For the first time I visited Tokyo as a businessman in 1991. Then, I was there in 2011. The magnificent country with ancient and beautiful traditions and great passion for advanced high-tech. It happened that I created the idea of DO-RA while writing an article on environmental radioactivity after Fukushima disaster.
For this reason, on completing DO-RA R&D I looked at the land of the Rising Sun as a source of partners interested in production of DO-RA customized under the Japanese standards of aesthetic perfection.
I had a good luck and managed to include our team into the Russian delegation for the Russian-Japanese Forum, Technology, IT and Space section planned for February, 2013.
Two weeks before the forum, I happened to meet Mr. Mizuno, the President of Nisso Boeki. On learning about DO-RA, he demonstrated sincere interest and promised to introduce us to Japanese society and acquaint with Mr. Honda, the President of Honda Electronics that have facilities, competence and technologies required for DO-RA production. Thus, I went to Tokyo with the detailed schedule of meetings with potential distribution and production partners.
The Russian delegation to the Forum occupied nearly all places at the Aeroflot airplane. I had the best luck: the Hero of Russia the cosmonaut Yury Baturin sat next to me. He turned out to be an excellent company and an erudite. We discussed the space, the spacemen training, risks of spaceflights and details of everyday life at the space station, the radiation and, certainly, DO-RA for several hours. I told him how I had got a brainwave and demonstrated DO-RA functionalities to the cosmonaut. He liked much the idea and simplicity of the device.
The Forum opened on February 28. From the early morning, the lobby of a splendid hotel in the business centre of Tokyo next to the Palace of the Emperor was filling up by impressive Japanese clothed in expensive suits. By the official opening of the Forum all places were occupied; there were up to 10 Japanese businessmen per one Russian delegate. Such great interest to Russia and Russians was at the least surprising for me. I waited for my speech with some nervousness: I was not used to speaking to global industrial leaders and Japanese politicians. But as the questions from the audience were arising and hearing the applause that followed my speech, I was settling down understanding that I speak about important things valuable for the listeners.
At the plenary meeting I described briefly the idea of a portable gamma and beta radiation indicator integrated with mobile devices (smart phones, tablets and notebooks).
DO-RA device is connected to a smart phone through the audio jack and uses DO-RA.Soft application downloaded from the Web. DO-RA begins to operate as the application starts. It measures radiation every 4 seconds and constantly adjusts results within 60 seconds. Every 60 seconds the radiation background (the dose rate) measured for location, objects, food, etc. is displayed by the smart phone with the nominal accuracy.
There are several types of radiation. Alfa radiation is a flow of heavy particles made of neutrons and protons. This type of radiation becomes hazardous only after entering human body with inhaled air, food or through an open wound. Beta radiation is a flow of negatively charged particles that can penetrate into the skin for 1 – 2 cm. Gamma radiation has the highest penetration power. It can be stopped by a thick lead or concrete slab only.
Radiation hazard is caused by ionizing effect of radiation that transforms atoms and molecules to positively charged ions breaking chemical bonds of molecules of living tissues and causing irreversible changes.
Complete DO-RA set (DO-Ra. Classic, DO-RA.uni, DO-RA.chups). Source: SkRevlew
“Penetration into the core of the technology paradise is possible only through large and old companies connected with close personal relations between their managers rather than their business ties.”
Main DO-RA functions and how to measure radiation with a mobile app:
– Measuring the hourly/daily/weekly/monthly/annual equivalent radiation dose received by an owner of a mobile/smart phone;
– Warning on allowable, maximum and unallowable equivalent radiation dose by audible alarms/messages of a mobile/smart phone: “Normal Dose”, “Maximum Dose”, “Unallowable Dose”.
– Development of trends of condition of organs and systems of an owner of a mobile phone subject to received radiation dose;
– Advising an owner of a mobile/smart phone on prevention measures subject to received radiation dose;
– Receiving data (maps of land, water and other objects) on radiation pollution from radiation monitoring centres collected from DO-RA devices;
– Transferring collected data through wireless connection (Bluetooth 4.0) to any electronic devices within 10 meters.
