Section: Disruptive Challenge

Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.

Wanted: Extraordinarily Ambitious Ideas ,Technologies and Geeks!
Call for proposals: Your ambitious technological challenges are invited to create "a seed of disruptive innovation" in ICT* field.
Be bold and do not be afraid to come up with revolutionary challenge.

*ICT: Information and Communication Technology

<Supports: Up to ¥3,000,000 for a maximum period of 1 year.>

・Your global deployment is supported if you selected as INNO-β after that challenge.

Application has been closed.

2019 Application Guidelines

Section: Disruptive Challenge

1 Subject of Eligibility

 In the globally unpredictable field of ICT (Information and Communication Technology), where new technologies and inspirations are created every day, we will support wildly strange and ambitious technological challenges full of great possibilities in order to create the value of disruption on a worldwide scale. We invite fearless, brave and challenging proposals that tackle the issues bringing about great revolutions in both society and industry.
 Please read the remarks carefully before proceeding to application.

2 Applicant

・Applicants must either hold Japanese citizenship (irrespective of current country of residence) or be able to reside in Japan (irrespective of citizenship held) until the completion of the technology challenge and further necessary responses.
・The “requirements for foreign nationals who want to be active in/for Japan.” for the Disruptive Challenge segment are given below. Any such foreign nationals must:
 a. Hold qualifications that enable him/her to be located in Japan to engage in the “technology (issue) challenge” selected to be part of the INNO-vation Program.
 b. Be able to agree to the governing law in their Program contract to be Japanese law.
 c. Be able to adhere to all other matters decided, having agreed any adjustments as necessary with the Program Secretariat.

*Applicants holding Japanese nationality may undertake their technology challenge either in Japan or overseas.
*Applicants holding any other nationality must be able to undertake technical development within Japan from the point at which they pass the final screening process until the completion of the technical development required for the Program.
*Applicants holding Japanese nationality who intend to undertake technology development outside of Japan and applicants not holding Japanese nationality who intend to undertake technology development within Japan are responsible for carrying out any administrative procedures relating to eligibility to reside in the country where the work required for the participation in this Program is intended to be carried out (for example obtaining visas, renewing or extending visas, changing visa status) is to be carried out by the Program participant at the participant’s own cost. If a participant does not meet the necessary requirements relating to visa status, etc., appropriate measures may be taken including the cessation of Program funding.

3 Funding Amount

Up to ¥3,000,000 for a maximum period of 1 year.

*The program secretariat will handle any cumbersome paperworks for the administrations, and creating an environment in which, as far as possible, successful participants are able to concentrate on the technical challenge. As such, in principle no funding will be paid in cash.
*Budget for personnel salaries shall be calculated on the basis of the income recorded in the previous year of the persons due payment.

4 Technology Development Period

 From the point of selection at final screening (tentatively, October 2019), a maximum one year after the selection (e.g., October 2019 - October 2020).

*The development period may be brought to an end prior to one year on the basis of supervisor evaluation.

5 Implementation Schedule

Application Period

11:00AM, Monday 3 June 2019 – 6:00PM, Wednesday 31 July 2019

Candidates Passing the First Screening Process will be Announced

Early September ( tentative )

Final Screening Process

Mid September ( tentative )

Candidates Passing the Final Screening Process will be Announced

Around October

Collaboration Event with the Cooperative Partners

Around October

Spring School ( Mid-Term Performance Meeting )

February – March 2020 ( tentative )

Result Report and Final Evaluation

September – October 2020 ( tentative )

*Schedules are subject to change. Please confirm via official website.

6 Content of Application and How to Apply

 To apply, use the application form accessible from the official Program website, ensuring that you provide all of the following information.
・Name of the Technology Challenge (under 50 Japanese characters)
・Target Goal to Achieve in the Challenge (under 600 Japanese characters)
・Milestone to Target Goal (under 1,000 Japanese characters)
・Additional reference documents and prototype models can be submitted (voluntary).

*Supplementary documentation, prototypes, and other supporting material may be submitted as part of your application, either by attaching such material to the online application form accessible from the official Program website or by posting such material to the implementing body of the Program. The implementing body is not able to accept any submissions of such material by hand.
*Postal items will be accepted provided they have been postmarked by the deadline or are marked as having been received by the courier by the deadline. Please note that, in principle, it will not be possible to return any documentation or other materials submitted.

7 Disclosure of the Screening Process and Results

 After confirmation of the screening method by the implementing body of this Program, the first and final screening shall be implemented. The final screening process may entail interviews, etc.
 Evaluation of the proposals shall be implemented by a supervisor. Evaluation shall be limited only to the content of the proposal. ( Gender, age, career history and/or accomplishment will not be subject to evaluation. ) The name and residing prefecture of the applicants who have passed the first and final screening process will be announced on the official website.
 All applicants besides the ones who have passed the final screening process are eligible to participate in the matching program with our Cooperative Partners. For details, refer to “11 (4) Regarding the Collaboration with our Cooperative Partners.”


Gaku Ueda
Erika Ogawa
President, Takumi Nippon Project, Guinness World Records Japan K.K.
Tetsuya Kawanishi
Professor, Department of Electronic and Physical Systems, Faculty of Science and Engineering Graduate School, Waseda University
Katsuya Takasu
Director, Takasu Hospital President, Takasu Clinic
Tomotaka Takahashi
CEO, Robo Garage Co., Ltd.
Research Associate Professor, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo
Hiroshi Harada
Professor, Department of Communications and Computer Engineering, Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University
Tomoe Makino
Trip Advisor LLC, Country Manager Japan
Yukihiro Matsumoto
Chairperson, Ruby Association

Program Adviser

Adam D’Angelo
Quora founder and CEO
Former Facebook CTO
Joichi Ito
Shinichi Nakasuka
Professor, Intelligent Space Systems Laboratory, Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics School of Engineering, University of Tokyo
Hitoshi Hokamura
Scrum Ventures Partner/First Compass Group, General Partner/Former Chairman of Evernote Japan
Takashi Miike
Film Director

8 Prerequisite in the Screening Process

・Applicants must be the originators of the technology challenge and must be the person who intends to achieve the resolution of the technology challenge independently. If the challenge is to be implemented in a group, the various roles and responsibilities are not to overlap.
・Applicants must take all necessary responsibilities towards achieving their target goals throughout the development period of the technology.
・If an interview is to be scheduled as part of the screening process, applicants must be able to attend. In such cases, the transportation cost required shall be covered by the implementing body of this Program.
・After passing the final screening process, applicants must have the desire to actively participate in meetings and/or exchanges pertaining to this Program
・If an applicant is affiliated with an organization such as a corporation, a document of consent from the affiliated organization must be submitted after passing the final screening process. If an arrangement is required with the affiliated organization for the submission of such a document of consent, the implementing body of this Program shall provide support.
・If the applicant who has passed the final screening process is a minor (under age of 20), he/she must fulfill a contract with their legal guardian. If an arrangement is required with the legal guardian for obtaining such consent, the implementing body of this Program shall provide support.

*If it transpires that any relevant technology, etc., developed outside of Japan is subject to export limitations under the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act of Japan, appropriate measures may be taken including the cessation of Program funding.

・Applicants must have no connections to any organized crime or associated persons.

9 Confidentiality

(1) Confidentiality of the Proposed Contents until Passing the Final Screening Process
 With the exception of the information set out in Section 7: Disclosure of the Screening Process and Results, no information relating to ideas submitted in applications, including information relating to the assessment of said ideas, will be disclosed under any circumstances.

(2) Confidentiality Obligations of Applicants Passing the Screening Process
 Applicants passing the screening process are forbidden from leaking to any third party or using for any purpose other than the Program challenge any confidential information, e.g. corporate information, which applicants came to know through this Program.

10 Handling of Intellectual Property Rights

 The rights to deliverables from this Program by the applicants who have passed the final screening process shall belong to the person(s) who invented and/or developed the technology. It is important to note that even if the successful applicant(s) are currently affiliated to organizations or institutions, the deliverables shall not become the property of those organizations or institutions.

11 Matters of Attention (Please Read)

(1) Regarding the Originality of the Contents of the Application and Developed Technology
 For the entire period of this Program, from the point of application to the point of passing the final screening, it is strictly forbidden to plagiarize or infringe upon the ideas or intellectual property of third parties. Applicants must be aware, from the application stage, of the need to be duly vigilant with regard to the plagiarism and infringement of the ideas and intellectual property of third parties.

(2) Handling of Malpractice
 1 “Malpractice,” as stated in this Program, shall be defined as any and all acts that infringe upon general laws and provisions. For example, using goods supplied for the purpose of the technical challenge for any purpose other than said technical challenge would constitute malpractice.
 2 This Program forms part of the competitive funding system operated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan. Measures for dealing with malpractice are disclosed in the “Policy regarding the Appropriate Implementation of Competitive Funding”. Applicants must read and understand this policy prior to submitting any application.
[Reference]Policy regarding the Appropriate Implementation of Competitive Funding

(3) Obligation to Participate in Follow-up Surveys
 In order to improve the Program for the future, we shall implement surveys on the status and situation of applicants who have passed the final screening process (at the point of Program and around 10 years later). Applicants who pass the final screening are expected to cooperate with these surveys.

(4) Matching with our Cooperative Partners
 All applicants who do not pass the final screening shall be eligible to apply to the Cooperative Partners Program. From the perspective of the protection of applicants’ intellectual property, however, it should be noted that any participation in said Program assumes that the applicant has agreed and will adhere to the cautionary notes set out on the application form.
 The implementing body of this program shall support the collaboration between the applicant and the cooperative partners.

(5) Other
・In the event that a challenge is completed within one calendar year, it shall be possible to end the Program early.
・The recommended individual who has passed the first screening process shall be contacted by the implementing body of this Program regarding whether or not they desire to participate in the final screening.
・Supervisors will not intervene in Program challenges.
・Evaluation criteria are as follows:
…Originality: if the applicant demonstrates ideas and characteristics befitting a person capable of taking on disruptive technical challenges
…Self-Determination: if the applicant possesses strong and determinative attributes that do not expect reasoning and fact from others
…Clarity and Understanding: if the applicant has a clear understanding of the problems, solutions, possibilities
…Indomitable Will: if the applicant possesses the indomitable will and conviction of facing the challenges and moving ahead until they succeed
・In this Program, challenges where a hypothesis for challenge resolution has been developed and challenges where failure (if it has occurred) leads to the identification of the next potential path toward resolutions shall be evaluated positively. Such challenges may be tackled again if supervisor evaluation finds there to be merit in a further challenge.