Dear Elizabeth Bertagnoli, Ambassador of the Republic of Austria to Japan,
Dear Representatives of the Advantage Austria, the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan, Flanders Investment & Trade, Toyota Connected and the Trade Promotion Section of the Embassy of Italy,
Dear Representatives of the EU-Japan Centre of Industrial Cooperation and of the German Center for Research and Innovation (DWIH),
Dear Representatives of the all companies sponsoring the Techbizkon event,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening everyone! It is my pleasure to welcome all of you to the Residence of the Italian Ambassador in Tokyo.
I am very pleased to host this Pre-Event of the sixth edition of the “TechBIZKON: A journey into the future”, a cross-border startup event dedicated to connect European and Japanese startup-ecosystems, providing 1-on-1 meetings and networking opportunities.
Tomorrow, we will have the chance to hear the latest ideas of startup companies from the five participating countries (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Japan) focusing on the challenges and opportunities in the field of mobility: the movement of people around the globe is, in fact, one of the main issues to tackle, for ensuring a sustainable future.
Let me give you few data in this regard. As a side effect of the Covid pandemic, CO2 emissions from transportation in 2020 significantly decreased worldwide, but in 2021, with the restriction easing, there was a rebound with a growth of 8% compared to the previous year. The transportation sector accounts for about a quarter of the global emissions. Finding new solutions for mobility, therefore, will have a significant impact for a better future.
In this perspective, startup companies are expected to have a major role in proposing cutting-edge solutions and technologies, given their creativity, flexibility and their strong potential for innovation and the Techbizkon event offers a great and very timely opportunity for European and Japanese startups to present their ideas and solutions.
This year’s event, in fact, takes place in a very favorable moment. On the one hand, Japan has recently launched the “Integrated Innovation Strategy 2022” setting the goal of reaching 120 trillion yen in R&D investment between the public and private sector over five years from fiscal 2021, aiming to realize Society 5.0. On the other hand, The European Union is providing funds under the “Next Generation EU” program for economic recovery after the Covid pandemic, promoting R&D in a wide range of sectors that can bring about transformational changes.
In this context, Italy allocated 550 million Euros for startups to foster digital transition and green transformation. Other funds are available for woman entrepreneurship and the creation of innovative startups and spin-offs as a result of research activities. In addition, education and research will benefit of 32 billion Euros.
We are at a crossroads where science, technology, and innovation are increasingly vital not only for sustaining economic growth, but for finding solutions to social problems and ensuring safety and security: programs and initiatives such as Techbizkon are key and instrumental to this end.
Let me conclude by thanking all of you for attending today’s event and, while inviting you to raise a glass of Prosecco generously offered by the Consorzio Prosecco DOC in those beautiful glasses, I wish you every success.