(集合写真は近畿経済産業局 知的財産室提供)



Omori Seminar students of the Department of Informatics and Mediology won the Director-General's Award of the Kinki Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry at the Business Idea Contest.


The final judging of the "Intellectual Property Business Student Idea Contest" sponsored by the Kinki Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry was held in Osaka City on January 29, 2023, and Nao Matsushita, Yuzuna Sakai, Saki Kariya, and Asuka Kuroda, third-year students in the Omori Seminar of the Informatics and Mediology Department, received the top prize, the METI Kinki Bureau Chief Award and the Kansai Mirai Bank Award.


This contest has been held since 2018 with the aim of contributing to the revitalization of business creation activities in the local economy as a form of industry-academia collaboration by providing problem-solving opportunities for the creation, protection, and utilization of intellectual property.


Eleven teams from seven universities that passed the first round of judging through video presentations participated in the final judging session.


Matsushita's team, which participated in the "Local Brand Design Category," proposed a business idea to grow the rare edamame "decansho beans" as a local brand product, which they came across during fieldwork for an industry-government-academia collaboration project with Hyogo Prefecture. They conceived of a "Smart Fan Club," an e-commerce site in the form of a fan club that utilizes information technology to turn weaknesses such as the short harvest period during the summer, the limited production volume due to the small number of farmers still engaged in cultivation, and the difficulty of maintaining freshness, into advantages.


The judges highly praised the project for its careful fieldwork and elaborate data analysis, the novelty of a community-based farmer fan club, and the high feasibility of utilizing existing mechanisms.


At the award ceremony, Mr. Matsushita expressed his gratitude for the support he received from many people both inside and outside of the university, and expressed his hopes to "report this award to the farmers and continue working toward the realization of the plan, with the cooperation of various people.


(Group photo provided by Intellectual Property Office, METI Kinki).


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