The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said it is seeking unconventional, innovative ideas that could impact the global information and communications industry, hoping to discover and nurture the next Steve Jobs, the late cofounder of Apple Inc.
The programme, now in its second year, aims to identify about 10 highly talented individuals who are striving to develop ambitious, cutting-edge technologies that could revolutionize people's lives and change how business is conducted. Each individual chosen will receive up to ¥3 million (S$33,000) in financial assistance for their research.
Known as "The Innovation Initiative," the recruiting campaign aims to develop outstanding human resources like Jobs, whose company invented such innovative products as the iPhone. The programme's name in Japanese contains a pun on the word "inou," which means "unique talent."
Those who are selected will receive guidance from renowned researchers. This fiscal year, the ministry plans to start recruiting two months earlier than last year. Through promotion efforts at universities and high schools, students are being encouraged to apply before the summer vacation begins. The application deadline is June 25.
Last year, 10 people including company employees, a housewife and a part-timer were selected from a pool of 710 applicants. "We expect applications from a broad range of individuals who are willing to take on the challenge of ambitious technological projects," said Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi.