Hoping to bring the sustainable and world-changing technologies of the Gundam universe to the real world, Bandai Namco has launched GUNDAM Open Innovation, a new initiative which seeks to “solicit new ideas and technologies for societal issues” through the use of the world famous mecha franchise’s brand identity.
A part of Bandai Namco’s GUNDAM UNIVERSAL CENTURY DEVELOPMENT ACTION (GUDA), a sustainability project which aims to use the Gundam IP to promote “activities for the realization of a long-term and sustainable society”, GUNDAM Open Innovation aims to provide a space “where new ideas and technologies can come together to face various societal concerns stemming from the human population and the environment.”
As explained by Bandai Namco in a press release announcing the initiative, “The ‘GUNDAM Open Innovation’ project seeks to gather new ideas and technologies from fans and external partners worldwide in an effort to address concerns stemming from the human population and the environment by using the ‘GUNDAM’ brand.”
Speaking to how “an underlying theme in ‘GUNDAM’ is how humankind faces the vast frontiers of space, not as individuals, but as an entire race,” Bandai Namco further noted that the GUDA project was inspired by their belief that “the messages brought up in ‘GUNDAM’ that touch upon the human population and the environment resonates with many current-day concerns.”
“Hence, the Group will be taking action for children of the future as it works with fans and external partners in bringing about a better world by learning from the fictional era in GUNDAM in preparation for a real-world ‘Universal Century,” they added.
According to the official GUNDAM Open Innovation website, Bandai Namco is particularly “looking broadly for innovative ideas and technologies, related to sustainable themes/domains that could help future society deal with the same problems as the Gundam world, such as over-population, environmental destruction, and space colonization.”
GUNDAM Open Innovation is the second such Gundam sustainability project put forth by Bandai Namco in 2021 following their April launch of the Gunpla Recycling Project, which “seeks to gather from fans the empty runners that remain after building Gunpla models, and to recycle them into new plastic model products by using the latest chemical recycling technology.”
As noted by Bandai Namco, an open application window for the initiative will open in mid-July and feature two deadlines, one in Mid-August and another Mid-September respectively. Following the closing of the application window, the company will announce their selected partners by the end of the year, ultimately aiming to provide annual updates on their projects through 2025.
What do you make of Bandai Namco’s hopes of bringing our universe into a Gundam-inspired future? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!