Proposal for a “Smart Ageing Program”
In April, 2006, at the request of Tohoku University, I have taken a post of a specially appointed professor in charge of international strategies in the University’s Industry and Academia Cooperation Office. Tohoku University has decided to seriously implement international strategies. For this mission, the choice has fallen on me for my rich experiences and knowledge in international business.
In July 2006, I helped launching Tohoku’s first office in the USA. I also presented my strategies to maximally differentiate Tohoku University from other competitors with a limited budget and staff. One strategy is the “Smart Ageing Program”. This proposal was highly appreciated and Tohoku University established a Promotion Division for the Smart Ageing Program in March 2007, appointing me as Deputy Director. This program has now integrated into Smart Ageing International Research Center (SAIRC).
There were two reasons that I proposed this program. First, while new businesses targeting older adults have been arising in the private sector, there were no such movements in the academic sector. In fact, no university in Japan at that time had a project in the ageing field where they have been consistently doing the research and development on a commercial basis.
The second reason was the unexpected fact for me that the world keeps watch on Japan as the front-runner in the race called the ageing society. Good or bad, Japan is a showcase country for the future of the ageing society globally. However, I believe that the reality of Japan has not been well known to the world all these years due to the lack of informing and sharing our activities for responding to an ageing society including business products and services.
If we take the initiative in the research and development on a commercial basis in the ageing field, we can be the first Japanese university to send out valuable information in this field. That is the way to differentiate Tohoku University from others. And that is why I proposed this strategy of “Smart Ageing Program”.