KU signs collaborations agreement on the development of "LED traffic signals for snowy regions" (16 March 2016)

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Kyoto University and Aomori Prefectural Nakui Agricultural High School signed a collaboration agreement for the development of "LED traffic signals for snowy regions", which had been devised by students of the high school. At the signing ceremony, both sides expressed their commitment to developing the idea to practical application.


Nakui Agricultural High School has put forth effort into research activities in which students in their second and third year pursue research questions they have come up with. To present their achievements to a wider audience, the school participated in the technological idea competition "Techno-Ai (Love) 2015", which is co-organized by the Kyoto Technoscience Center and KU's Office of Society-Academia Collaboration for Innovation (SACI).

At the competition, a team from the high school presented their idea of "LED traffic signals for snowy regions". It does not require bulky devices or newly invented materials, but only uses existing water-repellent material, a sort of film used for yogurt containers. They proposed that the water-repellent material be used for an unintended and unconventional purpose: melting snow. They won the grand prize as the novelty and simplicity of their idea were highly appraised.

Professor Eiichiro Matsubara of the Graduate School of Engineering, Deputy Director of SACI, decided to realize this idea as he saw potential for it to lead to innovation when combined with KU's basic research capability and SACI's information and market research capacity.

Under the school motto of "Green nurtures minds", Nakui Agricultural High School encourages students to examine issues directly and honestly in the field. The support of KU's expertise will enable the students' idea to yield practical applications, which is expected to be a driving force for local revitalization.


Kyoto University and Nakui Agricultural High School are to launch collaborative development of "LED traffic signals for snowy regions". This project will be carried out as the "Nakui Agricultural High School model", which seeks to create business by involving partner corporations that will help practical application of the students' idea.

Signing ceremony