March 9,2022

Gakushuin University & Space BD:
Industry-academia collaboration to jointly develop a curriculum
First university to include “Space Utilization Theory” in curriculum for all students and departments from April 2023
Offering all students “an educational program based on the integration of arts and sciences” and “an opportunity for practical learning” themed on space

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Gakushuin University (Toshima-ku, Tokyo. President: Ichiro Arakawa) and Space BD (Chuo-ku, Tokyo. CEO: Masatoshi Nagasaki), a leading Japanese startup that provides a gateway to space, signed an agreement to collaborate on the joint development of a curriculum themed on “space utilization” to provide students a program integrating arts and sciences and an opportunity for practical learning, with the objective of educating students who will lead society in the future.

As an educational and research program combining knowledge gained through the collaboration and integration of basic and applied studies in humanities, sociology, and natural science, Gakushuin University will start offering a course on “Space Utilization Theory” in 2023 which will be open to all students throughout all departments. Space utilization theory is a new academic study advocated by the university that focuses on the development and utilization of space and all planets, including the Earth.

In preparation for the “Space Utilization Theory” course, the university and Space BD are developing a curriculum under a university-industrial collaboration effort aimed at educating students who will contribute to society. There will be a pragmatic learning opportunity to deepen knowledge through the arts-and-science integrated education and research the university provides, which is complemented by the business aspects that Space BD carries out.

This is the first time a Japanese university entered into a university-industrial collaboration agreement with a venture firm to jointly develop a course about space utilization that will be offered across all departments.


The signing ceremony for the agreement

A December 2021 class on space ventures


[Project Details]

As part of the curriculum development, the three-day special extracurricular class “Space Venture Overview”, which was carried out in 2021, will be given again and a domestic internship program will be offered by a space venture firm. The experience at an actual space business will serve as an opportunity for the interns to develop non-cognitive skills (communication, leadership, decision-making, problem-solving, etc.) that are required in the real world but are difficult to acquire in an academic environment.

Gakushuin University will begin offering a “Space Utlization Theory” course for all students across all departments. The curriculum will be themed on “an educational program integrating arts and sciences” and “an opportunity for practical learning”. In addition to the domestic internship program offered in the previous year, the development of an international internship program will start to nurture students who will be able to lead and expand the space business on a worldwide basis.



In recent years, universities are required to offer a more comprehensive educational program crossing the disciplinary boundaries of arts or sciences and an opportunity for practical learning in order to educate future leaders of society.

Gakushuin University has been focused on offering education that organically links basic education in a broad sense that covers both arts and sciences with diversified, specialized education. Since its inauguration, the university has adopted a ‘one campus’ system and paved the way for an education and research environment where the five faculties (law, economics, letters, science, and international social sciences) as well as the graduate schools come together at one campus, and students pursuing different areas of studies and faculty members devoted to different fields of research can learn together.

In 2018 Space BD was selected as the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) commercial service provider for their first open project, the Minisatellite Launch from International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module KIBO. Since then Space BD has been serving one-stop services for prospective project participants, providing total support from formulating a business plan to technical implementation. The company has developed and implemented space-oriented educational programs, including the “AOKI Global Entrepreneurship Program”, jointly carried out by men’s wear retailer AOKI targeting junior high school students, and the “Space Education Program”, developed for senior high school students in cooperation with the Clark Memorial International High School and the University of Tokyo.

Gakushuin University and Space BD collaboration on the development of the space utilization theory course began in 2021. In December 2021, a three-day special class, “Space Venture Overview”, was offered to students, where Space BD CEO Masatoshi Nagasaki lectured on the current situation of the space business as well as the journey leading up to the founding of the company. The class also included lectures given by engineers on space technology and business, and a workshop with presentations on space business.


■Comment by Ichiro Arakawa, President of Gakushuin University

Space has been a subject of research and development mainly by the public sector and led by science and technology experts. The utilization of space is already being explored by telecommunication and other businesses, and its application will expand in scope and increase exponentially. This is evident from the number of commercial firms who see a business opportunity and have started to participate in space projects. At the same time, social activities are beginning to take shape in space too. In order to understand how personal relationships should be built in an environment that is different from the Earth, legal, political, economic, social, psychological, and various other perspectives will be needed. It is my wish that the young generation, who will undoubtedly be involved with space in some form in the future, will start thinking about such issues now.


■Comment by Masatoshi Nagasaki, CEO of Space BD Inc.

It is a great pleasure to collaborate with Gakushuin University under an industry-academia agreement to develop a course on space utilization theory. Space offers infinite business opportunities, yet it is still unpredictable and difficult to forecast as a business. We hope to share with the students the real challenges the space ventures face in business, repeating many trials and errors along the way, and develop the program as we gain experience and learn together with the students in a real business environment.


■About Gakushuin University

Gaushuin University is comprised of the Faculties of Law, Economics, Letters, Science, and International Social Sciences. “Space Utilization Theory” has been adopted as part of the mid-to-long-term “Gakushuin University Grand Design 2039” project that commenced in 2022.
A special extracurricular “Space Venture Overview” class was given in December 2021 as part of the president-approved program aimed at “developing a people-centered society through advanced research based on the integration of arts and sciences”. In the past years, the university also engaged in a diverse range of space-related education and research, including the establishment of the “Space Resources Utilization Project Aimed at a Sustainable Earth Environment” as part of the program to study and try to achieve Gakushuin’s unique SDGs through the integration of arts and sciences.

Gakushuin University
1-5-1 Mejiro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
President: Ichiro Arakawa
Founded: April 1947


■About Space BD Inc.

Space BD is a leading Japanese startup focusing on business development to drive the commercialization of space. Since its foundation in 2017, Space BD has provided extensive transportation methods to space and has offered a one-stop service for customers who wish to utilize the ISS and other opportunities in space by helping design a business plan and providing practical and technical support for their execution. With technology-based sales and business development capabilities as its cornerstone, and our staff with diverse career backgrounds providing comprehensive customer services, Space BD supports various private-public initiatives, business transformation programs, and educational projects. As of August 2022, Space BD’s performance record marked over 50 satellite projects and over 100 orders.


■For further information about this program, please contact:

  • Gakushuin University
  • Public Relations Centre: Kawasaki
  • Mail:
  • Tel: 03-5992-1008
  • Space BD Inc.
  • Public Relations: Hara
  • Mail:
  • Tel : 03-6264-7177