The Rakuten Institute of Technology Future Merchant Design Laboratory started an internship program in August for university students in Kobe City to work on solving regional issues.
This internship program is part of a comprehensive partnership agreement signed between Rakuten and Kobe city in December of last year. We will apply our experience of industry-academia collaboration and research project know-how to the internship, serving as valuable career development training for the participants.
Specifically, we will borrow facilities through collaboration with Kobe Chuo Municipal Library, as well as stores that have a presence on the Rakuten online marketplace and Rakuten Travel. There, we will implement interactive communication systems that connect the stores and facilities with their users.
Ideas for the projects are based on discussions with store employees and city staff, and will be implemented through the mentoring and guidance by researchers at the Future Merchant Design Laboratory. In the prototype stage, we will rent stores and facilities and conduct demonstrations and experiments. This internship will be held until the end of September, after which a result presentation will be held.
The Future Merchant Design Laboratory will continue to promote research activities with the aim of creating new shopping experiences through collaboration with various partners.
For more information on the internship program and agreement between Rakuten and Kobe City, see the press releases below.