Among the hundreds of research programs carried out by our faculty, there are three project areas that we regard as “flagship” examples because of their importance in current times, and for local society. As all three areas start with the initial “M” and leverage the latest Information technologies, we call them the “3 MITs”.
The aim of this project is to connect the evolution of information technology directly to society. One key focus is to enable even an aging local community to become a “Smart City of the next generation”. We research how this can be achieved through information and network technology. For example, we have successfully carried out local trials of a “SAVS” (Smart Access Vehicle System), which is a fully on-demand, automatically controlled, public transportation system.
The purpose of our Marine IT project is to bring information technology to all aspects of marine fisheries cultivation and production. A major theme of this project is how to correctly calculate quantities of natural marine resources in any given area, especially in relation to the seasons, weather and time of day. One example we have implemented is the “Ubiquitous Buoy System”, which can calculate and log water temperature and current speed at many different ocean depths simultaneously. With this system, fishermen get access to real-time data on fishing conditions using just their smartphones or tablets, without the necessity of having to go out to sea.
Sharing information on fishing boat positions and locations of shoals of fish with the object of controlling the haul of fish is a research area drawing significant attention across Japan and also overseas.
Future University Hakodate has a long history of involvement with medical education and research in collaboration with local hospitals and care homes. One example that was highly evaluated by local doctors – and won a “Best Design“ award – is a project on expanding communication channels with patients. In association with the medical industry, the University is now researching information systems based on the patient’s point of view that can increase the chances of providing the best possible treatments. Faculty and students work on a wide variety of themes, including hospitalization manuals to help families of sick infants and young children, Life Log tracking of health and medical information of patients, and highly advanced Medical Information Engineering research that creates technology to contribute to the reduction of doctors’ workloads and to the improvement of patients’ quality of life.