Innovation as a bridge between Japan, the Middle East & Africa

Surrounded by the sea on all sides and with its own sense of culture and civilization, Japan has adapted to a globalized world by adopting and developing new ways of thinking based on influences from abroad. In the late nineteenth century, Japan invested in education and became an industrial nation, and now it is at the dawn of a new era of “innovation”.

The Middle East and Africa has a diverse history spanning many civilizations and cultures. In recent years, the economies of the Middle East and Africa have grown remarkably, and now there are mechanisms to support start-ups that aim to solve social problems and diversify industries for sustainable development.

People in Japan, the Middle East and Africa have a surprisingly familiar mentality of politeness and respect for ancient cultures. We hope that by introducing the true faces of people without prejudice or preconceptions, we can bring about a new sense of awareness and show the world that together we can contribute to society, the region and the planet.

At ZENMONDO, we connect people and businesses through open innovation. We create next generation businesses by giving shape to ideas.

Project 1) Innovation Center – Operated jointly with Embassies in Japan

As a joint project with embassies in Tokyo, we operate the “UAE Innovation Center” and “Egypt Innovation Center”, utilizing expertise tailored to each country’s vision and policies, and introduce Japanese companies and start-ups to investors in Japan and overseas, as well as assist in developing business partnerships and structuring deals.

Together with the embassies of each country, ZENMONDO publishes a monthly innovation report to introduce the innovative services and new technologies of Japanese companies and start-ups.

Project 2) Open Innovation Program for Middle Eastern and African Business

By building a framework for assisting Japanese companies to develop new business, we respond to the challenge that Japanese companies face in uncovering new business ideas and business models on their own.

After developing a strategy based on the Japanese company’s vision for the Middle East and Africa, as well assessing a business’ own strengths and resources (products, services, human resources), we invite local African and Middle Eastern start-ups to submit proposals for new businesses and business models that can bring about innovation.
In these fast-paced times, we aim to buy time and develop businesses quickly by bringing together the strengths of both parties through joint ventures, investments, acquisitions, etc..

Project 3) Joint Program with National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS): ”Practical Challenges with African administrators ~ Creating next generation businesses”

By tackling challenges and engaging in discussions with government officials, participants will acquire the skills necessary to become global leaders who can negotiate with foreign governments while remaining in Japan.
In addition, the program aims to provide a networking opportunity that will be beneficial for the future of the two participating countries, forming an ongoing partnership that can solve social issues on both sides.
Companies will work together with professionals from ZENMONDO, GRIPS and the University of Tokyo to create business proposals based on local needs that were previously unreachable, achieving robust and sustainable results.

ZENMONDO・政策研究大学院大学(GRIPS) ・三菱電機株式会社(MELCO) 共同主催イベントレポート

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・If you are a company looking to expand your business overseas and would like to be included in our newsletter, or would like to be introduced to investors and business partners

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