“A new mechanism to reach the desired future
at the fastest speed”
A-SAP Industry-Academia-Government-Finance Collaborative Innovation Promotion Program launched in 2018 is a project-type technical support for SMEs established in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.
A-SAP is funded by the local government with the aim of promoting the SMEs’ creation of new industries and the sophistication of existing businesses by utilizing photonics and electronics technologies.
In this program, industry, academia and finance work together as a project team to solve SMEs’ technical issues.
If you consult with A-SAP about your ideas and their technical issues, the Photon Valley Center will help you find a researcher best fit for planning an innovation project to solve the issues. After that, the project will be carried out together with the researcher, and the results such as the completed prototype will be handed over to the requested company. The project period is about 6 months, and the expenses related to the project will be paid up to 5 million yen from the Photon Valley Center to the research institute. SMEs also receive business and financial advices from financial experts.
The ACTPHAST program in the EU, led by Professor Hugo Thienpont, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), has been successful for accelerating European SMEs innovations. The program utilizes knowledge and technologies of Photonics specialized institutions to solve SMEs’ technical issues.
The purpose of the Photon Valley Center is to foster new businesses and new industries by utilizing specialized knowledge such as photonics, electronics and information science. This has much in common with what ACTPHAST was aiming for. Then, Professor Thienpont and his staff were kind enough to offer their help for applying the concept of ACTPHAST to A-SAP running in the area having different culture and business style.
Separately from the benefits obtained from the sun light and lighting equipment, the light has unlimited potential to create a rich, safe and secure living environment. The number of things that utilize light is increasing around us, such as optical communications, manufacturing using laser light, automated driving and safety devices using light sensors, medical diagnosis and treatment using light, and solar power generation.
In this way, Photonics is considered to be a Key Enabling Technology that is also indispensable for innovations. In order to make effective use of it, we specialize in Photonics which may require knowledge and experience. Therefore, A-SAP will support SMEs that do not specialize in Photonics so that they can apply Photonics to their fields. For details on Photonics, please refer to the Potential impact of photonics technologies.
Since the A-SAP launch in 2018, many innovation projects have been formed and completed to solve technical issues SMEs faced.
An outline of a project, how it was implemented, and what kind of results were achieved, are introduced in each video by a company requesting support and a researcher who led the project.
In order to popularize sports science, we have developed a prototype device that measures three metrics, standing long jump, repeated vertical jumping, and stepping, and automatically predicts the time of 50m run. As a result, it was confirmed that the target performance could be satisfied and there was no problem in commercialization in terms of intellectual property.
We have developed an image processing algorithm that detects the position of the dolly, which the AGV needs to pull, is placed at a position or direction shifted from the specified area. As a result, it was confirmed that the dolly can be guided even if the target position shift occurs.
As a mean to realize an affordable picking robot for loosely stacked parts for SMEs, we have established the basic technology of visual recognition to extract 3D position / angle information of an object from the image of a monocular camera at high speed and with high accuracy. The target detection accuracy and detection time have been achieved.
We prototyped an optical component that can be attached to a robot arm to control the beam shape of a laser light source and a gas control nozzle that assists cutting. This confirmed that the blue molding resin could be cut at the target speed, and the knowledge of the deflashing method that could further save labor cost without depending on the material color was obtained.