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Japan to certify big-data providers to drive innovation

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Cargo ships may be able to operate with better fuel efficiency by making use of big data.

Maps, other information will be gathered, shared by authorized entities

The Japanese government will begin certifying companies and organizations that gather and compile various kinds of information and offer them as useful data for product development and other purposes.

The so-called big-data banks, which will likely qualify for tax breaks, will make consolidated data available to corporations and research institutions. The government hopes that the sharing of data will lead to creation of new businesses and improvements in productivity.

Data likely to be collected include three-dimensional maps, ship and satellite information, and images captured by cameras. Government-owned data will also be provided to complement private-sector data. Map data from the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan would be an example.

In the automotive field, manufacturer-owned data on vehicle behaviors can be combined with weather data to help develop safer autonomous driving technology.

Businesses that already offer big-data services using their own data may be designated as data banks when they meet certain criteria. One possibility is Dynamic Map Platform, a Tokyo-based company founded jointly by Mitsubishi Electric, map and surveying companies, and automakers.

In marine shipping, ShipDC, founded in 2015, may be designated as a big-data bank. Cargo ship navigation data and wind directions gauged by offshore wind turbines, for instance, could be combined to help facilitate energy-saving navigation. Offshore resource exploration companies, like the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp., could also use data related to sea transportation.

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