TOKYO, December 22, 2020 – The Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc. (MRI) today released the 2020 edition of Resolving Societal Issues through Innovation - Listings of Societal Issues in English. This annual publication highlights the issues Japan faces such as aging society and natural disasters and their international implication including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This edition reflects recent changes in the social environment and challenges such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, advancement of leading-edge technologies, and the regulatory environment.
The Innovation Network for Co-creating the Future (INCF), a platform for collaboration among the industry, academia, governments and civil society, facilitated by MRI compiled this publication as part of its ongoing efforts to tackle pressing societal issues through entrepreneurial innovation. This marks its fourth edition.
The COVID-19 has impacted all the six focus areas of wellness; water and food; energy and environment; mobility; disaster prevention and infrastructure, and education and human resource development. In wellness, online medical consultations are expanding, and the use of new technologies including AI and big data is advancing. Social distancing and “stay-at-home” have limited physical activities and travelling opportunities, potentially resulting in declined mental and physical functionality.
In the past editions, the Listings mainly focused on pain points, or the challenges. This edition introduced new perspectives based on an idealized future society and the pursuit of new affluence. For example, various enterprises participated in SPACE FOODSPHERE, an initiative organized through industry-government-academia collaboration. The initiative develops food production technology, such as a highly efficient food production plant, a bioreactor for food, and augmented ecology to improve quality of life through meal solutions.
The publication emphasizes the positive impacts and new values that resolutions to some of the issues could bring, not just mitigation.
INCF invites researchers, entrepreneurs, and all interested parties to provide feedback and contributions to further improve this publication, which can serve as a reference for finding solutions to societal issues. A PDF is available here.
- Social issues by field
1. Wellness 2. Water and Food 3. Energy and Environment 4. Mobility 5. Disaster Prevention Infrastructure 6. Education and Human Resource Development
Table of Issues, SDGs Index and Technological Index