Knowledge Capital, by bringing together companies, researchers and creators with “human creativity” and “technology” from countries throughout the world, will result in a multi-complex to create new intellectual values through interaction and collaboration.
Professor Shinji Shimojo of the Osaka University recently presented in Europe this ultra-modern concept, during a conference of the EVA series.
Knowledge Capital is considered as a science park in the city of Osaka. It consists of multicomplex of Knowledge Salon, Knowledge Theater, Collabo Office, Knowledge Office, Conference rooms, Future Like Showroom, Knowledge Capital Congres Convention Center and the showcase area, a sort of permanent, open science museum, which is called The Lab. As well as office workers, many visitors will come to this place for shopping and leisure. New products and services exhibited at Knowledge Capital will evolve to the higher level through evaluation of visitors with higher sensitivity.
In the Knowledge Capital, academia, industry and government come together to develop products which use advanced technology and are tried in the showroom The Lab. This 4 floors museum shows latest research results or prototype of products from companies. Important concept of this museum is the audience’s participation. When an visitor enters this area, he/she is expected to become a subject of a research or a trial use of a prototype product. A researcher can get direct feedback of impact of his research from the general public. A company can get the feedback whether its prototype is appreciated by the ordinary people or not. Therefore, in this facility a visitor is considered as a member of their research and development but still he can enjoy the exhibit.
A number of researchers from universities, national institutes, and industry have agreed on the concept of Knowledge Capital and formed an interdisciplinary group of people called VisLab OSAKA. VisLab is set inside the KC complex and have a booth on the Lab to show their results.
Currently, the members of VisLab consist of Osaka University, Kansai University, Kwansei gakuin university, Osaka Electro-Communication University, NPO biogrid Kansai and Cyber Kansai Project; there are also an office of CK-AMEI (Consortium Kansai Advanced Medical Engineering and Information) and NICT (National Institute of Information and Communications Technology).
For the creation of new value and services, “visualization” is felt as one of the most important. Especially, one of the member of VisLab OSAKA in Cybermedia Center, Osaka University, thinks visualization of simulated result in a Supercomputer or other types of computer systems help many researchers and citizens to understand science and technology as a service and outreach. However, this notion of “visualization” is extended to include more wide variety of applications of visualization such as a new computer human interaction, information visualization and digital museum, etc.
To pursue this wide range of applications, there is a need for interdisciplinary teams of engineers, artists and designers. In the higher education field such as university, such interdisciplinary team worker is highly required. Many universities try to foster this type of new talent such as MIT media lab, D-school at Stanford or e-dream institute at University of Illinois. VisLab is a group taking the same path as those institutes in inter university way.
Knowledge Salon is another of the major facilities within Knowledge Capital, a space where creators, talents and business people meet, exchange ideas and collaborate to create new business opportunities. Hence, a mockup of Knowledge Salon has been ongoing every Thursday, with business people and executives from various companies and industries, big and small, gathering at Knowledge Salon. Here every Thursday a reputable speaker will share his expertise, experience or his current project with the rest of the guests. This will be followed and ended with a roundtable where participants can interact and exchange with people from different background and industries.
Since Knowledge Salon is the meeting place for all talents, creators, professionals and business people across all background, industries and boarders, once a month there is the special Knowledge Salon International, a bilingual business networking event for foreign residence in Japan, overseas business people on business trip as well as internationally-minded Japanese business people and professionals.
Official Knowledge Capital website (english version): http://kc-i.jp/en/