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Information Technology (IT)

Sweet Valley

sweet valleyFrom the world to Sweet Valley, from Sweet Valley to the world

Gifu abounds in natural beauty, geographical interest and historical, cultural and urban resources making it the sweetest spot in Japan, even to the extent of being chosen as one of the candidates for the relocating from Tokyo of certain of the organs of central government.

‘Sweet Valley’ comprises that world-prominent industrial area on aerospace, automobiles, engineering machinery, etc. where the Kiso Three Rivers (Kiso River, Nagara River, Ibi River) flow through the broad Nobi plain of Southern Gifu. Sweet Valley is also an area boasting a countless number of useful resources including: IT, multimedia, and robotics-related research and development facilities such as Softopia Japan and Techno Plaza, high tech industries, such educational institutions as the International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences, and multi-function business facilities. This abundance arises from Sweet Valley’s world-renown IT related companies, contents-related businesses, and robotic industry. Sweet Valley’s aim is to become an ‘information hub,’ a land proclaiming to the world its value-added information products.

Sweet Valley was the first project to receive designation as a special zone for structural reform, and the prefecture plans to develop an optical fiber network called the Gifu Information Super Highway. With the help of local businesses and type one carriers, Gifu and Mie Prefectures set up the Gifu Communication & Information eXchange, a public corporation in charge of developing infrastructure and linking existing providers and academia networks together. The prefecture promotes the hiring of overseas researchers in specific corporate research projects. And it pushes state universities to open their research results to commercialization. In other words, the Sweet Valley project takes maximum advantage of deregulation to create a cluster of advanced IT firms and specialists.

Softopia Japan

softpia japanSoftopia Japan is central to the Sweet Valley project. Softopia clusters IT-related companies, ranging from startups and venture businesses to world-leading global IT corporations. Softopia performs four main functions. First it is involved in research and development, and by bringing together industry, academia and government in everything from basic IT research to development of applied technologies, it aims to create a new business model. Next comes human resource development — training and recruiting IT professionals to work in the area. Third, Softopia strives to advance the industry by developing new businesses and bringing existing businesses into the IT age. Softopia’s final function is the promotion of the use of IT in the region by clustering IT businesses and promoting their technology.

Techno Plaza

Techno Plaza is a research and development center that aims to cluster R&D functions in science and technology, robotic technology, and virtual reality (VR) technology. The plaza is located in the Sweet Valley area of Gifu prefecture, and works alongside Softopia in clustering IT-related firms and organizations. As one of the centers of monozukuri in the 21st Century, Techno Plaza promotes the creation of new industries, further movement into the information age, and enhancement of industrial levels with a fusion of IT and monozukuri, revolving around the Gifu Science and Technology Promotion Center.

Tono Frontier Science Research City

TONO FRONTIER SCIENCE RESEARCH CITYThe Tono Frontier Science Research City seeks to integrate R&D in the critical limit research field, especially ultra-heat, ultra-pressure, ultra-conduction, and so on. And it hopes to use the results of these efforts in increasing and promoting more advanced industry in the region. World-class facilities already in place include the National Institute for Fusion Science, the Japan Ultra-High Temperature Materials Research Center (JUTEM), the Micro-Gravity Laboratory of Japan (MGLAB), the Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute Tono Geoscience Center, and the Gifu Prefectural Ceramics Research Institute. The Tono Frontier Science Research City seeks to improve the region’s quality of life, transportation networks, leisure facilities, cultural institutions, and so on, so researchers can accomplish their work in the most conducive of environments. They aim to create a model city in terms of both groundbreaking research and quality of life.

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