Establishment of SCOPE Research Association
— Pooling the strengths of companies aiming to commercialize housing developments equipped with next-generation energy management systems —
October 24, 2011
The Japan Research Institute, Limited (President: Yasuyuki Kimoto; Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; “JRI”), with the aim of promoting new business models for the creation of new housing developments equipped with next-generation energy management systems, today established the SCOPE (Social Cooperation for Promoting Eco-Town) Research Association, an organization that aims to bring together the views of related industries and local government bodies. JRI also held the Association’s inaugural general meeting, to which a range of companies, including housing construction, real estate and energy companies were invited.
Today, based on the general concept of optimizing an entire town, the development of “smart communities” and “smart cities” is being considered in various locations. However, the complexity of the systems involved means that in some cases it is difficult to designate a specific business entity or set out a business model.
Moreover, with fears over possible electric power shortages in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the people of Japan are high aware of the risks involved in complete reliance on the electricity grid. Hopes are pinned on the development of new distributed energy systems that will ensure a supply of electricity even after a natural disaster. However, there are many systemic obstacles to the implementation of distributed energy systems.
The SCOPE Research Association will study housing developments that incorporate such distributed energy systems. It will expand the concept of the individual “smart house” and examine value-added services, centering on energy, and community management, targeted at entire “towns”, linking individual houses. By focusing on scale and functions in housing developments consisting of a few tens of units, the Association aims to create specific products and construction of a business model that will serve as a standard. By bringing together the views of related industries and companies, it will identify regulatory systems that obstruct the pursuit of business models and put forward proposals for systemic reform.
Around 40 companies with an interest in energy management and community management in housing developments, including companies planning to join the SCOPE Research Association attended the inaugural general meeting, held today at JRI’s head office in Tokyo. The Association plans to encourage more housing construction companies, real estate companies, energy companies, electrical appliance manufacturers and IT companies with a strong interest in this area to participate, and ask local government bodies directly for their opinion. The Association’s activities will follow the schedule shown given below.