Press Releases

Grand opening of INTILAQ Innovation Center Tohoku


Grand opening of INTILAQ Innovation Center Tohoku
Qatar Friendship Fund project – Creating an Innovative Space for Entrepreneurs
  • Qatar Fund for Development Director General Mr. Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Kuwari explains the significant impact of QFF projects on the Tohoku economy 
  •   Two research project results announced, both highlighting the positive impact of QFF projects on the economy and the surrounding communities
  • QFF’s support of fisheries projects MASKAR and Kamaishi Hikari Foods shown to be highly beneficial both on the economy and as a symbol of reconstruction and hope in the area
Tokyo, Japan: 14th October 2016                            For immediate release

The Grand Opening Ceremony of the Intilaq Tohoku Innovation Centre was held in Sendai City (Oroshi-machi, Miyagi Prefecture), on the evening of 14th October. Supported by the Qatar Friendship Fund, a fund set up to support reconstruction efforts in Tohoku after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and chaired by Qatar’s Ambassador to Japan His Excellency Yousef Bilal, this Centre was set up together with IMPACT Foundation Japan in order to support and nurture entrepreneurs in the Tohoku region.

The ceremony welcomed 60 people including Ms. Emiko Okuyama, Mayor of Sendai City, QFF officials from the State of Qatar, the officials of IMPACT Foundation Japan, staff from Sendai Oroshi-machi Center and the Industrial Advancement Department of the Sendai Economic Affairs Bureau.

Mayor Okuyama commented “In the process of reconstruction, we have felt strong hopes in the ambition and power of the entrepreneurs who aspire to create new businesses in the disaster area. To support and encourage the challenges these entrepreneurs face, we at Sendai City have worked on various approaches to become the most entrepreneur-friendly city in Japan. We expect the INTILAQ Tohoku Innovation Center to be the hub of learning, communication, and inspiration for those who challenge new things”. Mr. Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Kuwari, the Director of Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), which manages the Qatar Friendship Fund projects, explained “Through the activities of QFF, we have successfully conducted 12 sustainable and effective reconstruction projects and made contributions to 640,000 people both directly and indirectly. This the Intilaq project will make a real difference in helping nurture and support entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, who are the potential future CEOs and Managing Directors of Japan.” 

The INTILAQ House Lecture series entitled “Sports and culture change the futures of Tohoku and Japan” followed the opening ceremony. The lecture featured Mr. Yuki Ota, an Olympic-medalist in fencing, and offered an opportunity to discuss successful ways to make international contributions through sports, culture, and business as a host of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Reconstruction efforts from the Great East Japan Earthquake and the current situation in the Tohoku area were also discussed, with hopes that the highlighted revival efforts may serve as an exemplar model for the revitalization of other rural areas. The event provided a great opportunity to think about the futures of both Tohoku and Japan.

Kiyoshi Kurokawa, Chairperson of Impact Foundation Japan receiving commemorative gift from Mr. Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Kuwari, the Director of Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD)
At the ribbon cutting ceremony.
From right to left: Emiko Okuyama, Mayor of Sendai City; Tadahiko Ito, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Environment and the Cabinet Office; Mr. Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Kuwari, the Director of Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD); H.E. Mr. Yousef Mohamed Bilal, Ambassador of the State of Qatar; Mr. Kurokawa, Executive Board Member of QFF; Mr. Shintaro Ito, a member of the House of Representatives; and Sadayoshi Ito, an academic administrator, Tohoku University. 
Notes for editors:
About Intilaq

Intilaq is a project to support and nurture entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs who are to play important roles in the creation of new businesses that will boost the rejuvenation of the Tohoku region. In the project, anyone, not only entrepreneurs, but also students of elementary to high school and college, business people, and farm producers who dare to step forward toward creating new businesses are called “start-uppers”. The project supports and nurtures these “start-uppers” by nurturing “the mind to create and challenge new things” and offering “spaces to trigger idea generation and business creation”. Intilaq supports the challenges of the “start-uppers” comprehensively by providing all-round support, including office spaces, recruitment, and finance. 

IMPACT Foundation Japan is an organization which, together with QFF, promotes and aids the Intilaq activities. Through the IMPACT Foundation Japan network with a global incubation community, Intilaq offers various activities and programs. The programs provided include mentoring by some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, well-developed start-up programs, provision of manufacturing aid tools to create prototypes, communication with various entrepreneur communities, and finally, actual project operation.  QFF provided 16.5 million USD to support the project, and is expected to see over 118,865 direct beneficiaries over 5 years.

The activities of Intilaq will be based in the Intilaq Tohoku Innovation Centre, which is located in the Oroshi-machi area, the eastern part of Sendai City. Oroshi-machi is becoming ever more vibrant with the opening of a new subway line and the launch of various city functions, with the Intilaq Tohoku Innovation Centre drawing attention as a new area landmark where many people, things, information, and cultures come and go.
Facility Outline
Name:                INTILAQ Innovation Center Tohoku
Address:            2-9-1 Oroshi-machi Wakabayashi-ku
                          Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture
                          ZIP Code 984-0015                
Business hours:       9:00-21:00(Weekdays)
                                Closed on Sundays and National holidays
Facilities:          Classrooms (1F) (Two 30-50 seated classrooms)
                         Lounge (1F)
                         Kitchen (1F)
                         Co-working space (1F) (Members only)
                         Lecture theater (1F) (60-110 seats)
                         Office space (2F) (Members only)
                         Broadcasting studio (2F)  

About Qatar Friendship Fund
The Qatar Friendship Fund (QFF) is a gift from the State of Qatar to the Japanese people to support relief efforts following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. QFF was launched by His Highness the Father Emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani in 2012, and operates under the auspices of H.H. Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar. Under the direct leadership of H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Bin Jassim, Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, QFF is chaired by H.E. Yousef Bilal, Qatar’s Ambassador to Japan, with the support of a Japanese advisory board. The Fund aims to nurture hope for victims and offer direct assistance in a prompt, effective and sustainable manner. QFF underscores the strong friendship between the Japanese and Qatari people and, over a five-year period (2012-2016), will continue to focus on supporting the strategic priorities of child education, fisheries, healthcare and entrepreneurship. For more information on the Qatar Friendship Fund, see http://www.qatarfriendshipfund.org/ Since June 2016, QFF has been supervised and managed by Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD).
About Qatar Fund For Development
The Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD) is a Qatari public organization established and organized pursuant to Law Number 19 of 2002 as amended, and officially mandated to coordinate and implement foreign development assistance on behalf of the State of Qatar. The Qatar Fund For Development has provided foreign assistance to several countries worldwide targeting a variety of sector needs, including education, health, and economic development. The Qatar Fund For Development is committed to delivering aid through bilateral and multilateral channels in compliance with best practices.
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gemma@candlewick.co.jp Tel: +81 3 6455 5820



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