Cooperation with industry


As an institution that values its connections with global society, Kyoto University seeks to contribute to  harmonic coexistence of the world’s community and the environment.

Key priorities for the University are in addressing social needs through knowledge and technology created by research and in finding solutions to the complex, multi-faceted challenges facing the world. Collaborations with industry and government are crucial not only for sharing the benefits of the cutting-edge knowledge generated through joint efforts, but more importantly to actually respond to those needs.

Kyoto University is a comprehensive research institution dedicated to pursuing the development of science and scientific knowledge in a variety of fields, including interdisciplinary areas. As such, its 18 graduate schools and numerous education and research institutes and facilities (including the largest number of government-designated joint-usage research centers in Japan) serve as a platform for integrated basic and applied research in the humanities as well as in the natural and social sciences.

In order to further promote cooperation with society, especially with the private sector, Kyoto University has a Society-Academia Collaboration for Innovation Office (SACI), which connects the research interests and potential of the University to the needs of society.

Industry-government-academia collaboration takes many forms, typical examples at Kyoto University being:

  • Collaborative research with industry
  • Establishment of courses and laboratories focused on collaborative research
  • Inter-organizational collaboration to identify issues of common interest
  • Commissioned research carried out upon request by companies
  • Commissioned research, whereby the University hosts experts from companies to work with its researchers
  • Endowments used as funds for education and research activities in accordance with the sponsor's interests
  • Endowed chairs and research laboratories established at the University in accordance with the sponsor's interests
  • Academic consulting whereby the University's researchers offer technical guidance to companies
  • Technology transfer, whereby intellectual property owned by the University is made available for use by partners

Learn more by visiting the Office of Society-Academia Collaboration for Innovation (SACI).

Furthermore, KyotoU has two subsidiary companies, KYOTO-iCAP and TLO-KYOTO, connecting with academic institutions and industry around Japan and the world in different ways to foster innovation.

KYOTO-iCAP (Kyoto University Innovation Capital Co, Ltd)


KYOTO-iCAP is focused on discovering technology seeds that would sprout, bloom, and bear fruit with the highest social impact.

Founded in 2014 as a wholly owned investment firm of Kyoto University, it mainly invests in start-ups and early-stage ventures seeking to commercialize knowledge generated by the University’s researchers, using a hands-on approach to assist with designing business and development plans.

Two major forms of ventures are promoted: 1) start-ups emerging as entrepreneurial activities where the University is the center of the start-up germination, and 2) the use of patient capital funds that address and support disruptive inventions, eg, those taking a long time to enter the market. Furthermore, KYOTO-iCAP encourages cross-border connections among entrepreneurs and these funds in order to help seed projects get started.

KYOTO-iCAP supports ambitious entrepreneurs committed to making a difference through commercialization of technology, while striving to generate investment opportunities for private equity investors, including other venture capital firms and business corporations.



Located at the International Science Innovation Building on Kyoto University’s Yoshida Campus, TLO-KYOTO is an agent that contributes to society through technology transfer and various forms of support for research collaboration and start-up business, all utilizing intellectual property from partner universities, including Kyoto University.

TLO-KYOTO aims to create new value that stimulates society by giving back the profits of university innovations to the world through technology transfer. To that end, TLO-KYOTO supports filing and utilizing intellectual property from partner universities, serving as a mediator between academia and industry to spread valuable innovations throughout the world.

For academic institutions, TLO-KYOTO serves as a one-stop management agent for various intellectual property-related operations, including market value analysis, patent application, and technology transfer from academic institutions to companies.

For companies, TLO-KYOTO provides information on research from partner academic institutions. It supports commercialization of resulting inventions by coordinating smooth communications between institutions and companies as well as upstream and downstream industries.

Find out more about TLO-KYOTO’s Corporate Mission.