UNIDO ITPO Tokyo held the event titled “Seminar & Networking: Japan’s Technology Transfer to Mitigate the Impact of the COVID-19” on 9 June 2022. The purpose of the event was to report on the results of technology transfer projects called “Sustainable Technology Promotion Platform (STePP) Demonstration Project” implemented in 10 countries in Asia and Africa to fight against infectious diseases such as the COVID-19, which were funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. This was the first face-to-face event held by ITPO Tokyo after the COVID-19 pandemic. 48 participants, including representatives from9 Japanese companies involved in the project and embassy officials from 7 countries, shared their experiences and knowledge to strengthen the collaboration.
In the opening, Mr. Yuko Yasunaga, Head of UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, emphasized the importance of this project, which was implemented in response to the growing need for assistance in developing countries due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. He reflected, “Thanks to the cooperation of Japanese companies and other stakeholders in the recipient countries, we have overcome various difficulties and made progress with this project. “
Mr. Kosuke Kuroda from UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, the project leader, then reported that 12 Japanese companies have contributed to mitigate risks of infectious diseases including COVID-19, by demonstrating and transferring their technologies over two years. He also pointed out that “although the originally planned travels to the sites were not possible due to the pandemic, most companies were successful in implementing the project online.”
In the discussion session, Japanese companies provided feedback, remarking that “working with UNIDO helped us gain the trust of local government agencies and facilitate communication,” “it led to increase awareness in the local community,” and “we hope to expand our business there in the future.” At the same time, the participants also noted the difficulty of remote communication due to the impact of COVID-19 and the importance of understanding different cultures to deepen relationships with local partners.
Finally, in the networking session embassy officials and Japanese companies interacted, shared information on the projects and exchanged opinions on the applicability of the technology in recipient countries represented and on possibilities for future business development. Mr. Yasunaga called in his closing remarks for “continued cooperation, which is essential not only for technology transfer but also for independent business development and institution building in developing countries.”
For more information on project results, please visit the STePP Demonstration Project Results page.