Large-scale university–industry collaborations that are worth some 10 billion yen and run for 10 years have begun to appear in Japan since the mid-2010s. This paper focuses on the drug development project being conducted by Chugai Pharmaceutical Co, Ltd. and Osaka University, which is a pioneering case of this kind of collaboration, and explores the background of how this project came to be. For the companies involved in university–industry collaborations, the most important point for consideration is generally whether or not they will achieve results (from the university’s contributions) that are sufficient to justify their investment. For Chugai Pharmaceutical, the deciding factor in making its 10-billion-yen investment was that Osaka University had been selected for the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and had built up research capabilities to make a sufficient contribution to Chugai. In that sense, we could say that this collaboration came into being because of the government’s support in building the innovation base and because of switching over from government sponsorship to corporate sponsorship after the operation of the base was on track. This so-called government-support-based, large-scale university–industry collaboration is a potential role model for university–industry collaborations in the future.
Company A’s Project R is a freemium-model game business wherein the company makes money by (a) obtaining a large number of users who play its game essentially for free and (b) converting a small number of them into paying users. In Project R, paying ability boosting items were added to increase profits. Doing this initially increased monthly sales by 20%; however, after two months, the playing time of existing non-paying users declined, and more new non-paying users abandoned the game as well. It seems that the addition of paying ability boosting items could shorten a game’s life span by destroying the balance between (a) and (b) and causing a long-term decline in revenue. This paper runs a simulation to verify this.
Fuel economy competition has heated up as a result of the oil crises of the 1970s, the environmental issues occurring since the 1990s, and the Japanese government’s economic policies, so that fuel economy has become a key competition index. However, for engineers who measure fuel economy, it is (i) a vague and unstable metric that fluctuates because of a number of factors and (ii) a quality that does not affect safety and so is not subject to recall. Competitive pressure regarding fuel economy led to arbitrary measurements. This eventually became normalized, and since 2016, cases of organizational corruption in the Japanese automotive industry have been uncovered one after another.