Discover Osaka

Tuesday 28 October, 2008

I attended this event to promote investment in the city of Osaka Japan, which was sponsored by the city of osaka chicago office.

Vice Mayor of Osaka Takashi Kashiwagi made a presentation vicemayorosakapresentation on the revitalization of an energetic city.    Osaka office of urban revitalization & promotion Osaka was a candidate city for the 2008 Olympics.  The city/Kansai region comprises 1/6 of Japan’s GDP.  They are strengthening resources to promote intellectual businesses, such as robotics, IT & ubiquitous networking, & health care/preventative medicines.

Isao Obayashi of Digital Concept Partners made this presentation   osakaitclusterexchangeprogram which offers opportunties to integrate technology with some of Japan’s biggest technoloyg companies.  61 applications came from abroad.  3 of 33 made it to the final stage.

Officials from  Kansai International Airport (alt site) made a presentation as Japan’s 1st 24 hour & international cargo airport.  They are encouraging United to resume O’Hare-Kix services which was suspended last year.

Rebecca Lombardi of the Entertainment Technology Center @ Carnegie Mellon spoke about their experience opening a satellite campus in Osaka.  The program was up & running in just over 1 year, with 5 US students working on 2 projects sponsored by Sharp in Osaka.  60% of students in other international programs are ex.-US, i.e. from Taiwan, Korea, & India who want internships with US companies.

Q&A responses

-on comparing CMU’s experiences in other places, not all departments go to every country, they haven’t been in Osaka a year yet, they’re a little disappointed there are not more students studying in Japan, Sharp has been great, keeping the lawyers busy, as students @ CMU own their own intellectual property.

-on 2008 Olympic bid, their goal was to promote health/sports in everyday life, which resulted in more local pools & gyms for the elderly, (70+ run 100m in 11 seconds) , the infrastructure was not promoted well, so they will bid again.

-re: Osaka/Kix comparing with Rockford’s relationship with O’Hare, UPS has direct flights between Osaka & Rockford for cargo traffic, & FedEx, DHL, AllNippon & UPS are all targets for cargo hub carriers

-on IT cluster exchange program requirements, they are only 3 years old, so they are eager to work with small venture-backed companies, gave an example of 3D mouse application which came from Sililcon Valley-they’ve only received proposals from the West Coast & would like more from all of America, midwest included

Here are a couple of other resources Osaka Investment Promotion CenterCity of Osaka Economic Affairs Bureau

My take is Osaka has a lot of similarities with Chicago as Japan’s 2nd city.  It’s an important city in the world’s 2nd largest economy.  If you’re thinking of building in Asia, Osaka is a good place to start.


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