HITACHI SOCIAL INNOVATION FORUM 2018
After hugely successful forums globally and in Australia, Hitachi Limited along with the Hitachi group companies including Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia (HCA) brought the Hitachi Social Innovation Forum (HSIF) to Sydney for a second time, on Wednesday 21st November 2018.
HSIF is a series of events held by Hitachi to introduce its activities through presentations, panel discussions, and exhibits, and to share perspectives and visions as part of Hitachi’s efforts to promote collaborative creation. Social Innovation is about using innovative technologies and business solutions to address the key trends and challenges facing society. This year’s full-day event brought together global and local industry leaders, researchers, and government officials, seeking to find answers to current and future challenges in Australia.
Hosted by Keiji Kojima, Executive Vice President and Executive Officer of Hitachi, Ltd. and Atsushi Konishi, Managing Director, Hitachi Australia Pty. Ltd., the forum included a range of remarkable speakers and guests of honour including The Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales, Keizo Takewaka, Consul-General of Japan, Sydney, Larry Marshall, Chief Executive, CSIRO and Lucy Turnbull AO, Chief Commissioner of The Greater Sydney Commission.
Both The Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP and Dr Larry Marshall acknowledged Hitachi’s recent announcements of signing Memorandum of Agreement’s with both the NSW Government and CSIRO, during their speeches, illustrating a commitment to social innovation through collaborate creation.
Following the opening plenary, guests were invited to attend a choice of six tailored speaker sessions, with each addressing how Hitachi and its stakeholders aim to bring positive change to individuals in Australian society through Social Innovation in various sectors and industries. Parallel to the speaker sessions guests had the opportunity to experience the innovation showcase with technologies and solutions from a wide range of industries and business units across Hitachi. This year’s showcase consisted of four zones: IoT & Analytics, Transportation, Urban Development, and Life, Economy & Sustainability. Technologies on display included data driven solutions, biometrics, smart agriculture (including advanced drone services), rail management systems, rolling stock, Hitachi’s autonomous haulage system, fleet management systems, education solutions, particle beam therapy and much more.
At the end of this year’s event, the top four teams from the Hitachi Social Innovation Hackathon 2018 pitched their final ideas around Social Innovation in Agriculture, Mining and Smart Cities in front of a judging panel. The winning team, ‘Samaritan’, were announced as the winners and awarded total prize money of $10,000 by Dr Norihiro Suzuki, Vice President and Executive Office, CTO and General Manager of Research & Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd. The winning idea was to increase safety in cities, by implementing facial recognition technology applied through social media. Hitachi Limited will continue to work with the team moving forwards to help them realise their potential and provide ongoing mentorship.
Upon finishing, HCA’s Managing Director Mr David Harvey provided closing remarks addressing remaining guests and fellow speakers. He reinforced the take home message regarding the importance of exploring the role of ‘co-creation’ in developing new solutions to answer societies challenges well into the future, inviting other like-minded businesses to join the Hitachi and share this responsibility.
“Since our founding in 1910, Hitachi has been actively engaged in helping to make the world a better place and today especially our focus is to resolve a wide range of social issues through the global implementation of our Social Innovation Business – combining operational technologies with the expertise in IT we have amassed over more than a half century,” he said.
Finally he thanked various guest speakers including the MC Bernie Hobbs, NSW’s Premier, the Consul- General of Japan, representatives from both the private and public sector, and lastly the breakout session leaders and panels for sharing their views and invaluable information pertaining to social responsibility in society.
The event was shortly followed by a successful cocktail evening with guests hosted at the Sydney Hilton Hotel.