The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will promote exchange between small and medium-sized businesses of Japan and Germany to share expertise on the IoT (Internet of Things) and other technologies. The first group of companies from Germany will visit Japan in February, and a plan for their Japanese counterparts to visit Germany is currently being developed.
The initiative aims at improving the productivity of the Japanese companies through an agreement reached between the two governments last April on enhancing collaborative efforts in the IoT and other fields.
The German companies that will visit Japan have started utilizing IoT technology for security management at their plants. A group of executives of small businesses in Japan is set to visit Germany by the end of the year.
While small-scale exchange programs have existed between companies and regions in the past, this is the first government-led exchange program. It is designed to familiarize Japanese company managers with the way IoT is being utilized so that the technology can be introduced effectively at their own companies
Another aim of the program is to take the lead in international efforts to formulate standards for evaluating technology and product safety. For this purpose, a regular meeting will be held for experts to discuss international standards for a business model that the U.S. is promoting for the entire manufacturing industry
Japan has already been selected as a partner nation for Europe’s biggest IT fair, “DeBIT.” As such, Japan will be able to set up private company booths and sponsor joint events there. METI is hoping to accelerate collaboration with Germany before the fair, which is scheduled to take place in March in Hanover, Germany.