*INNO - /ɪnə/ from the Japanese kanji 異能 meaning "Unusual Ability"
Designed to create new, disruptive, and global value in the ICT (*) field by supporting extraordinarily ambitious technological ideas with tremendous potential.
The Program aims to support the bold ideas of creative thinkers who, unfettered by conventional wisdom and unafraid of failure, are able to think outside of the box and take decisive action in order to create something from nothing – we call them "hen" (a Japanese word meaning strange or unusual) - all while creating an environment in which even bolder ideas can flourish by bringing these innovators together.
Over the course of human history, it has always been these creative and hen thinkers who have brought about breakthrough and disruptive innovation through their willingness to take on extraordinarily ambitious technological challenges. The INNO-vation Program operates on the belief that these brilliant minds should be encouraged to think, create, and work freely, as they are the key to building a new future for the world.
*ICT: Information and Communication Technology
The spectacular discoveries made in this 4th Industrial Revolution’s Telecommunication Technology (ICT) are transforming at a breakneck pace. Yet with the current global spread of COVID-19, our continued battle against this virus has brought us to avoid physical contact with one another. This virus has made itself known not only to our country, but to the entire world’s population, overturning our everyday lifestyles and pushing us to pursue the new normal. There has been no shortage of lost opportunities and sorrow. However, this new normal has in turn promoted diversification, and that no matter how small, every person in the world has the potential to awaken an industrial or social revolution. Now is precisely the time to think about the next big stride into the future. Calling conventional knowledge into question, breaking through existing barriers, and bringing about change to the industrial structure is essential. The realization of that change is Disruptive Innovation.
In order for disruptive innovation to develop and grow, we require a bedrock on top of which the seeds of inspiration, seen as "unusual" by customary standards, can naturally grow, an environment that accommodates challenges without fear of failure and an acceptance of diversity and the value it brings. This does not mean just pushing Japan's accomplishments into the world, but rather aiming for global development from the onset.
As globally recognized, there is a need to establish an environment in which candidates can feel free to challenge themselves in creating something out of nothing. Their ability to break beyond what AI can achieve and create a new 1 from a state of 0 will open up the future, rather than relying on pre-existing solutions.
In 2014, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (hereinafter referred to as “MIC”) established the “INNO-vation” Program to brew a new challenging atmosphere and provide support towards candidates (referred to as “strange or unusual”) that could bravely move forward with their wildly peculiar and ambitious ideas to resolve the technological issues facing us today.
As we all endeavor to adjust to this new normal, we are eagerly anticipating applications from new challengers. The MIC will also continue working to find the perfect structure to support world-class changes and fast-moving revolutions in the field of ICT. Together, not only can we challenge ourselves towards something new but also towards creating a better tomorrow for our world.
*ICT stands for Information and Communication Technology, as defined and used accordingly in Japanese terminology. *This program was launched in 2014 on the basis of the recommendations of a report from the Information and Communication Council entitled “The Desired Course of ICT Policies towards Innovation Creation” (interim report: 5 July 2013, final report: 27 June 2013). In the ensuing years, the program is positioned as a key national strategy. As a follow up to 2019’s growth strategy (approved on 21 June 2019) the program was included in the Declaration to be the World’s Most Advanced Digital Nation (approved on 14 June 2020).
Applications to the Disruptive Challenge will be assessed by 9 judges, each regarded as front-runners in their respective fields, e.g. ICT.
*Supervisors for 2021 will be announced in early May.
MODE, Inc., CEO
The Guinness World Records Japan Ltd., Co-Founder/Former President/Consultant
School of Fundamental Science and Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University
Professor, Department of Electronic and Physical Systems
TikTok Japan General Manager, ByteDance, ltd.
Director, Takasu Hospital
CEO, Robo Garage Co., Ltd.
Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University
Professor, Department of Communications and Computer Engineering
Former Country Manager Japan
Five industry-leading innovators will work as INNO-vation Program consultants, inputting their expert advice on how to improve the Program overall.
Founder and CEO, Quora
Former Facebook CTO
Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics School of Engineering, University of Tokyo
Professor, Intelligent Space Systems Laboratory
Scrum Ventures Partner
First Compass Group, General Partner
Former Chairman of Evernote Japan
A new and powerful logo was designed to symbolize the increasingly growing embrace of this program while retaining its Japanese origins.
We hope that our message of support for everyone's activities can be felt now more than ever before.
Logo provided by: Professional Calligrapher Keiu Ishikawa
・2021 Dokuritsu Calligraphy Exhibit Excellent Work Award
・2020 Designer of the poster for the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications “INNO-vation”
・2020 Dokuritsu Calligraphy Exhibit Excellent Work Award ・2019 Mainichi Shodo Exhibition Prize Winner
・2019 Dokuritsu Calligraphy Selection Exhibit Prize Winner
・2019 Wrote the letter used in Fuji TV's "SHIRANAMI" musical
・2019 Dokuritsu Calligraphy Exhibit Prize Winner
・2018 Dokuritsu Calligraphy Selection Exhibit Prize Winner
・2018 Dokuritsu Calligraphy Exhibit Honourable Mention winner
・2017 Designer of the logos for the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications' “Disruptive Challenge” and “Generation Award”
・2017 Fuji Modern Calligraphy Exhibit Encouragement Award
・2017 Cho-bun Calligraphy Exhibit Excellent Work Award
・2017 Calligraphy Society Exhibit Yomiuri Newspaper Award
・2016 Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications “INNO-vation”
・2016 Designed the logo for Kikkoman/Del Monte's November 7th release "WINERY-No-Shizuku"
・2016 Calligraphy Society Exhibit Yomiuri Newspaper Award
... Other, Tochigi Arts Festival Art Exhibition, Mainichi Shodo Exhibit, etc.
Phone：+81 3-5840-7629 Hours: Monday to Friday (excluding holidays) 10am-6pm
Upon confirmation of your inquiry, the responsible party will contact you shortly.
Depending on the contents of the inquiry, it may take some time to respond.
Thank you in advance for your understanding.