Once the capital and the largest city of Japan, Kyoto is the cultural heart of Japan with over 2000 temples and shrines. In addition to being the center of tourism in Japan, Kyoto is an important hub for the precision manufacturing, information technology, life sciences, and the electronics industry in Japan. This is the city where alongside traditional craftsmen, one can find world class companies and startups.Kyoto is also Japan's university town, boasting 37 universities and 140,000 students.
Kyoto Institute of Technology (KIT) was founded as a national university in 1949, but it descends from two earlier institutions, one specialized in engineering, design, and the applied arts, the other in sericulture, spinning, and weaving. These two roots endure as the faculty of engineering and design and the faculty of textile science, combining in one institution a commitment to both knowledge and practical skills. KIT encourages its students to participate in industry-based internships and in research projects with its partner universities abroad. It also promotes collaboration in business and research with industries.
ME310/SUGAR program at the Kyoto Institute of Technology (KIT) has worked with companies and universities around the world to develop innovative solutions to difficult challenges. The students come from a variety of nationalities and backgrounds including design, engineering, architecture, and management. The cutting-edge facilities at the KYOTO Design Lab are available to the student teams and KIT has been known to create some of the biggest and more refined prototypes in the SUGAR Network. KIT has been part of the SUGAR and ME310 network since 2009, making it one of the oldest members in the SUGAR Network.
Kyoto Institute of Technology has worked with corporate partners from a variety of industries on topics including agriculture, air travel, autonomous driving, consumer electronics, digital transformation, disaster relief, elderly care, industrial machinery, textiles, and more. With Aalto University, the team developed an airport navigation device that can be intuitively used by first time elderly passengers. Porto Polytechnic and the Kyoto Institute of Technology developed a new bioplastic-based textile that is indistinguishable from more polluting cotton-based textile. The 2016-17 project with Swinburne University of Technology which resulted in the "Segway on water," Wheebo, was released as a product in 2019 by the corporate partner, Yanmar.