If a mobile phone is fitted with GPS/GLONASS receiver, DO-RA develops reports on radiation background (dose rate) at location of its owner automatically. Collected data is automatically sent through communication networks (mobile, WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth or wire line) for real-time processing and analysis to the radiation monitoring centre. Such centre for DO-RA devices on the basis of cloud platforms, such as Google App Engine or Microsoft Azure, is planned to be created by this autumn.
The radiation monitoring centre sends data (maps and radiation dose measurements) collected from DO-RA devices and other public sources.
DO-RA net to be created in the nearest future will be of great benefit for the whole mankind.
On the next day following the Forum, I had the meeting with Mr. Mizuno, the President of Honda Electronics at the plant. I made presentation of DO-RA project and device in the R&D centre for Honda engineers and managers. Then the President of the Company conducted a wonderful tour at the Company museum for members of our team. Then we and Company top managers went to the ancient Japanese restaurant with amazing food and furniture.
The visit was completed by execution of NDA and MOU between Honda Electronics, Nisso Boeki and OAO Intersoft Eurasia on DO-RA project development in Japan.
I must say that the MOU was a step for promotion of my project towards production and commercialization. On returning home, our team reviewed all architecture solutions of DO-RA prototypes fitted with Geiger-Muller meter: DO-RA.CIassic-GM, DO-RA.Uni-GM, DO-RA. Ultra-Blue-GM of various sizes. As for now, we delivered several IPC design material sets to Honda Electronics for study and adjustment of components under Japanese standards, as well as for modification of DO-RA. Classic-GM, DO-RA.Uni-GM devices. We agreed with Honda Electronics to mark DO-RA as a Made-in-Japan device with Honda Electronics brand on starting DO-RA production.
“Japanese disposition to details requires the maximum level of justification of offers. Enthusiasm and emotions are rather unfruitful.”
Vladimir Elin with managers of Nisso Boeki (at the left) and Honda Electronics. Source: the private album of Mr. Elin.
After such informative and useful visit to Japan we continue the active development of the Project and applied for the first stage grant in Skolkovo. At the next stage we are planning to create an absolutely new DO-RA device – an ultra-compact module with solid state silicon radiation detector. It will have sufficiently greater efficiency, if compared with Geiger-Muller meter. It is this DO-RA version fitted with the silicon detector that is planned to be produced in Japan jointly with Honda Electronics on completing the relevant R&D.
As for Japanese peculiarities, I was amazed by lack of any infringements, even minor ones, in any sphere of life. For instance, let’s consider the traffic management system – I did not see any accident in the week spent in Tokyo travelling to various locations by taxi. As for other violations, it looks like they are really absent.
Secondly, Japanese disposition to details requires the maximum level of justification of offers. Enthusiasm and emotions are rather unfruitful. Do not be too hopeful, when a Japanese nutates frequently in the course of conversation. It indicates attention and understanding, rather than agreement.
Thirdly, you must make a present, when going to negotiate any issue. Japanese value much any gifts made of natural materials. Initially we wanted to give a DO-RA device within the Russian doll set made of natural wood. Unfortunately, the manufacturer failed to produce it timely; and we had to improvise. We purchased gifts we think to be pleasant for Japanese (wooden boxes, birch bottles and other Russian folk goods.
Instead of any conclusions, I would like to share my findings related to Japanese business. We understood that penetration into the core of the technology paradise is possible only through large and old companies connected with close personal relations between their managers rather than their business ties. Moreover, any actions must be executed by clear and valid wording and documents – at first, you should discuss cooperation, sign documents, explain ideas within R&D centre, conduct marketing research, on the basis of which the risk management program will be developed. The funding is the latest issue to be discussed. The failure to comply with this sequence can destroy all results expected from such business collaboration.