reviewed by adjudicators from outside organizations, 4 projects were adopted. All these projects are concretely planned to startup new business/productization within 2 years.

By little and little I feel the culture has changed here. I assume that the MEXT project we’ve got the grant (the realization of innovation centers of advanced technologies fusion with special coordination of regional Industry and university) is not for the benefit of collaborate companies by funding them the development expenses, should be for the benefit of the public by radicating this culture in university societies. Now universities are expected to contribute not only to academic fields, but also to society.
In that point, the adventures we started from this year is something looking forward to. Stay tuned.
Satoshi Kawata, Executive Director
December, 10th, 2012


と言うわけで、今年のフォトニクスデイでは「ようこそフォトニクスの缶詰工場へ」と題して、光関連を中心としたSME(中小企業と呼ばずに、私達はSmall and Medium Enterpriseと呼びます。Sony Music Entertaimentの略ではありません。)の方々をご招待しました。




センター長 河田 聡