As CEO of one of Australia’s leading circular economy companies and Chair of the FBC’s Future Business Generation Queensland Committee I was selected to join The Hon Steven Ciobo MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, on the inaugural ‘Future Leaders, Future Cities’ business mission delegation to Tokyo, Japan on 2-4 July 2018.
Participation in this mission presented a unique opportunity to be part of Australia’s official future cities engagement with Japan. The ‘Future Leaders, Future Cities’ program enabled the other delegates and I to connect with potential partners and lay the foundation for future collaboration.
Japan presents an incredible market opportunity for Australian smart city leaders and innovators.
The investment in Future Cities Technologies is significant but as seen here in Australia the technologies have only been implemented in small subsections of our cities. This raised questions for our delegation on the ability to scale these technologies.
The technologies being developed across the leading industry players were strongly focused on the retail sector, personal convenience and security. For example, our eye gaze can be tracked recording how long we look at products, which colours stimulate us and then the way in which we move around a store to buy products is also monitored to inform retail fit outs, product advertising and optimal product location.
These technologies did not adequately represent or address the critical needs and challenges of cities around the world. Japan has long been regarded as a technology powerhouse and I believe with further investment and focus on technologies that have an environmental, social and economic benefit the country will be home to a truly “smart city”. I believe that Australian smart cities leaders and companies will be key in driving the investment and development of these technologies in Japan as the challenges that face our cities are seen as opportunities to develop meaningful technologies and capture data that not only can save or make money but have positive social and environmental outcomes.
Japan and Australia have a strong relationship that is being nurtured and progressed by the Australian Government and expats that call it home and I would strongly urge anyone that wants to grow their business to look towards Japan.