Decision on Winners of the "Business Idea Competition 2016"
Support to start-ups aiming for solutions to societal issues in the wellness field

December 8, 2016

Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc.

MRI News

Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc. (MRI) [Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Kyota OMORI], which is hosting the "Business Idea Competition 2016" to solicit and commend ideas for solving, via business means, serious societal issues both domestically and abroad, has decided the recipients of the Grand Prize and the MRI Prize at the Final Selection Committee Meeting on December 6.

In order to realize a rich and sustainable global society, our company is now moving forward with preparations toward establishing in January 2017 the "Innovation Network for Co-Creating the Future" (henceforth, INCF(*1)), a platform for handling the mounting societal issues of Japan and the world, and for co-creating and realizing their solutions by applying revolutionary technologies and innovation.

As part of these activities, we planned and hosted the "Business Idea Competition 2016." This competition, aiming to "solve societal issues through business," evaluates the impacts (breadth and depth of societal benefits) expected of the solutions delivered by the proposed business ideas, as well as the feasibility/innovativeness/sustainability of their business models.

This time, we selected as the theme the pressing societal issue of "wellness," and solicited business ideas leading to innovations in this field (with a submission deadline of August 31, 2016). From approximately 100 proposal submissions, our Senior Research Fellows and Researchers selected five teams (the Finalists), and the following Winners were decided as the result of a careful examination by 5 domestic and international Experts who are Supporters of INCF efforts.

Moving forward our company shall support in a variety of ways the Winners and Finalists, as well as all respondents, of this competition through the activities of the INCF. In addition, as a part of INCF activities in the future, we are planning to organize and sponsor in turn business competitions with the themes of "education," "water and food," "disaster prevention," "energy and environment," and "mobility."

The competition was held at "Global Business Hub Tokyo (GBHT)", Otemachi, Tokyo. Awards ceremony of the competition
(Left) Dr. Hiroshi Komiyama, Head of the panel of judges
(Right) Grand Prize Winner、Mr. Junya Tanimoto, CEO of O Inc.

Winners of Business Idea Competition 2016

Grand Prize
Proposer: O Inc.
Proposal Title: "Chrono Wellness: The world's first-ever service for visualizing the biological clock and improving sleep"
Reason for selection: Sleep improvement is a widely recognized societal issue; in Japan there are studies(*2) showing that the fraction of people who are not sufficiently rested through sleep is 20% and this fraction is increasing significantly year by year. The point was appreciated that, along with newly developing a wristwatch-type device (the first in the world of non-intrusive type) capable of visualizing the biological clock, by providing via an App sleep-improvement coaching through cognitive behavior therapy, this business scheme could deliver service to a large number of people.
MRI Prize
Proposer: Mr. Akira MIZUNO et al.
Proposal Title: "Creation of a Comfortable Environment for Health Maintenance - Air Purification/Infectious Disease Prevention by Plasma/Static Electricity"
Reason for selection: Air pollution countermeasures and infectious disease prevention are widely recognized societal issues; there are studies stating that worldwide each year over 7 million people die from air pollution as the primary cause (more than ten times the damage of cigarette smoking)(*3). By making viruses visible, infection routes can be understood, and services, as well as the technologies to support them, can be established which provide appropriate countermeasures. In addition, the point was appreciated that, through a global team framework based on a medical viewpoint, development was being pursued that brought into view deployment into the Asian market.
Panel of judges
Richard Dasher, Director, US-Asia Technology Management Center, Stanford University
Tomy Kamada, CEO and Founder of TomyK Ltd.
Haruo Miyagi, Founder and CEO, ETIC.
Masa Inakage, Dean and Professor, Keio University Graduate School of Media Design
Hiroshi Komiyama, Chairman, Mitsubishi Research Institute
Supporting companies
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Net One Systems Co.,Ltd.
MSD K.K.
Recruit Holdings Co. Ltd.
T&D Holdings, Inc.

(*1) News release: "MRI to Launch an "Innovation Network for Co-Creating the Future"(6/13/2016)

(*2) "The results of the National Health and Nutrition Survey in 2014" (Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare)

(*3) "Burden of disease from Household Air Pollution for 2012" (WHO)

For inquiry:
Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc. (http://www.mri.co.jp/english/)
10-3, Nagatacho 2-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8141
Open Innovation Center
E-mail:incf@mri.co.jp

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