DENSO, Others Establish Social Cooperation Program at The University of Tokyo to Spur, Mobility Innovations, Meet United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

TOKYO, Dec 2, 2020 – (JCN Newswire) – 1. Overview of the program

Fig. 1 SDGs to be achieved through the program

Fig. 2 Example of a system to be developed in the social cooperation program

Fig. 3 Open innovation and conventional research and development

DENSO Corporation, The Graduate School of Frontier Sciences at The University of Tokyo, NSK Ltd., Bridgestone Corporation, and ROHM Co., Ltd. have jointly established a social cooperation program(1) titled, “Open Innovation of Mobility Technologies to Achieve the SDGs” (Fig. 1). “SDGs” refers to the 17 sustainable development goals set by the United Nations in 2015, which call for urgent action in creating a more livable and equitable world.

The program will run from December 1, 2020, to March 31, 2024, and be organized by two researchers, including Hiroshi Fujimoto, Associate Professor of the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences. It will conduct R&D on technologies for the electrification of mobility and making it more resource-efficient and sustainable. It will also test a mechanism for making part of the results publicly available to support open innovation.

2. Details of research under the program

Research theme
Mobility is made possible by harnessing knowledge in various fields, such as electrical engineering, electronic engineering, mechanical engineering, and materials science and engineering. Under the program, research on mobility will be jointly conducted across multiple scientific fields with the four companies instead of focusing on conventional problem-solving in a single scientific field. Specifically, the main research theme will be dynamic wireless power transfer (DWPT) systems and vehicle dynamics controls, which will be developed based on research under the JST Mirai-Program, as well as systems that combine these technologies (Fig. 2).

Open innovation
Practical application of research on DWPT systems requires not only the development of on-board components but also extensive research encompassing power feeding equipment and control systems. Participants in the research and development will be actively invited to conduct research within or outside the scope of the program. Research through open innovation will be promoted to build the foundation for technology innovation. The framework and regulations for open innovation involve uncertainties, so a model of successful open innovation will be established (Fig. 3).

3. Future outlook

The program will create new mobility technologies, including a new DWPT system developed from the third-generation DWPT in-wheel motors. The aim is to move to the field operational test phase in 2025 and beyond, toward the practical application of the systems and control technologies proposed by the program.

(1) A program that is established at education and research institutes, such as faculties and graduate schools, by using expenses received from external organizations (excluding national research and development agencies), such as private companies, for conducting research on common issues with high public interest.

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