OSAKA, JAPAN – Representatives from the Future Economic Rural Network (FERN) recently met with interested parties in Osaka Prefecture to discuss the development of a new rural enterprise hub called Inaka Labs.

The meeting focused on potential investment and collaboration opportunities for this innovative project to revitalise rural economies.

Key attendees included:

  • Dwayne Grech, representing Hello xLab and FERN
  • Ted Smith from FERN and De Bullion Corporation
  • Daniel Rad of FERN UK

The proposed Inaka Labs project aims to create a cutting-edge rural enterprise hub in Osaka Prefecture designed to foster innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainable economic growth in non-urban areas. The initiative aligns with Japan’s ongoing efforts to address rural depopulation and create new opportunities outside major metropolitan centres.

“Inaka Labs represents a groundbreaking approach to rural revitalization,” said Dwayne Grech. “By combining state-of-the-art facilities with targeted support programs, we’re creating an ecosystem where rural entrepreneurs can thrive and innovate.”

During the meeting, FERN representatives outlined their vision for Inaka Labs and engaged in productive discussions with potential Japanese investors and partners. Topics covered included the hub’s proposed facilities, programs to support local entrepreneurs, and strategies for leveraging regional strengths to attract businesses and talent.

Ted Smith commented on the positive reception from Japanese stakeholders: “The enthusiasm we’ve seen here in Osaka is truly encouraging. There’s a clear recognition of the need for innovative solutions to rural economic challenges, and we believe Inaka Labs can play a pivotal role in addressing these issues.”

The development of Inaka Labs represents a significant step towards FERN’s goal of creating a network of rural enterprise hubs worldwide. By combining international expertise with local knowledge and resources, the project aims to create a model for rural revitalization that could be adapted to other regions facing similar challenges.

Daniel Rad of FERN UK added, “The potential for cross-cultural exchange and learning is immense. We’re not just building a hub; we’re fostering a global community of rural innovators who can learn from and support each other.”

For more information about the Inaka Labs project or Future Economic Rural Network, please contact:

Daniel Rad

Listen to our previous research with Japan-based research Luke Dilley on efforts in that country for rural revitalization.