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NEC: BIRD INITIATIVE Established to Accelerate the Creation of New Businesses Through Cooperative R&D

6 companies from different industries launch an unprecedented research and development business

NEC Corporation, OBAYASHI CORPORATION, Japan Industrial Partners, Inc., Japan Investment Adviser Co., Ltd., ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation and AOI Fund 1, operated by UTokyo Innovation Platform Co., Ltd., has announced the establishment of BIRD INITIATIVE, Inc., a new company that will create new businesses from collaborative R&D among businesses, financial companies and academia, and will begin operations in October.

In recent years, the importance of research and development for speeding up problem-solving has been increasing as the issues facing society and organizations have become more and more complex with the advance of digitalization and the acceleration of social change. Under such circumstances, BIRD, representing a combination of Business Innovation powered by R&D, aims to promote a new research and development framework called “Co-creative R&D” in which issues and technologies are brought together from industry, government and academia.

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At the start of a project, BIRD uses advanced AI technologies (Intelligent Simulation and Automation) obtained through the AI research collaboration between the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research and NEC to clarify any issues that customers experience in relation to applied research and development. In addition, BIRD provides consulting services to help clients solve the challenges they have identified, and to prototype development services to prepare a research and development environment for testing.

Through these services, BIRD establishes a research theme, forms a research team, conducts research and development, and prepares for commercialization, in order to achieve the fastest possible solution for an issue and to create a new business.

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BIRD’s leading-edge AI technology: Intelligent Simulation and Automation

1. Combining Simulation and Machine Learning
Unlike big data analysis with deep learning, combining simulation and machine learning supports optimal decision making, even with small data, by automatically generating and complementing simulation data.

2. Combining Simulation and Automated Negotiation
Unlike centralized control or mere matching technologies, AI systems independently negotiate agreeable terms and conditions with each other to coordinate detailed behavior and interests between systems that are working with different objectives.

The technologies handled by BIRD will initially be core technologies obtained through research collaboration, and will be gradually increased in conjunction with businesses, financial companies, academic investors and alliance partners. BIRD aims to create 6 new businesses by 2025 through carve-outs.

“I’m very pleased to see that we have established a mechanism to translate our research of the NEC-AIST AI Cooperative Laboratory into societal impact,” said TSUJII Jun-ichi, Director, Artificial Intelligence Research Center, Fellow National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.

“Simulation, machine learning, and automatic negotiation are areas where collaboration between industry, government, and academia can be very effective, and I expect that the process from technological development to social implementation of AI can be greatly accelerated,” said SUGIYAMA Masashi, Director, RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project (AIP).

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