AKIHABARA CROSSFIELD consists of two super-highrise buildings: Akihabara Daibiru Building and AKIHABARA UDX. The complex is a new IT hub of the Akihabara district, having functions for Industry-Academia Collaboration, information networking, attracting visitors, and accommodating offices. With various information gathered and exchanged, new businesses have been created. We interviewed Fukuei Koyama and Soumei Tanno in charge of administration of operation of Crossfield Management Co., Ltd., and Toshiyuki Suzuki, the secretary general of AKIBA TECHNO CLUB, which manages the industry-academia collaboration function.
AKIHABARA CROSSFIELD was established in 2006 as an IT hub for transmitting the Akihabara brand in the world, based on Tokyo Vision 2000 summarized by Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Upper floors of Akihabara Daibiru Building and AKIHABARA UDX are for usual office use. Lower floors of the both buildings accommodate the functions of industry-academia collaboration, information networking, and attracting visitors, which are operated by Crossfield Management Co., Ltd.
In the industry-academia collaboration area 19 companies, universities and research institutions, including an office for National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan’s leading research institute on industrial technology. Universities have industry-academia collaboration contacts in the building, while such universities as University of Tsukuba, University of Tokyo, University of Human Arts and Sciences, and Digital Hollywood University, also operate classrooms where students study.
Tenant companies constitute a community AKIBA TECHNO CLUB, and they hold frequently exchange meetings and social gatherings. There are exchange areas that residents can use free of charge, where communications among corporates, as well as between companies and universities have been growing. The areas seem to provide meeting opportunities among universities and companies, but not matching them. There are some examples in which tenant companies extend support functions to university ventures that they met here, and they develop businesses nationwide.
Daibiru Building features a convention hall that houses 450 people, and the conference floor with high degree of freedom for small meetings. Academic conferences and their subcommittees can be held in the same building. In case of a resident company, it can hold social gatherings in the exchange space after the meeting. The company can also guide guests to its office. You can move up and down only with elevators. The ease of use attracts the tenants and visitors. Not only for the building functions, but as a tourist destination, the facility seems to attract visitors to Akihabara, and the visitors are happy just with a meeting held in Akihabara.
AKIBA Demonstration Field, which was established mainly by Kenichiro Seno, who is the Specially-Appointed Professor of the University of Tokyo Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, and an advisor to AKIBA TECHNO CLUB, is a project for carrying out demonstration experiments using the whole town of Akihabara. It efficiently promotes the commercialization by implementing field tests with development stage of products and services, technologies using the whole town. Akihabara is the town where people discerning gather, and that’s why better outcomes can be expected.
Five years have lapsed from opening, some venture companies work hard by setting a goal of entering Daibiru Building. According to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, with the completion of AKIHABARA CROSSFIELD, Akihabara salaried worker population during the day has increased 60 percent, and passengers of the Tsukuba Express have increased accordingly. Even as a town to show Tsukuba technology, values of Akihabara seem high.
Now every industry has links with IT. Akihabara is the perfect area to locate an antenna to catch new waves. It might be a vitality resulted from miscellaneous senses—no other places can have energies like here.
Address: Akihabara Dai Building 5F, 1-18-13, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo