Mar 30, 2012
Professor Yukihiko Nakata, Director of the Asia Pacific Innovation Management Center (AP-IMAC), lectured about solar cells in Fukuoka and Oita, promoting regional development in Kyushu.
Kyushu is at the top nationwide in the penetration rate of home solar systems, and with that the thin-film solar cell plants of four companies have become operational, and the "Solar Island Kyushu" industrial cluster has been formed. In light of these developments, an organization called “SOlar NEtwork in Q-shu (SONEQ)” has been formed in order to promote the solar cell industry in Kyushu and the widespread use of solar cells, with the support of the Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry.
SONEQ has four research groups. Director Nakata was invited to the 3rd meeting of the “Study group for development of solar cell diagnostic systems and business models” (held on March 26, 2012, at the Fukuoka Institute of System LSI Design Industry).
Mr. Hiroshi Date, President of System JD, who presided over the study group, spoke about the sale of "SOKODES", a solar cell inspection system.
Following that, Director Nakata gave a lecture entitled "Solar Cell Business Model and Service Integration - A Comparison with the Semiconductor and LCD Businesses."
Based on the lecture, participants discussed a business model that utilizes "SOKODES", and talked about the possible direction of things to come.
In addition, in order to promote and integrate the semiconductor industry in Oita, with the support of Oita Prefecture, Promotion Conference of OITA LSI Cluster has been established. Director Nakata is serving as a committee member of the professional exchange division of this Promotion Conference.
The FY2011 Research and Development working group results reporting session & technician exchange meeting were held on March 28, 2012 in Oita City.
At this event, Director Nakata gave a lecture entitled "Kyushu Semiconductors Facing a Turning Point: The Trump Card is Networking" with the goal of facilitating the exchange of semiconductor technologists in Oita Prefecture. Since last year’s lecture on networking was popular, this year he gave a talk about networking but changed the focus to Kyushu Semiconductor, which is facing a turning point. To reduce the risks at the turning point, he explained, in entering new business areas or expanding business into Asia, there is a need for networking capabilities.
In addition, he spoke about an effective training program at APU, where eight workers from Toho Titanium Co., Ltd. and three workers from Sony Corporation were accepted as specially registered students in a program which helps them gain global communication skills and to gain benefits from a global network.
He explained that APU is the gateway to the network of Asia, and recommended participation in the specially registered student program for companies in Oita. And by the actual exchanging of business cards at the meeting, he promoted networking.
Feb 20, 2012
From 15 to 17 February, 2012, solar cell seminar PV World Forum and solar cell exhibition Expo Solar Korea 2012 were jointly held at KINTEX in Seoul, South Korea. Professor Yukihiko Nakata was invited from Japan to present at the PV World Forum (solar cell seminar) about the expectations of the future of the Japanese solar cell market.
During the three days, 6,000 people participated in the seminar, which was divided into more than 30 sections, such as market trends and the current technology development situations of parts, materials and production equipment.
In the seminar, Professor Yukihiko Nakata was invited to talk under the theme of “Effect of Feed-in Tariff on Global PV Market: Expected Japanese PV Market.”
He spoke of changes in the competition of solar cells as well as the characteristics and history of the solar cell market in Japan, and gave the audience information about two solar cell clusters in Kansai and Kyushu. He also mentioned that the introduction of the Feed-in Tariff system in Europe has been very effective to boost solar cell production and installation, but that there are some issues with it. He said that it is expected that the new Feed-in Tariff system established in Japan will expand the domestic market. In South Korea, solar cells are increasingly drawing interest, and for that reason many people participated in the seminar. The organizer said that they received many requests for the information materials after the conference.
Expo Solar Korea 2012 (the solar cell exhibition) was also held at a fairly big venue (21,526 sm2), and about 230 companies participated. Many of the exhibits were presented by Korean companies, which gave the impression that Korean companies have momentum to be actively engaged in this field going forward. This solar cell seminar and exhibition were foretelling a future success of the Korean solar cell business.
Feb 16, 2012
On Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 27, 2011, the 2nd IAAPS(*1) Annual Conference, the 2011 AJJ Annual Meeting and the 2011 Annual AP Conference (*2) were jointly held at APU. This joint conference was held by the International Association for Asia Pacific Studies (IAAPS), the Ritsumeikan Center for Asia Pacific Studies (RCAPS), Anthropology of Japan in Japan (AJJ), and the Ritsumeikan Research Center for Sustainability Science (RCS).
Feb 13, 2012
The Research Institute for Global Management of Technology for Catching Up (GMOT) of Konkuk University and the Asia Pacific Innovation Management Center (AP-IMAC) signed a joint research agreement on July 19, 2010.
Per the agreement, AP-IMAC Director Yukihiko Nakata visited Professor Chaisung Peter Lim, the Director of GMOT, Konkuk University, on February 13, 2012, and the two exchanged views on a comparative research study of the Japanese and South Korean electrical industries.
Japan’s share in the world production capacity of solar cells reached about 50% in 2004, but by 2010 it had plummeted to 9%. Korea has lagged behind significantly, with a 3% share of the world production capacity in 2010. For this reason, the meeting was held for the comparative analyses of the solar cell industries in Japan and South Korea. In addition, the two parties discussed the TV production business, which in Japan has recently run up a huge deficit. Both parties agreed that further study would be carried out in order to deepen the cooperation between Japan and South Korea in comparative studies on the electrical industry.
On the introduction of Professor Lim, Director Nakata also visited Professor Chan Im of the Next Generation Solar Cell Research Center (KFnSC), Konkuk University. Professor Im’s research field is organic solar cells. Director Nakata’s group was allowed to tour the inside of the research center, which has two large clean rooms equipped with much expensive equipment. It was explained that all the equipment costs were provided by the city of Seoul.
Organic solar cells are hopeful as the next generation of solar cell, but there are still some challenges in conversion efficiency and lifetime, and further research and development is necessary. For that reason, research and development for the next generation solar cells is being carried out in Japan and Kyushu as well. Both parties agreed to seek the possibility of cooperation in the future.
Feb 6, 2012
On Wednesday, January 25, 2012, an RCAPS Seminar was held by guest lecturer, Dr. Hitoshi MITSUHASHI, a Professor at the Keio University Faculty of Business and Commerce, under the theme of “An Introduction to Social Network Analysis in Organization Science”.