The institution of the university, which had begun as a self-governing organization of students in Bologna in the 12th century, has undergone many transformations over the years, which is the fate of the university system. In the nineteenth century, as the utility of knowledge and the value of technology created by academia became enormous, a new structure was born in which the state mainly supported university research. On the other hand, as Max Weber observed about American academia, in the early 20th century, there was a growing expectation for universities to have financial autonomy and agile management of research. In Japan as well, there were already growing voices among professors of imperial universities in the Meiji era that the autonomy of universities should be considered from the standpoint of financial independence. It is now worth considering the historical lessons of this.
This special issue will focus on the "transformation of the university" and give an overview of its historical background and what it has brought about. Based on the changes in systems and policies surrounding universities over the past 30 to 40 years, we will organize and examine how universities have changed and what has happened as a result from various perspectives. In particular, we will approach the issue from the angles of "researchers," "universities," and "industry". This issue basically depends on a review of literature and data as research methodology, but also includes interviews and historical case studies.
Universities are "knowledge bases" that create new knowledge and introduce the world's most advanced knowledge into society in a country's innovation system, and play an important role in developing highly specialized human resources such as scientists and engineers. This paper examines how the human resource development system of Japanese universities has changed in response to the needs of society and industry from the period of high economic growth to the present, focusing on the science and technology human resources.
This paper focuses on "researchers" at universities, and provides an overview of the historical changes in the researcher training system and the changing environment for researchers, especially from around the 1980s to the present, based on literature and data. In particular, it will focus on the training system for researchers, the labor market and career paths of Ph.D. holders, changes in faculty organization, research time, and university staff supporting research. The researcher training policy of the past 40 years has produced young researchers who cannot find stable jobs at universities even after obtaining Ph.D. and who have no prospects for the future. In addition, industry has not been actively recruiting doctoral students. On the other hand, researchers who have found jobs at universities also face a challenging research environment, and the severity of the situation increases. It is not easy to conclude that these consequences depend on a series of university reforms but the decline in Japan's research capabilities has been pointed out worldwide. In light of the fact that it is researchers who support scientific research, there is a need to redesign the research system from the perspective of researchers.
This paper examines how the recent changes in higher education policy and science and technology policy have changed the research environment, how they have affected research activities, and the issues that can be seen from the field of research by means of qualitative research. We interviewed 21 researchers with more than 20 years of research experience who have actually conducted research during the period of change in higher education policy and science and technology policy over the past 30 years, in order to pick up the reality from the perspective of "researchers" that is difficult to see from literature and data. In light of the results of these surveys, international comparisons were made with Europe, particularly with Germany, the current situation in Japan was compared, and issues were discussed.
While universities have been deregulated over the past three decades, the burden of audits and evaluations from the government and the market has increased, and universities have had to deal with them in a ritualistic way as called as the "audit society". In addition, the funding system that encourages university reform has hindered stable management and created a situation of exhaustion. However, a new image of university is now being sought, a "transformative university" that will lead social transformation within a new autonomous contractual relationship between the state and the university. In this paper, we will first look back at the university reform policies of the past few decades to examine the relationship between the state and universities and the image of universities. We will also examine the structural problems of the allocation of governmental funds to universities and the evaluation of university performance.
In this paper I review prior academic debates on knowledge transfer between university and industry, that is University-Industry Cooperation (UIC), and describe its history in Japan. Before the 1990s there were no systematic UIC in Japan and a result of basic research was transferred informally through already existing personal network. In the later 1990s, Technology Licensing Organizations (TLOs) were established to connect university invention and corporate innovation. In 2004, Japanese national universities were incorporated and UIC headquarters began to operate inside university. After the Hiranuma Plan in 2001 aiming at 1,000 university-led start-ups in 3 years and its achievement, several successful cases were created and are widely known. In making a UIC policy in the 2020s, we expect that TLOs, UIC headquarters and their specialized staffs, would be a producer to create a new business and innovation based on the results of basic research and to increase the value of the knowledge originated from university.
This paper attempts to demonstrate that university-industry (U-I) linkages take multifaceted forms simultaneously spanning across the whole spectrum beyond the usual understanding of industry-funded joint research and commercialization of intellectual property rights. It unveils a variety of informal knowledge-transfer channels, most of which had rarely been investigated. The analyses are on the various records regarding multiple types of U-I collaborations between Mutoh-Umemura Laboratory of the Department of Architecture of the University of Tokyo and various companies and corporate scientists during 1941–1977. The channels analyzed include "consulting," "laboratory equipment and materials granted by companies," "accepting corporate scientists into university labs for training purposes," "employment of graduate students and their continued research in corporate labs," "recruiting university professors to industry labs," "regular research meetings," and "relationship cultivation among professors, alumni, and corporate scientists."
Mark S. Granovetter's "The strength of weak ties," known for its paradox that "weak ties have more social functions than strong ties," has contributed to academic progress in various fields. This is truly an epoch-making paper.
His key findings in this paper can be summarized as follows. First, as a premise of the proposition, Granovetter proposed a viewpoint that focuses on the strength of the relationship (dyadic ties) between two parties. Next, the function of transitivity caused by strong ties is discussed. And it is also emphasized that the process of interpersonal networks should be analyzed as a bridge between micro- and macro-level social theories. In this essay, I will discuss the importance of this paper mainly from the viewpoint of innovation management, focusing on these three points.
The number of business establishments in the automobile parts industry located in the Central Japan area has reduced by nearly half over two decades. While the business situation was expected to intensify in the late-2010s, there are some exceptional companies having successful high performances. This paper focused on such high performers of Tier2 firms in the area, and then it described eight Tier2 firms' strategies as the case studies based on our interview with their top managers. Furthermore, organizing the results in order to extract a mid-range theory of the strategy, this paper applied QCA (qualitative comparative analysis) to the interview data. As a result, we identified the strategy configurations adopted by high-performing Tier2 firms and classified them into four types. This paper identifies the strategy combinations that are likely to be effective for small and medium-sized firms such as Tier2 firms.
As scientific research and business utilizing satellites are spreading worldwide, strategic securing of national interests of satellite orbits is an important issue. Satellites are registered and managed in accordance with the technical standards and operational rules stipulated in the Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), but the actual status of satellites' deployment is not widely understood by the general public due to the high expertise of their related data. On the other hand, various efforts are underway to publish government-owned data and make data freely available, and among these, those efforts to visualize and publish data in a form close to the actual situation are still on their way. Therefore, this paper will clarify the actual usage of satellite orbits and consider how to solve issues to strategically secure their national interests by focusing on and visualizing buried data such as orbital positions from specialized datasets related to international standards for satellites.
Japan's science, technology, and innovation policies have reached a major turning point in response to the progress of social globalization, digitalization, AI, and life sciences, as well as the trend of rapid social transformation through innovation. The "Basic Act on Science and Technology" which stipulated the basic matters for policies related to the promotion of science and technology in Japan substantially revised the "Basic Act on Science, Technology and Innovation." This change was the first substantial reformation of the law in a quarter of a century. Based on this amendment, the Basic Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation was approved by the Cabinet in March 2021. This paper describes the background and history of the law. It also provides a brief overview of the Sixth Science and Technology Innovation Basic Plan, and summarizes the status of our response to the issues and recommendations for the plan as presented in our journal, the Journal of Science Policy and Research Management, Vol. 34, No. 3, and in the Annual Conference. The plan consists of three pillars: strengthening of innovation, strengthening of research capabilities, and education and human resource development. Although there is no major difference in principle between the issues and recommendations presented by the conference and those described in the Basic Plan, it is thought that further discussions are necessary for concrete measures.