The 4h Proposal-based Workshop “Innovation Practice 2019” Report from the 1st Session

On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, the first orientation session for “Innovation Practice 2019” was held at K202, Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University, with variety of participants from doctorate students, Special Postdoctoral Researchers to some representatives from the proposing company, Hirotuku Co., Ltd.

After a briefing of the program overview. Makino-sensei elaborated what “Innovation” means. “Innovation is equal to an invention. Only when it’s successfully sold or commercialized on top of the invention, it will be an innovation.Commercialization is to create new business in wider context, where you (self) are the core resource to make it happen.”
To reflect the core resource of SELF, the participants were paired up to start cross-interview on the main theme, “What you are obsessed with.” Based on the interview results, they were requested to introduce their respective partners to the rest of the room for better understanding of future group mates.

Following after, Mr. Arata Takemoto, the President of Hirotuku Co., Ltd., made presentation about the firm, the company history for the past 80 years since its foundation, their product lines, sales channels, Konbu sea weeds and other ingredients, production process, etc. He has shared their challenges, esp. the slower growth of their online sales. He concluded his presentation as, “How can we improve the online sales record? What should we do there? We’d like to hear your diversified opinions.” So many questions were raised by the participants with curiosity and enthusiasm.
Makino-sensei explained the contents of the data files provided by Hirotuku. Participants were given assignment to think about where to watch and what to ask at the fieldwork scheduled next week.

After the workshop, a light reception was held to taste Hirotuku products. A long table was filled with about 30 kinds of Tsukudani and side dishes, which has promoted lively conversations amongst the participants including Hirotuku reps. For most of the international students, it was the first time to taste Tsukudani, but the preference of the flavor varied depending on their nationalities. They have tried to identify the reasons behind, from their roots soul food of their home countries, etc., which has given all good opportunity to share cross-cultural experience.


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