Academic conference, originates from the Royal Society of United Kingdom in the 17th century. It has become a place for discussion by those pursuing academics and research. Academic conferences which were the starting point of development of science and technology now faces dilemma. Diversification of the field has increased the number of specialists though communication across field were sometimes limited to just giving and receiving information. World famous Albert Einstein once mentioned “Information is not knowledge”, but then how can we really create knowledge? What purpose should we use those knowledge for? Dr. Hiroyuki Takahashi, director of Institute of Innovation & Knowledge of Leave a Nest Co., Ltd., thinks that answer to this lies in Hyper Interdisciplinary Conference (HIC). We would like to ask Dr. Takahashi, more about how this may be a solution.
Hyper Interdisciplinary Conference is a place for creating seeds of innovation
Various participants from academia, large corporations, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), startups, primary producers, even middle and high school students gather to HIC. Here, professionals who have state-of-the-art knowledge or technology, people who are eager to solve social problems and technical issues by any means, and those who are passionate about research or business gathers to create seeds for new research or business idea and seek for partners who may join in to your project. Hence in HIC, background of field, nationality and age of participants are not limited. In order for HIC to be a place to create new values and knowledge with regardless of their background, presence of communicator is inevitable. Leave a Nest members plays the role as science bridge communicator, who correctly understands the technology but also knowing demands or needs that participants have and connecting with those who may team up to solve problems. In other words, Leave a Nest communicator act as a catalyst for fusion of different fields. For example, a researcher, who is working on chemotherapy, wants to develop a device with new method for delivery. In such case, the communicator will take you to potential discussion partners, such as SME that is good at microfabrication of metal, a startup capable of making a needle of fine biodegradable resin and a large company that is interested in commercializing the technology. From this Dr. Takahashi’s first message is that,
“If you are stuck, Get a hold of the communicator” is golden rule for HIC. I have always kept hyper-interdisciplinary way of thinking and tried to be a communicator to connect and create through many projects”.
Continuation is the key to shaping ideas practically
The philosophy of Hyper-Interdisciplinary began with the predecessor gathering named Hyper Interdisciplinary workshop that started in 2008. At that time, only members from Leave a Nest were participants. But after renaming the activity to HIC in 2012, the variety and number of participants has increased year by year. In recent years, several interesting projects have been born and making a leap forward from HIC. The first example is project called TECH PUSH. This project uses the hidden IP from large corporates as a theme, it explores new possibility of business by adding new perspectives from academia, students and SMEs into it. Those who are enthusiastic about adding own perspective to cause an innovation teamed up and through months of discussion, they have presented their idea at HIC in 2018. Not only Japan but this project has made its expansion to Singapore as well, and some of the ideas from TECH PUSH is now on its way for industrial collaboration to implement them into the society. The second example is Development of Seabed Exploring Technology (DeSET) Project. In collaboration with “The Nippon Foundation” who established a magnificent international project “Seabed 2030” which is to complete a map of seabed by 2030, DeSET project started. In this project, researchers, SMEs and startups teamed up to develop innovative technologies that may dramatically accelerate the creation of topographic maps of ocean floor with resolution within 100 m. From each team’s presentation at HIC 2018, project accelerated by formation of new research teams, conducting demonstration experiment in a sea near Japan, and attendance to the international conference, GEBCO symposium in 2018.
Dr. Takahashi points out, “The idea originating from communication between different fields should not end as it is. We have continued providing the opportunity and place to incubate ideas to produce actual projects” .
Realizing the deepening of knowledge and practical approach
Activities to create knowledge have continued and will continue too. The theme of 8th HIC held in March 2019 will be “Rewiring beyond time, space, and five sense”. Recently, the temporal and spatial limitations which bound us is gradually decreasing due to the development of preservation and communication technology. Furthermore, our sense has been figuring out scientifically by multimodal and crossmodal research that integrate our sense. How will our lives and ways of thinking change in the future when these science and technology will develop further? At the moment sessions are organised to discuss both procatical and visonaly ideas relating to the conference theme. Dr. Takahashi expresses his thought about who this conference might be most interesting this time. “We are looking forward to see data scientists who accumulate, integrate and analyze research data in various fields and those who specialize in human computer interaction. In particular, I believe that something new should be created through discussions with people who they usually not meet, such as SMEs with great manufacturing technologies and the primary producers,”
Now, HIC is expanding. In 2018, local conferences were conducted in following three cities with following topic: Masuda (The cooperation among medicine, food and agriculture and the model of compact city by technological innovation), Osaka (Expanding the world of healthcare), Okinawa (Bridging agricultural science and technology from Okinawa to Southeast Asia). It is important to set the theme that fits well to background and current situation of each area. Also it is important to accomplish the consistent purpose of HIC to create new academic field and lead to practical movement to solve issues specific to that area. Beyond the border, HICs will now land to Singapore and Malaysia in 2019 to pursue unknown challenges and enthusiasm.
“Researcher” are the ones to accelerate knowledge manufacturing in future
Dr. Takahashi stated his point of view about our future through development of HIC. “We may be now living in the era where it is becoming necessary to form a group of researchers to integrate each idea for advancement of research. What will we need to do in this situation? I feel that we need to understand the problem more, involve people and continuing approach to solve the problem. There is no need at all to stick in university to be a researcher. Imagine if there are more people who are open minded to approach to local and/or global issues on the earth. Then, our world should become more interesting”.
Starting from HIC, more people may connect to those who syｍpathise with their passion and discuss among them, to turn information into knowledge. From this, expansion of HIC will cause explosive increase of knowledge, generating new research and we may see the world with full of innovation in near future. Everyone who has strong passion to resolve challenges you have in your mind, join in and BE HYPER INTERDISCIPLINARY!