Training experts in AI, IoT, big data and cyber security in a Waseda University-led consortium

Japanese and overseas universities and businesses team up for the government data analysis talent development program

On August 22, a consortium formed of 24 participating and 12 collaborating institutions from within and outside of Japan, ranging from the industrial, governmental, academic and financial sectors, was selected for the 2017 Data Analysis Talent Development Program by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The consortium is led by Waseda University.

What is the Data Analysis Talent Development Program?

In order for Japan to survive the fourth wave of industrial revolution, recruiting and training talents in data technology (AI, IoT, big data, cyber security, etc.) with related knowledge and skills are becoming crucial. Moreover, the Japanese government is trying to support career development initiatives of such talents and encourage them to play an active role in society. Out of the 13 organizations that applied to the program, four organizations (consortiums) were selected, including Waseda’s. Open to doctoral students and PhD holders who are familiar with handling highly technical data through research, the program aims to establish a consortium where businesses and universities and recruit as well as build a talent pool while creating employment opportunities for them. Furthermore, it will develop and implement practical training programs, such as internships and project-based learning.

Features of the consortium

This consortium led by Waseda will be managed by the Consortium Management Council. In cooperation with collaborating institutions, it will strengthen data technology-related skills for doctoral students and PhD holders, and design a curriculum for future PhD students (undergraduate and Master’s degree students) and working adults who will serve as their career model. The consortium aims to become self-sustainable using provided funding and produce 680 advanced data talents in over the course of eight years for addressing problems in shortage of talents. This will help dispatch experts to the fields of advanced technology development and financial businesses, which will become the core of Society 5.0, an initiative led by the Japanese government to realize a hyper smart society.

Training doctoral students and postdocs in various fields
  • Equipping doctoral students and postdocs in the humanities and sciences with additional skillsets
  • Targeting all kinds of industries, including those in the five priority areas of Japan’s 2017 Revitalization Strategy: Extending healthy life expectancy, realizing a transportation revolution, creating supply chains for future generations, providing comfortable infrastructure and urban development, and implementing “fintech,” a fusion of finance and data technology (Japan Revitalization Strategy 2017, presented on June 9, 2017)
  • Creating more diverse career choices for women
Consistent and comprehensive career development
  • Offering consistent support from job hunting to employment
  • Designing a curriculum plan based on specific skills sought for
  • Encouraging undergraduate and Master’s degree students to pursue PhDs
Strengthening complementary and synergetic collaborations

Encouraging complementary and synergetic collaborations among:

  • Industrial, governmental, academic and financial institutions within Japan and overseas
  • Different fields
  • Education and research
  • Fundamental, basic, and applied technology

How the consortium works

Comments from the institutions

“Under the strategic Waseda Vision 150 plan, Waseda University has advanced educational reforms to become Asia’s leading university by producing global leaders. Training advanced data technology talents requires organizational efforts by universities to play a central role and companies to cooperate. In this program, we aim to establish a central hub for training such especially and offer a practical, cutting-edge program in collaboration with top institutions in the industrial, governmental, academic, and financial sectors, open to doctoral students and PhD holders from all specializations ranging from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.”
Kaoru Kamata, President of Waseda University

“For over 140 years since its founding, Ochanomizu University has led various reforms under the mission of empowering women who will make differences in society. In recent years, we have been focusing on training data technology talents to meet rising social demands. With help from Waseda University, we look forward to expanding career opportunities and choices for women by training and producing women leaders with PhDs and advanced research skills centered around data technology.”
Kimiko Murofushi, President of Ochanomizu University

“Tokyo University of Science founded in 1881, is one of the oldest private universities of science and technology in Japan. Rooted in a strong sense of ethics, scientists and engineers at TUS strive to solve global challenges and make the world a better place through science. To be specific, our objective is to nurture science and technology professionals equipped with not only specialized knowledge, but also a well-rounded education and high ethical standards, as well as good character and international perspectives. As an institution which is a part of this consortium, we promote to realize cutting-edge and practical education and contribute to training doctoral students and postdocs in data technology field.”
Akira Fujishima, President of Tokyo University of Science

“As the main institution in this consortium for regional revitalization, Yamagata University looks forward to implementing a practical education program related to data technology for doctoral students in various fields, mainly the sciences and engineering. Furthermore, in cooperation with Waseda University and other institutions involved in the consortium, we will develop a unique, practical and educational program sought in the region and open it to students and working adults, and form an innovative ecosystem hub for data technology talent development and career development in the South Tohoku area.”
Kiyohito Koyama, President of Yamagata University

“The RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project is developing AI and big data talents together with various universities, research institutes, and companies. Through participation in this consortium, we contribute to further advancing the technology level in Japan.”
Masashi Sugiyama, Director of RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project

“This program, which is open to not only students in the sciences but also in the humanities as well as working adults from various industries, pioneers new areas in artificial intelligence technology, which has changed dramatically, by working together with experts in all kinds of fields. We will foster talent for the next generation in artificial intelligence technology, who will play a significant part on the global stage.”
Junichi Tsujii, AIST Fellow, Director of the Artificial Intelligence Research Center

Institutions in the consortium

Leading institution

Waseda University

Participating institutions

  • Ochanomizu University
  • Tokyo University of Science
  • Yamagata University
  • Tokyo Women’s Medical University
  • Nara Medical University
  • Japan Women’s University
  • Riken
  • National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
  • Japan Association of Corporate Executives
  • Japan Association of New Economy
  • Japan Federation of IT Associations
  • Japan Association for IT Career
  • Emerging Technologies Corporation
  • SoftBank Corp.
  • IBM Japan, Ltd
  • Nomura Securities Co., Ltd.
  • bitFlyer, Inc.
  • BrainPad Inc.
  • Mizuho Bank, Ltd.
  • LINE Corporation
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (Tentative)
  • University of Bonn (Germany)
  • Catholic University of Korea (Korea)

Collaborating institutions

  • Japan DataScientist Society
  • Institution for a Global Society Corporation
  • OPT Holding Inc.
  • Daiwa Securities Group Inc.
  • Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation
  • Hitachi, Ltd.
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc.
  • Yahoo Japan Corporation
  • Tel Aviv University (Israel)
  • OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (France)
  • National Centre for Text Mining (United Kingdom)
  • University of Manchester (United Kingdom)


For information on the consortium, contact Waseda University Doctoral Student Career Center at
For media inquiries, contact Waseda University Office of Information and Public Relations at

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