Hino city Town Planning Department,
Industrial Development Section
Yukio Yako (left)
Masao Sano (right)
With a unique “visible” support system, the industrial city Hino encourages small and medium sized enterprises.
Photo: View of Hino city
Hino city is located near the center of the Tokyo metropolitan area. A number of large companies have factories in this city, which helped in development of the city as an industrial city since the early Showa period. Hino city is one of the top industrial cities in the Tokyo metropolitan area, in which its total added value is top among wards/cities/towns, and the shipment of manufactured goods is the second highest.
There are some 200 manufacturing businesses, with a characteristically larger number of companies capable of “prototype” preparation for technological development prior to mass production of new products. Wide ranging applicable areas include automobile, optics, communications equipment, robotics, medical treatment, and aerospace.
In order to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that are endeavoring to develop new products or new fields, the city set up a “master plan for industrial promotion in Hino city” in April 2012, and began a serious initiative for industrial promotion that is supported by the Tokyo metropolitan area government.
Photo: Hino city
“company appeal promotion reports
The city is implementing a uniquely named “industry visualization project”, which provides a support system for companies in a friendly, face-to-face manner.
One example is preparation of “company appeal promotion reports”. The reports summarize the excellent technical capabilities of SMEs in the city, and were published three times from 2012 to 2014.
57 companies were introduced. By promoting the unique technical capabilities of each company, new market expansion and technological partnerships were facilitated. Research themes of three universities in the city were also included, indicating enhanced industry-academia cooperation. It is expected that such an attempt will bring more innovations.
For older children in elementary school, the city prepared a booklet and DVD that describe the attractiveness of its industries.
Hino city’s initiative in industry visualization covers local residents, such as the provision of workplace experience for university students.
Photo: Hino City Hall
Hino city’s industrial promotion support measures cover a wide range of areas.
In the “enterprise power enhancement project”, a support system for R & D and cooperative research is implemented. It also coordinates human resources and provides advice from specialists in each area.
In the “market expansion support project”, a subsidy system is established for companies in the city that attend exhibitions and trade fairs, in order to facilitate further business and partnership expansion.
In October 2015, the Tamadairanomori Industry Collaboration Center will open near JR Toyoda station (a five-minute walk from the station). The center is for various entities in the area (such as companies, universities, entrepreneurs, and local residents) to bring their problems and ideas and to seek communication and partnership with others, and it aims to become a base where new discoveries and value will be created.
Photo: Omotenashi Robot
The last example to be introduced here is the “Omotenashi Robot”, which is popular as a symbol of manufacturing in Hino city. It is designed with a motif of the city bird, the kingfisher.
It was made for welcoming visitors at the National Athletic Meet in 2013 (Hino city hosted hockey, boxing, etc.). The robot was a compilation of technical capabilities of businesses in the city, and received support from the Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Technology Research Institute (TIRI) and Tokyo Metropolitan University. Its purpose was the promotion of technical capabilities of businesses in the city, and stimulation of cooperation between industries, and between industry and academia.
The base of the robot and technical support were provided by TIRI, the exterior was designed by Tokyo Metropolitan University, and the motion control and exterior parts processing were conducted by collaborative work between SMEs in the city. The robot is designed to be touched and to communicate.
According to the person responsible, “the city is planning to introduce motions and voices that are often requested, in order to improve the hospitality of the robot. The evolved robot will be demonstrated in many places. Don’t miss it.”