Cooperation with industry


As an institution that values its connections with global society, the University seeks to contribute towards a harmonic coexistence of the world’s community and the environment.

For Kyoto University, addressing social needs -through knowledge and technology created by research- and finding solutions to complex multi-faceted challenges the world faces are key priorities. Collaborations with the industrial and governmental sectors are crucial not only at the time of sharing the benefits of the cutting-edge knowledge generated through these joint efforts, but more importantly by bringing actual responses to those needs.

Kyoto University is a comprehensive research institution dedicated to pursuing the development of science and scientific knowledge in a variety of fields including inter-disciplinary areas. As such, its 18 graduate schools and the numerous educational and research institutes and facilities (including the largest number of government-designated joint-usage research centers in Japan) serve as a platform for integrated basic and applied research in the fields of humanities as well as natural and social sciences.

In order to further promote cooperation with society, especially with the private sector, Kyoto University established the Society-Academia Collaboration for Innovation Office (or SACI), whose main goal is to connect research interests and potentials of the University to the needs of society.

Although industry-government-academia collaboration takes many forms, most usual methods include:

  • Collaborative research with industry
  • Collaborative research courses and collaborative research laboratories established within the University
  • Inter-organizational collaboration to identify issues of common interest
  • Commissioned research carried out by the University upon request by companies
  • Commissioned researchers, whereby experts from companies are hosted by the University to jointly conduct research
  • Endowments used as funds for education and research activities in accordance with the sponsor's interests
  • Endowed chairs and research laboratories established in the University in accordance with the sponsor's interests
  • Academic consulting whereby researchers at the University offer technical guidance to companies
  • Technology transfer, whereby intellectual property owned by the University is made available for use to partners

Find more information on collaboration with industry or contact the Office of Society-Academia Collaboration for Innovation.

The University owns two subsidiary companies (KYOTO-iCAP and Kansai TLO), who in different ways connect with academic institutions and industry around Japan and the world to continue bringing innovation.

KYOTO-iCAP (Kyoto University Innovation Capital Co, Ltd)


KYOTO-iCAP focuses on the discovery of technology seeds that would sprout, bloom and bear fruits with highest social impact.

Founded in 2014 as a wholly owned investment firm of Kyoto University, it mainly invests in start-ups and early-stage ventures seeking to commercialize knowledge generated by the University’s researchers based on a “hands-on approach” that provides assistance in designing business and development plans.

Two major forms of ventures are promoted: 1) start-ups emerging as entrepreneurial activities where the University is the center of the start-up germination. And 2) the use of patient capital funds that address and support disruptive inventions; e.g., those taking too long to enter the market. Furthermore, KYOTO-iCAP encourages cross-border connections among entrepreneurs and these funds in order to have those seed projects get started.

KYOTO-iCAP supports ambitious entrepreneurs committed to making a difference through commercialization of technology; whilst striving to generate investment opportunities for private equity investors, including other venture capital firms, and business corporations.



Kansai TLO provides hands-on support for technology licensing. It focuses on the creation of collaboration circles by engaging researchers with industry, promoting technology transfer and contributing to the sustainable development of society with novel technologies.

Kansai TLO gathers experienced researchers working towards transfer and share of intellectual properties from Kyoto University, Kyushu University, Wakayama University and Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine to the industrial community.

Find out more about University partners of KANSAI TLO.