About INNO-vation

What's INNO

*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


Message from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

Since 2014, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan, in order to bring about a society capable of realizing truly disruptive innovation, has promoted the INNO-vation Program, an initiative that supports people who are unafraid of failure and go beyond conventional wisdom to push toward their ambitious technical goal.

Over these 10 years, the program saw the birth of the Generation Award Division in 2017, which let Cooperative Partners commend applicants with various awards to help them expand the foundations of their valiant efforts. By 2022, yearly entries into the program had increased 30-fold, peaking at over 21,000 applications. In this way, The INNO-vation Program has contributed to creating a society that takes on disruptive, innovative challenges in a big way.

The total number of Cooperative Partners has expanded to 224, and together they will help bring the Generation Award to life once again in 2023. It is incredibly gratifying that this program, which was started by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, has spread throughout society and continues to be implemented by the private sector with extensive efforts. To all of those involved with the program over the years, we wish to deeply express our gratitude for your understanding and cooperation.

Regarding the Disruptive Challenge, also created by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, in accordance with the government's overall policy to support startups in order to promote the acceleration of New Capitalism, it has been decided that support for the Disruptive Challenge will conclude with the 2022 fiscal year challengers. The next challenge will leverage the achievements and experiences earned in the INNO-vation Program to further foster the creation of startups. Beginning this fiscal year, the "Startup Creation-Oriented Emerging Research and Development Support Project" will begin.

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.

About the Logo

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.