April 2, 2019
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten and Tohoku University Conclude Comprehensive Collaboration Agreement on Innovation

“Rakuten Innovation Laboratory Tohoku” to be established to accelerate implementation of industry-academia collaboration projects

Tokyo, April 2, 2019 - Rakuten, Inc. and Tohoku University announced that the two organizations today concluded a comprehensive collaboration agreement aimed at creating innovation from the Tohoku region of Japan.

Through this agreement, both parties will leverage their knowledge and assets to create outstanding innovation. In order to accelerate the implementation of various industry-academia collaboration projects, the “Rakuten Innovation Laboratory Tohoku” has been established on the campus of Tohoku University as a hub for collaboration. In its initial year, collaboration will focus on healthcare, medical care, robotics and innovation in human resource development. There are plans to expand the scope in the future.

Rakuten offers a diverse range of over 70 services worldwide, based on its mission of contributing to society by creating value through innovation and entrepreneurship. From its branch office in Sendai, Rakuten engages in corporate activities rooted in the local community through the services provided by the Rakuten Group and Rakuten Baseball, Inc., which operates the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles professional baseball team.

Tohoku University has made a number of educational achievements based on its “Research First” tradition and “Open Doors” and “Practice Oriented Research and Education” principles which it has upheld since its inception. As a designated national university, Tohoku University is a leading proponent of creation and change, and aims to make significant contributions for the good of the world as a university and member of society. In its advanced research in materials science, spintronics, next-generation medicine, disaster research and other domains, the university promotes interdisciplinary social implementation and is working on joint industry-academia open innovation initiatives.

Rakuten and Tohoku University aim to contribute not only to Tohoku’s economy, but also to the further development of society through the creation and implementation of innovation.

Highlights of the comprehensive collaboration agreement*

(1) Collaboration in the field of healthcare and medical care
・Joint sports science research between the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles and Tohoku University
・Joint research between Rakuten insurance group companies and the Tohoku University School of Medicine
・Collaboration in the medical field between Rakuten’s Life Science Business Promotion Department, Rakuten Capital and Tohoku University
(2) Collaboration in the field of robotics
・Research and experiments in the field of robotics and logistics
(3) Establishment of a human resources development program
・Collaboration between Rakuten People and Culture Lab and Tohoku University on the implementation of hackathons and other efforts on the theme of human resource development
・Development and implementation of a program for students to foster a global mindset and entrepreneurship
・Development and promotion of attractive educational programs for adult students by the Rakuten Institute of Technology and Tohoku University
(4) Other items agreed to by the parties
・Promotion of cashless payments by introducing the Rakuten Pay smartphone cashless payment app on the campus of Tohoku University

 *The agreement includes areas currently under consideration and is subject to change.

About Tohoku University
Since its founding 112 years ago in 1907, Tohoku University has been one of Japan’s leading comprehensive research universities that has produced numerous brilliant students and expanded the horizons of humanity’s knowledge with outstanding research achievements worldwide, and is a leader in change and innovation for future society under the principles of “Research First,” “Open Doors” and “Practice Oriented Research and Education.” In June 2017, the university was the first of three universities recognized as a designated national university whose mission is to rank among the top universities of the world representing itself and Japan. In November 2018, the university unveiled Vision 2030, setting forth its goals of cutting edge creation, taking on the challenge of bringing about great change, and co-creation with industry-academia. For more information, visit the Tohoku University website at https://www.tohoku.ac.jp/en/index.html.

About Rakuten
Rakuten, Inc. (TSE: 4755) is a global leader in internet services that empower individuals, communities, businesses and society. Founded in Tokyo in 1997 as an online marketplace, Rakuten has expanded to offer services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications around the world. The Rakuten Group has over 17,000 employees, and operations in 30 countries and regions. For more information visit https://global.rakuten.com/corp/.

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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