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Mercari R4D Held “Mercari R4D 5th Anniversary Session ‘Pioneering the Path’—The Potential of Technology Born From Co-Innovation” -Discussing R4D’s Vision for R&D as a Hub Connecting Communities to Solve Social Issues-

Top>Mercari R4D Held “Mercari R4D 5th Anniversary Session ‘Pioneering the Path’—The Potential of Technology Born From Co-Innovation” -Discussing R4D’s Vision for R&D as a Hub Connecting Communities to Solve Social Issues-

On December 22, Mercari R4D (“R4D”), the research and development arm of Mercari Group, held an event to celebrate the organization’s fifth anniversary called “Mercari R4D Fifth Anniversary Session: Pioneering the Path—The Potential of Technology Born From Co-Innovation.”

Ever since its founding in December 2017, R4D has aimed to create new value through research and development designed to be deployed in our future society while introducing disruptive ideas and technologies (in other words, “R4D”: Research + Development, Deployment, Design, and Disruption). R4D conducts research and development in such areas as AI (artificial intelligence), blockchain technologies, HCI (human-computer interaction), quantum computing, and mobility.

In recent years, we see an increasing number of issues that cannot be solved with technology alone, even as new research and technologies approach widespread deployment. Ever more important are approaches that utilize co-innovation and their ability to bring together people whose shared goals can help solve social issues and facilitate collaboration across disparate industries, academia, and nations to pioneer the path toward new value. Social issues are becoming increasingly complex when it comes to emerging technologies and other fields where there is often little time between research and full deployment.

The event was an opportunity to interact with external speakers to consider how R&D organizations should be and the development of new methodologies in a future where all communities are connected across lines of organization or affiliation. It saw many people from academia and industry circles involved with research and development join both online and offline.

The event started with a discussion between Mercari R4D Head of Research Yoshihiro Kawahara, R4D Senior Researcher Shota Nagayama, and Atsuo Kishimoto, head of Osaka University’s Research Center on Ethical, Legal and Social Issues and professor at the university’s Institute for Datability Science. The discussion focused on a single question: “What kind of co-innovation pioneers the path toward undiscovered value?” The conversation reaffirmed the importance of sharing knowledge and incorporating various community perspectives into discussion of co-innovation hurdles and the mechanisms by which we can overcome them.

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After that, the event featured a lightning talk where R4D researchers and research engineers introduced their respective fields of study, such as mobile HCI and communication on the blockchain and on the marketplace, and showcased the research environment at R4D.

The event closed with a final discussion between Yoshihiro Kawahara, Atsuo Kishimoto, and Director of the University of Tsukuba’s Research and Development Center for Digital Nature, Yoichi Ochiai. This discussion focused on a different question: “In the era of co-innovation, what is the role of the researcher?”

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We plan to share the event recording and materials on both Mercari R4D’s YouTube channel and on Mercari’s owned media, Mercan.

In celebrating its fifth anniversary, R4D set a new mission: “Pioneering the path toward undiscovered value.” Mercari and R4D will continue working to foster co-innovation and harvest the fruits of their research—created by bringing together disparate communities across industry, academia, and national borders—to give back to society, leveraging technology to update value exchange systems and the way the world sees value itself in pioneering the path toward undiscovered value.


We received video messages from members of the Advisory Board for Research and Development. They talked about the attraction of the R4D organization they feel while interacting with R4D members and what they expect from R4D in the future. Together with the members of the Advisory Board, we will continue to promote research activities that will pioneer the path toward undiscovered values to realize a future where limited resources to build a future where anyone can unleash their potential.

Dr. Jun Murai

Professor at Keio University. Ph.D. in Computer Science. In 1984 he founded JUNET (Japan University UNIX Network), the first computer network in Japan. In 1988, he launched the WIDE (Widely Integrated Distributed Environment) project, aiming to develop and popularize internet networks. He paved the way for multilingual support in the early days of the internet, starting with Japanese. Murai is Special Advisor to the Cabinet and Advisor to the Digital Agency. He also chairs and serves on many other governmental committees, and is active in numerous international scientific associations. He was inducted into the 2013 Internet Hall of Fame (Pioneer) by the Internet Society, and is known as the “father of internet in Japan.”

Mr.Masaya Mori

Executive Officer and Partner at Deloitte Tohmatsu Group. He is a leader of the advanced technology industry in the Asia-Pacific region. In order to provide support for both industries and companies, he collaborates with AI, 5G, quantum computer, and blockchain professionals from around the world.

Prof. Kazue Sako

Researched security, privacy, and fairness assurance at NEC Central Research Laboratory. Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Waseda University, since April 2020.