Skip to main content


Corporate InformationNews Releases

Information contained in this news release is current as of the date of the press announcement, but may be subject to change without prior notice.

June 23, 2016

“Hitachi Kyoto University Laboratory” to promote joint-research on
the “exploration of basics and theory based on an understanding of
humans and culture”

Creating innovation that achieves both economic development and solutions to
societal issues through insights into future societal challenges

Tokyo, June 23, 2016 --- Kyoto University and Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501; “Hitachi”) today announced the establishment of the “Hitachi Kyoto University Laboratory” (“the Laboratory”), a joint research division for exploring future societal issues, within the grounds of Kyoto University. Through collaborative creation between Kyoto University and Hitachi, the Laboratory will discern challenges facing future society and work towards creating innovations that achieve both economic development and solutions to those issues. The Hitachi researchers who have been assigned to the Laboratory will work as part of the diverse team at Kyoto University in pursuing joint research, as well as promote academic research with other institutes in and outside of Japan as a hub for open innovation. Kyoto University and Hitachi will contribute to a “Super Smart Society”*1 by realizing Society 5.0*2 through initiatives in the Laboratory.

The process of creating knowledge or value has changed tremendously in recent years with advances in ICT, globalization and changing values held by people. An era of great transformation has arrived where the way society or the economy is and the structure of industry, are expected to undergo rapid change. What is needed are solutions that accommodate those changes by creating new values under a shared vision for a future leading to a prosperous lifestyle for all, Super Smart Society.

Based in Kyoto, steeped in tradition and culture amassed through a history of over 1,000 years, Kyoto University has placed great importance on basic research as the spring of academic discipline since its establishment in 1897 as well as cutting-edge original research through its traditional spirit of academic freedom. Further, the University believes that the pursuit of truth is the well of knowledge for the future of humanity, and has been strengthening engagement with society as an open university. The University has been actively pursuing the creation of innovation and social contribution with the aim of contributing to the harmonious coexistence of the human and ecological community of this planet under its mission to convey to society, knowledge based on the ideals of freedom and peaceful coexistence.

Hitachi, on the other hand, has been implementing Social Innovation Business that combines and leverages its vast experience in infrastructure technology and advanced IT, accelerating initiatives in collaborative creation with customers and partners as well as through open innovation, to deliver the optimal solutions for societal issues by creating new value through digital technology.

Kyoto University and Hitachi established the Laboratory based upon their shared concern of a need for innovations to resolve future societal issues. The Laboratory will promote collaborative research in the “exploration of basics and theory based on an understanding of humans and culture,” seeking insight into the challenges facing future society by exploring the interwoven relationship between humans and things in society, as well as basics and theory in relation to culture. The Laboratory will seek to fuse the diverse range of Hitachi's capabilities such as the collaborative creation process and technical achievements in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and analytical measurement, together with the diverse academic fields and deep potential of the University, in pursuing joint research in a diverse range of areas including the three themes below.

  1. Formulate a “Proposal on societal values from industry and academia to resolve challenges facing society in 2050” based on exploratory insights into future society and culture.
  2. Research on “AI which learns from the evolution of humans and other living things” for solutions which resolve societal issues while promoting coexistence with the environment or culture, to realize a Super Smart Society.
  3. Research on “Advanced measurement for fundamental physics” to contribute to the creation of innovative materials which will pioneer future societal infrastructure or human lifestyle culture.

Through initiatives at the Laboratory, Kyoto University and Hitachi will leverage open forums to promote open research and actively disseminate information relating to understanding of issues and research achievements with the aim of contributing to the realization of a Super Smart Society (Society 5.0)

Super Smart Society: A society which can attend in detail to the various needs of society by providing necessary items or services to the people who require them, when they are required, in the amount required, thus enabling its citizens to live an active and comfortable life through high quality services regardless of difference in age, sex, region and language, etc.
Society 5.0: Activities related to the realization of a shared vision for a “Super Smart Society” where the cyber space and the real world (physical space) are intricately connected. The naming describes a new type of society that will be led by innovations in science and technology, following on from hunter-gatherer, pastoral-agrarian, industrial and information.

About Kyoto University

Kyoto University is one of Japan and Asia's premier research institutions, founded in 1897 and responsible for producing numerous Nobel laureates and winners of other prestigious international prizes. A broad curriculum across the arts and sciences at both undergraduate and graduate levels is complemented by numerous research centers, as well as facilities and offices around Japan and the world. For more information please see:

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, delivers innovations that answer society's challenges. The company's consolidated revenues for fiscal 2015 (ended March 31, 2016) totaled 10,034.3 billion yen ($88.8 billion). The Hitachi Group is a global leader in the Social Innovation Business, and it has approximately 335,000 employees worldwide. Through collaborative creation, Hitachi is providing solutions to customers in a broad range of sectors, including Power / Energy, Industry / Distribution / Water, Urban Development, and Finance / Government & Public / Healthcare. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at

Download Adobe Reader
In order to read a PDF file, you need to have Adobe® Reader® installed in your computer.