On May 11, 2017, Nagoya University concluded a comprehensive partnership agreement with Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores, Co. (Nagoya Store). The agreement is designed to enable mutual coordination in the fields of culture, industry, education, academics, and so on, with the aim of contributing to the development of the local region and its human resources. This marks the first time that the University has arranged a comprehensive partnership agreement with a department store.
Vision for the Comprehensive Partnership
The goal of the partnership has been envisioned as "Service Innovation and Local Appeal through ICT: Creating Nagoya -- A City of 'Omotenashi' in Information Services." Nagoya University, which has a strong track record in research and development that combines the liberal arts and sciences, will work closely together with the Nagoya branch of the Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Store, which is known for its contributions to the local area through its support of consumer culture as a long-established department store. The partnership hopes to catalyze service innovation to offer omotenashi (a diligent, Japanese-style of service) to customers through the application of advanced information and communications technologies (ICT), and in so doing develop the appeal of the Sakae area and Nagoya City as a whole.
(1) Research on the revitalization of the Sakae area by the application of ICT
In support of "Sakae Go Round," a joint project of the commercial facilities in Sakae, we will develop ICT-applied content and conduct field tests throughout the entire area. In addition, we will link the Nagoya University-led "Aichi Science Festival" together with "Sakae Go Round" in seeking further development.
(2) R&D on new marketing and digital promotion approaches for department stores via ICT application
We will advance open innovation by working together with companies leading in artificial intelligence (AI) services. At the same time, we will pursue the analysis of customer dynamics and the development of sales promotion applications, and consequently propose measures for IT reform to the department store industry.
(3) Research on the creation and transmission of culture to enhance Nagoya's appeal by ICT technology
We will accumulate content showcasing the attractiveness of the Sakae area and Nagoya, and develop it into an effective, user-friendly interface, with the end goal of attracting tourists to Nagoya from both at home and abroad.
(4) Exchange and development of human resources for the application of ICT
We are planning for the exchange and development of human resources between the industry and the entire university (liberal arts and sciences) by sending instructors for training and lectures on both ends, as well as organizing research workshops, arranging student internships, etc.
Signing Ceremony and Press Conference
The signing ceremony was held at the Idea Stoa in the Nagoya University National Innovation Complex. After an overview of the comprehensive partnership was provided by the University's Academic Research & Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration, Nagoya University President Seiichi Matsuo and Matsuzakaya Nagoya Store Manager Yasuhiko Kondo signed the agreement and shook hands, finalizing the arrangement.
At the ceremony, President Matsuo said in his address that the University will advance a diverse range of studies and projects based in the Sakae area, in an attempt to contribute to the development of Nagoya's appeal. Matsuzakaya Nagoya Store Manager Kondo remarked that the partnership will be a great chance to strive for the realization of "the invention of a new kind of happiness in life," which is the J. Front Retailing (JFR) Group's Vision. In the future, Nagoya University and Matsuzakaya Nagoya Store will pursue collaborative projects in wide-ranging fields.