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CSIS & JICA-RI Launch Events Held in Washington, DC

June 7, 2016

On June 1 and 2, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. hosted representatives from the JICA Research Institute for the launch of their new joint report "Transformative Innovation for International Development." The report examines the potential for specific approaches to lead to transformative innovation and high-yield economic growth in developing countries.

JICA-RI Director Naohiro Kitano

In the afternoon of June 1, CSIS hosted a private lunch and public event to discuss the findings of the chapter of the report on smart cities. This chapter comes from the viewpoint that managing urban growth will be one of the most critical challenges of the coming century. Smart city technologies can promote growth that is sustainable, energy efficient, and environmentally conscious. These technologies are an important tool for transforming urbanization from a challenge into a global social dividend, and the report considers the specific case of Jakarta - both how technologies there are providing for better services delivery and the capacity in local government needed to enable this.

Following the private lunch, which included discussion among the public event speakers, CSIS and JICA representatives, and other representatives of the private sector and international development community who work on smart cities approaches, CSIS hosted a public event titled "Transformative Innovation for International Development-Part One: Smart Cities." Anthony Vanky, Researcher and Project Lead at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) SENSEable City Lab first gave a keynote presentation on the Lab's work in researching how big data and urban sensors are impacting life in cities around the world, followed by a presentation of the CSIS and JICA-RI report's findings on smart cities by Naohiro Kitano, Director of JICA-RI. Next, Matthew Devlin, International Relations Lead at Uber, provided remarks on how Uber is reaching various cities, including Jakarta, and how it is disrupting the traditional modes of transportation. Masamutsu Shinozaki, Vice President and General Manager of Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc, then gave a presentation on Mitsui's work on smart cities and the Iskandar Malaysia project. Runde moderated the session. Runde asked follow-up questions of the panelists and then facilitated a question and answer session with the audience.

In the afternoon of June 2, CSIS hosted a private lunch and public event to discuss the findings of the chapter of the report on innovation ecosystems. The first chapter of the report considers the inputs to building innovation ecosystems, including the catalytic role of fabrication laboratories in building innovation ecosystems in developing countries. It includes a case study on the innovation ecosystem in the Philippines, and considers Fab Lab Bohol as an innovation-enabling platform in its community.

Participants listen to a presenter

Following the private lunch, which included discussion among the public event speakers, CSIS and JICA representatives, and other representatives of the private sector and international development community who work on building innovation ecosystems, CSIS hosted a public event titled "Transformative Innovation for International Development-Part Two: Innovation Ecosystems." Joseph Reger, Chief Technology Officer of Fujitsu EMEIA (Europe, the Middle East, India, and Africa) first gave a keynote presentation on the importance of building innovation ecosystems and Fujitsu's work in this area, followed by a presentation of the CSIS and JICA-RI report's findings on innovation ecosystems by Kitano. Next, Ann Mei Chang, Chief Innovator and Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Global Development Lab provided remarks on the Lab's work in innovative financing for development, as well as catalyzing innovation in the countries where it works. Takayuki Morita, Executive Vice President and Chief Global Officer of NEC Corporation then gave a presentation on NEC's work on both innovation ecosystems and smart cities, and the natural relationship between the two topics. Victor Mulas, Program Lead of the Innovation Acceleration Program at the World Bank then provided remarks on the World Bank's work in accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship in developing contexts. Runde moderated the session. Runde asked follow-up questions of the panelists and then facilitated a question and answer session with the audience.

A public roundtable event on the Cerrado

On the morning of June 1, 2016, CSIS hosted a public roundtable event titled "Agricultural Transformation in the Brazilian Cerrado: A Model of Development and Security" to launch the 2015 book co-authored by Akio Hosono, Senior Research Advisor of JICA-RI, titled "Development for Sustainable Agriculture: The Brazilian Cerrado." The book considers the transformation of the Brazilian Cerrado, a tropical savannah, from a mostly barren land in the 1970s one of the world's largest grain-growing areas. This transformation involved years of focused research and technological innovation; EMBRAPA (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária, or the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) partnered with JICA and the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Science (JIRCAS) to enable this transformative process.

The event was moderated by Kimberly Flowers, Director of the CSIS Global Food Security Project, and began with opening remarks by Daniel F. Runde, Director of the CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development. Hosono then presented a summary of his book's findings and up-to-date information on Cerrado's agricultural transformation. Following Hosono's presentation, Luiz Caruso, the Agricultural Attaché at the Embassy of Brazil in Washington, D.C. provided remarks on the background and importance of the transformation, which turned Brazil from a net importer of grains to a net exporter. Following his remarks, Flowers asked follow-up questions of both Hosono and Caruso and then facilitated a question and answer session with the audience.

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