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Osaka Aiming to Become Home Info Appliance Hub
Jan 10, 2005
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The Osaka [Japan] Chamber of Commerce and Industry plans to promote the rapidly growing field of home information appliances by strengthening ties between leading firms in the Kansai region, start-ups, and mid-size and small firms.

Initially, the chamber of commerce will set up a Web site by the end of fiscal 2005 on which leading firms, venture businesses, and research institutes can exchange information and discuss business. To encourage the participation of overseas firms, the Web site will have a version in English. The chamber will also create a system to financially support joint development groups with the ultimate goal of making Kansai a center of home information appliances.

The Web site will be set up by a business entity, comprising about a dozen leading firms and will enable start-ups and mid-size and small firms to look for clients for whom they can produce parts and instruments, as well as visual images, games, and other software.
The site also will be used to look for business partners.

An effort will be made to protect intellectual property rights and to facilitate exchanges among these firms and businesses.

The chamber is also considering a simpler conduit for financial assistance from large firms and investments from venture funds.

Support measures will be discussed by a study group comprising managers and section chiefs of large firms. The group will be chaired by Isao Shirakawa, professor emeritus of Osaka University.

The Kansai chapter of Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association, whose members include electronics manufacturers, is expected to be an observer, while Osaka University's Graduate School of Information Science and Technology will take part.

Home information appliances are seen by the central government as a driving force in revitalizing the nation's economy. The project is intended to make Kansai competitive in the field. (Yomiuri Shimbun)

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