Challenge 1:
"True DX" from Aichi Prefecture, a manufacturing center


At a time when the traditional manufacturing industry is said to be disappearing due to digitalization, we are seeking knowledge and partners to realize the digital transformation (DX) that is truly required for the next generation of manufacturing, together with the companies in Aichi Prefecture that represent DX in manufacturing industry.

Challenge Statement

Future World

How do we capture the future?
  • DX not only improves the productivity of existing businesses, but also enables the creation of new value through innovation of the business model itself. A symbol of Aichi Prefecture, the manufacturing industry is facing changes in its industrial structure and is transforming through digital (AI, IoT, 5G, blockchain, etc.)

  • Based on this trend, Aichi Prefecture, which has been a leader in manufacturing in Japan, has created a DX model to drive the next generation of manufacturing based on the premise that "there will no longer be a manufacturing industry that simply makes parts," and sees the construction of a global standard model following "Kaizen" as an immediate point to address.


What is the purpose of Co-Creation?

As a leader in the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry, ASAHI TEKKO, through the use of DX, is looking to:

  1. Breakthrough improvement of the productivity of the current business,
  2. Reform the business model of the existing business (digital utilization of existing value chains)
  3. Build a new business model and
  4. Recruit and develop digital human resources based on the multiplication of knowledge with the current business.

In particular, Asahi Tekki hopes to focus on (1) and (2). Specifically,

  • (A) Breakthrough development in efficient manufacturing processes using AI, IoT, etc.: Automation and improved detection using AI with image data as inputs in the inspection process; automation of processing operations such as welding, forming, drilling, etc., which have become craftsmen's art, using databases, AI, etc., and

  • (B) Entering new business fields based on manufacturing data: Experimenting with areas with ‘unprecedented challenges’ for the manufacturing industry, such as a service that produces highly accurate sales and financial forecasts by multiplying real-time machine operation and downtime data with macro data such as worker behavior data and economic indicators.

Intellectual Capital

What is the potential that can be harnessed for the future?
  • We believe that Aichi Prefecture possesses the potential of "knowledge in manufacturing that has led the industry for a long time" and "the ability to create new industries and models, as exemplified by Toyota and Kaizen.

  • Asahi Tekko is considering the possibility of utilizing systems by installing sensors on the equipment in the factory and collecting data from simple experiments, and using accumulated image data on the motion and static status of the machine and the inspection processes.

Potential Partners

What kind of partners do we want to co-creation with?
  • Seeking partners who can co-create solutions for the creation of a "new standard model of DX from Aichi to the world" that resonates with the above objectives and challenges.

  • In the long term, we would like to work with our partners to develop solutions with a view to unprecedented business transformation and new value creation, while placing an emphasis on improving productivity in the current business based on digital technology.

Application Requirements

We are open to applications that match the content of the challenge statement.

Unprecedented challenges and ideas are also welcome!

Assets provided by the Challenge Owner


  1. Opportunity to conduct a PoC (including provision of resources from applicant)

  2. Providing opportunities to see the real situation (airfare and accommodation provided, one team only, up to two times)

  3. Consideration of concluding an agreement for commercialization (based on the results of the above PoC)


Tetsuya Kimura

  • President and Representative Director, Asahi Tekko Corporation / I Smart Technologies Co. 

  • In 2013, after working for Toyota Motor Corporation for 21 years, he joined Asahi Tekko Corporation, where he made major changes to the productivity, organization and management of the company. 

  • As part of this reform, he established and operated a remote monitoring system for production lines and achieved significant results in terms of productivity improvement and human resource development. 

  • Established "iSmartTechnologies" to provide the system as a service. Currently, the system has been introduced to more than 100 companies, mainly small and medium-sized enterprises, and has received many awards including "The 7th Monodzukuri Nippon Grand Award Special Prize".

Main Mentor: Kurono Takeshi

  • Manufacturing Engineering Department Nishio Machinery Production Technology Office Section Chief

  • 2001/6 - Production Engineering Office

  • 2001~ Set up a production line (welding and cutting, new products)

Advisor: Ikuta Atsushi

  • Corporate Planning Department section leader (Procurement and New Sales Promotion)

  • 2000/1 - Production Engineering Office

  • 2000 - Worked for AISIN AI CO., LTD for 2 years 2002~2019年 Engaged in casting, forging, pressing and cutting processes & building new product line

Apply Now


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