Name of Program

Empowering International Startup Talent to Create an Inclusive Smart Society

Summary of Program

Spreading Knowledge and Fostering Interest:

In the "Introduction to Inclusive Smart Society (common foundation subjects)," students first acquire fundamental inclusive smart society (ISS) knowledge and engage in online poster presentations, fostering interaction between students from the University of Tsukuba and Ohio State University. The "ISS Summer Festival" promotes further interaction through a sports and arts festival themed around "inclusion," where UT and OSU students connect through activities such as music and para esports competitions, as well as events where students from affiliated special needs schools in Tsukuba City and children with disabilities are able to connect virtually. In addition, lectures and other activities related to ISS, certified as the "ISS Support Program," encourage students to learn independently.

Acquiring Foundational Knowledge:

As part of "ISS-PBL," students inspired by the activities in (1) participate in introductory classes for proposing social startups and their implementation. Then, UT and OSU students collaborate in group work to develop proposals for social startups. At the final presentation involving Tsukuba City, the city of Columbus, and related private companies, the groups who made the most outstanding proposals are determined.

Gaining Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

The winning groups in ISS-PBL will participate in the "ISS Onsite Exchange Program," allowing them to travel to the United States and collaborate with OSU students to refine their proposals, where they are also expected to participate in international business competitions and other activities.

Program Outline Image

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For Undergraduates
For Graduates

Human Resources Fostered through the Project

Toward an "Inclusive Smart Society": A society where people of diverse backgrounds play an equal leading role based on innovative technology

Students from the University of Tsukuba and Ohio State University will participate and collaborate from all fields to propose innovative ideas that will change society, involve local governments and private companies, and support the process of social implementation. The goal of the program is to develop human resources who can play a leading role in solving global issues from the bottom up and building a society in which diverse people can coexist in harmony, as well as nurturing talent for international social startups.

Project Features


Interdisciplinary program that maximizes the strengths of a comprehensive university and brings together all academic disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, and human sciences.


Project involving Tsukuba City, which is implementing the Smart City Project, and the city of Columbus, a frontrunner in the United States.


Entrepreneurship education based on EntreComp developed by the European Commission.


Program designed to promote meaningful mid- to long-term exchanges, and to develop talent who can serve as true bridges between Japan and the US.

Fourth Mid-term Goals of University of Tsukuba

The University of Tsukuba has set the following as its "Fourth Mid-term Goals":
"Create new academic disciplines and establish a trans-border educational model, thereby creating a social impact not only in Japan but also in the world"
"We will accept diverse and excellent students from around the world, and establish teaching methods that are backed by a wide range of cutting-edge research results and that allow students' individuality and abilities to flourish. In this way, we will cultivate students' lifelong abilities to create the future based on their independence and social awareness, and nurture human resources who can play an active role in the world."

In particular, in "I. Goals and plans for improving the quality of education and research (2. Education)", the University has stated the following:
"Through the Degree Program System that offers in-depth expertise and broad education, we will foster human resources with independence, social awareness, and a wide range of culture by equipping them with the basic thinking skills of setting and exploring issues, while incorporating knowledge from other fields to broaden their perspectives."
"We will cultivate human resources who have been exposed to different values and can play an active role in the world by increasing study abroad students, attracting excellent international students and networking with them after their graduation or completion, and providing international educational programs in cooperation with overseas universities."

This program is expected to contribute to the achievement of the overall goals of the University.

〔About Mid-term Goals and Plans of University of Tsukuba〕



The Inter-University Exchange Project initiative, aimed to nurture global human resources who aim to work on the international stage and strengthen the global development of university education while assuring the quality of higher education is a series of projects launched by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in FY2011 for the purpose of providing financial support for efforts on the formation of collaborative programs with universities in designated countries and regions that conduct study abroad programs for Japanese students and accepting foreign students.

Society 5.0

A society that provides necessary goods and services to those who need them, when they need them, and in the amount they need, that can respond to the various needs of society in detail, that allows all people to receive high-quality services, and that enables people to live vibrantly and comfortably regardless of age, gender, region, language, or other limitations.

Inclusive Smart Society

A society in which people with diverse backgrounds play an equal leading role, going beyond the conventional concept of a smart society that targets the majority. The focus is on the aspect of "inclusion" in the Cabinet Office's "Society 5.0." "Inclusion" is an important keyword, especially in the United States, where diversity is highly valued.

Difference between "Diversity" and "Inclusion"

"Diversity" means recognizing the diversity of human resources and accepting each other. "Inclusion" refers to an environment where people are given equal opportunities and work together with a sense of unity, without being restricted by the attributes of their human resources.

Social Startup

Entrepreneurship that aims to combine economic value and social benefits with a business theme of high social significance. In this program, we aim to create a global impact by collaborating with the US, a leading startup nation.