A showcase for technological excellence –

underpinned by the land of the rising sun

On 28 th and 29 th of June 2019, the leaders of the G20

gathered in Osaka, as Japan hosted its first ever G20

Summit. During its presidency of the G20 Summit, the

Japanese government underlined its leadership in advancing

discussions toward resolving the myriad issues now facing

the international community. Underlining this renewed

dynamism, Japan will be the first Global Innovation Partner

in the history of IFA NEXT.

IFA NEXT is a global innovation

hub bringing together researchers,

industry professionals, start-ups and

retailers for a dynamic transfer of

knowledge, information and business

ideas. At the IFA NEXT Showcase,

innovative companies, research

institutions, start-ups, universities,

labs, and associations this year will

again present their ideas for the


“Japan is a country that was the

main driver to create the world of

consumer electronics as we know

it today, and that – once again – has

become an incredible hub for industry

research, thought leadership and

start-up innovation,” said Dr Christian

Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin.

At the recent IFA Global Press

Conference in Spain, Keita

Nishiyama, the Director-General

of the Commerce and Information

Policy Bureau at Japan’s Ministry of

Economy, Trade and Industry (METI),

addressed the media on the key issues

at stake heading into the future, in

particular when it comes to new data

governance models.

“The Osaka G20 will, I believe, and

as stated by our Prime Minister, long

be remembered as the summit that

started world-wide data governance”,

said Mr Nishiyama. “The time to do

so is ripe, as it will be digital data that

drives our economy forward.”

With more than 2.5 quintillion bytes

of digital information circulating

each day, Mr Nishiyama called for the

establishment of “DFFT” – or Data









Free Flow with Trust, for non-personal

data. He said that while personal data

and intellectual property need to

remain under careful protection, on

the other hand, medical, industrial,

traffic and other highly useful nonpersonal

data must be allowed to flow

freely across borders.

The result will, he says, be “Society

5.0”, which this fourth industrial

revolution will bring about, thanks,

in part to new collaboration between

entities such as the OECD, WEF and


Speaking about the partnership with

Japan for IFA Next, Jens Heithecker,

IFA Executive Director said, “This

is a major step for IFA, because

we learned that when different

people talk about innovation, each

one has very different wording,

with different effects in different

countries. In America, every new

product is an ‘innovation’. That’s

great. But in European countries or

Japan, people are more hesitant to

use the word innovation for a new

product. In these countries, the

language culture means it has to be

a big step, not just a new product.

This is why often in countries like

Germany or Japan, the “innovators”

are totally underestimated, which is

why we need to spotlight them. We

are starting with Japan, because we

have learned that in Japan there are

strong, diversified innovators that

are virtually unknown to the world, so

we are putting them on stage in order

that their efforts might have an impact

outside of their home territory. Japan

is not only our partner country for IFA

Next, and we will also be discovering

new start-ups and tech companies

from Japan, coming to Berlin for the

first time”

www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Monday 2 September 2019


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