Tohoku University's Regional Innovative Producer School for entrepreneurs will receive a contribution of ¥100 million ($1 million) from The Prudential Foundation, a nonprofit corporation funded by U.S.-based Prudential Financial, Inc., to support business leaders who can spark the economic recovery of regions affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami that struck in March 2011.
Contributions of ¥30 million will be made each year over 3 years starting in June 2014, totaling ¥90 million. It is part of a larger ¥600 million ($6.0 million) plus commitment made by The Prudential Foundation to support relief, recovery and rebuilding in the aftermath of the disaster.
It will facilitate the university’s development of small- and medium-sized businesses that can boost the economies of the Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures, which were among the hardest hit.
Immediately following the Great East Japan Earthquake, Tohoku University established the Institute for Disaster Reconstruction and Regeneration Research to guide the recovery effort. The Institute has since implemented eight disaster reconstruction projects, including the Local Industry Reconstruction Support Project led by the Regional Innovation Research Center in the Graduate School of Economics and Management.
This project conducts research to support business and cultural revitalization in the Tohoku region. It also operates the Regional Innovative Producer School, which establishes new local business endeavors that can strengthen economies.
"We are extremely proud to partner with Tohoku University in its efforts to foster future business leaders with ideas for restoring the economies of these devastated areas," said Lata Reddy, vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility at Prudential Financial, Inc. and president of The Prudential Foundation. "The university’s work with local small- and medium-sized businesses reflects our own interest in helping regions that have been devastated by natural disasters and creating permanent solutions that could shorten the recovery time from future disasters."