Commerce and Industry Department, Community Promotion Division, Katsushika City
Katsushika City, or Katsushika-ku, is the third largest factory integrated area, following to Ota City and Sumida City. With full of downtown community humanity, the City is an area where connection between business managers is strong. In the City, the Katsushika Campus of Tokyo University of Science will open in April 2013, and preparations for the industry-university cooperation have been promoted. We interviewed Kazutoshi Okubo, Chief of Industry Promotion Unit, Commerce and Industry Department, Community Promotion Division, Katsushika City regarding "now" of the City’s support initiatives.
Katsushika City is one of Japan’s factory integrated areas, where we have a variety of industries, including metal press, machine parts, powder metallurgy products, rubber belts and hoses, toys, etc. Interestingly, the City has various local industries, such as jewelry ornaments manufacturing, antimony products manufacturing, and knitwear manufacturing. Traditional crafts such as Edo Kiriko (facet objects), Tokyo silverware, Edo wood sculptures, Edo articles of tortoise shell, and Edo battledores bearing on one side a padded picture are also thriving; 46 item are certified as Katsushika City Designation Tradition Industrial Art Objects. In this way a wide variety of industries gather, and we can produce whatever you like base on various viewpoints, which is our biggest selling point.
Organizational activities among companies are also brisk. "Katsushika Traditional Industries Craftsman Meeting", for example, where traditional craftsmen gather, has been working jointly on expanding sales channels through managing outlets for traditional crafts, as well as on developing successors. There are many business managers with downtown humanity, which results in a stronger network—that’s an attractiveness of the region. Every October we hold the "Katsushika Industry Fair (an exhibition for industries, commerce, tourism, agriculture and traditional industries)" for 6 days, which has attracted a number of companies and organizations, and has been established as one of Tokyo's largest industry events.
※Photo: An exhibition booth for traditional crafts (in Techno Plaza Katsushika)
On the other hand, there are many small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, with four employees or less. Not a few companies have suffered from difficult business environment due to influences of the recession. Katsushika City, therefore, has developed various support initiatives for “expanding sales channels” and for "breaking independence on subcontracting.”
To expand sales channels, we implement initiatives, including "Ordering Information Search System for Katsushika City Manufacturing Industries " with which you can search the City’s manufacturing industries, "Assistance such as Homepage Establishment Costs" to subsidize the expenses for launching homepages, and "Trade Fair Exhibitor Costs Assistance Project" to subsidize expenses for attending trade fairs
In addition, we certify superior products, components, and processing technologies of the City as the Katsushika Brand "Katsushika Factory Story," which are jointly presented at nationwide exhibitions, including M-Tech (Machine Technology) Exhibition and Tokyo International Gift Show. Also a collection of stories, a Manga book, introduces as human dramas how much they struggled for developing the stuff and technologies, which helps promoting companies as a friendly and easy-to-read media. Through the initiatives, we aim to improve the strength of brand of the entire Katsushika City.
To break dependency on subcontracting, we have the "New Products and New Technologies Development Grants Project." Based on the grant we subsidize the expenses for developing new products and technologies by 1/2 (for general enterprises) and by 2/3 (enterprises with less than 5 years after foundation), and grant value up to \1.5 million (\1 million for general enterprises).
※Photo: An exhibition booth of Katsushika Factory Story (in Techno Plaza Katsushika)
In 2013 Tokyo University of Science will open its Katsushika Campus. Prior to the opening, Katsushika City has discussed initiatives for industry-university collaborations by holding councils with universities, enterprises, and financial institutions. At the councils distinctive proposals have been talked about, which include placement of a Katsushika City dedicated coordinator to promote collaborations among enterprises and universities. We have advanced our considerations to achieve various exchanges, just not for technology collaborations and joint developments.
In Katsushika City, which has a possibility for companies in various industries to be born, why don’t you start up your company? Business managers in the region, as well as officers of our local government welcome you. First of all, please feel free to come to Techno Plaza Katsushika," which is our contact for consultation.
※Photo: "Techno Plaza Katsushika" appearance
Address: 7-2-1, Aoto, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo