The evidence for policy making has improved dramatically over the last 20 years, but it is necessary to consider what is still lacking. When assessing Japan's science and technology policy over the past 20 years, the problems include declines in the global share of scientific papers, in the quality of research, and in industrial competitiveness especially in advanced technology fields. Underlying these problems is "stabilization". The ranking of domestic universities has been fixed, challenges to new research areas have declined, and domestic orientation has increased. The challenge for policy research is how to form evidence for policies that respond to the problems that Japan is facing or should arise in the future.
This special issue is summarizing the achievements of the working group (WG) on the evidence-based formulation of the Science and Technology Basic Plan.
The official discussion on the formulation of the 6th Science and Technology Basic Plan is expected to begin in the second half of 2019. In November 2018, the Japan Society for Research Policy and Innovation Management established the WG in advance to review the policy-making process and contents of the past and coming Basic Plans. Base on the result, WG intends to make recommendations for formulating the 6th plan.
About 60 participants voluntarily acted as members of the WG. The WG consists of six sub-group; 1) Transition of Science and Technology Basic Plan and Future Prospect, 2) Science Technology and Innovation Policy Making System and Processes in Japan, 3) Research Capability and Academic System/Public Sector, 4) Formation of New Research Areas and Its Acceleration, 5) Digitalization and Innovation Policy, 6) Current Situation and Challenges of Japan's Innovation Eco-system Surrounding Industries. The following articles are prepared by each sub-group.
This article overviews the past Science and Technology Basic Plans and foresees what should be taken into consideration as a framework for the next plan. The challenges left by the past plans include system-level reforms of the public research sectors, demand-side policies such as start-up grants and public procurement, cross-sectoral human resource exchanges and development policies, and sharing the policy-related information among various stakeholders. The 6th plan needs to include improvement of the quality of management in order to increase the productivity, as Japan's research capabilities are predicted to decline in a decade. Also to be included in the 6th plan are new innovation policies that transform social system with making governance more agile and moving to the use of social experiments with monitoring policies.
This paper reviews existing papers and materials, and overviews features of the status quo and issues regarding the science, technology and innovation (STI) policy making system and processes in Japan in a few decades, as well as those regarding the whole institution related to policies in Japan beyond STI policies, based on the characteristics of STI policies <i>per se</i> and recent fundamental trends in research, technology, and innovation. Following the findings, this paper provides suggestions for development that are intended to contribute to the formulation of the sixth Science and Technology Basic Plan and so on.
Research performed at universities and public research institutions are crucial for the creation of new industry and for the enhancement of quality of life of the people. It contributes to improve the scientific literacy of the people and to develop human resources for research by stimulating scientific curiosity of the people. However, it is pointed out that research capability in Japan has been declined in recent years. In this paper, analyses of current situation of research activities at universities and public institutions are presented. The discussions made in this paper include the followings: (1) recognition of situation of research activities, (2) research funding, (3) governance and evaluation of universities and research institutions, (4) research performance, (5) human resources. Several recommendations for the improvement of research capacity in Japan through comparison with major overseas countries and through analyses of current research systems in Japan are presented.
This research investigates and reorganizes the concept and formation process of new research areas (NRAs), and discusses the science, technology and innovation (STI) policy for accelerating NRAs' formation. NRAs have no clear definition, and the concept is diversified. Then, this paper begins with working hypotheses that there are two types of NRAs driven by multi-discipline dynamics (bottom-up type) and social vision (top-down type). We reorganize the concept and formation processes with multi case studies. Next, foresight process and governance mechanism of NRAs on STI policy is examined. Finally, this paper concludes how the STI policy can control NRAs and enhance the social receptivity for the outcomes from NRAs.
Digitalization means fundamentally changing the framework of science, technology and social industry, and the services and customs that have been developed in that framework, beyond the mere digitization of existing systems and services. In other words, it is accelerating the transformation of science, industry, and society toward the digital native era, and there are signs of discontinuous change in the way universities, corporations, economies, and legal systems work. In such a situation of change, the framework of innovation policy also needs to change drastically. Although it is still fluid as of 2019, digitalization is also necessary in the creation of innovation policies, and it is foreseen that a mechanism with inclusiveness, immediacy, flexibility, etc. and small and quick trials according to the development of ICT will be necessary in the future.
In the past 20 years, Japan's innovation eco-system surrounding industries have been dynamically changed. The most eminent ones are various institutional development for facilitating collaboration among industries and academia for more co-working and co-creation, and encouragement of start-ups and other forms of open innovations. On the other hand, there is a view that "Disruptive innovation is stagnated in Japan compared with other countries," and it is true that US and European companies take an advantageous position in new business creation in the field of ICT, such as AI, big data, and Fintech, although some of their technologies are Japan in origin. Under such a circumstance, the authors summarize the current situation and challenges of Japan's innovation eco-system surrounding industries, for achieving important agenda such as Society 5.0, Sustainable Development Goals of United Nations, and activation of local economies, then compile policy implications and proposals.
In recent years, the Japanese government has promoted agricultural diversification as the "sixth industrialization" for development. Previous studies have highlighted this sixth industrialization in terms of profitability and productivity. However, the lack of studies that have considered how to manage it means that there is room for further discussion. The present study focuses on how to effectively manage this diversification. In addition, it analyzes the sixth industrialization from a narrow sense of diversification and a broad perspective.
Results suggest that it is an important factor in management to not excessively broaden the extent of diversification, both management in the broad and narrow sense. In addition, the possession of processed items was found to also lead to the exploitation of new sales channels for produce, along with any other product, as new synergistic effects.
An important role of scientific knowledge in innovation is well known as a factor which provides a start point for novel technological trajectories. However, a relationship between scientific knowledge and self-reinforcement of technological trajectories has not been understood. A technological trajectory using CHO (Chinese Hamster Ovary) cell in production of bio- pharmaceuticals is self-reinforced in path-dependent manner under design hierarchies from recombinant pharmaceuticals to antibody products. Moreover, novel virus information increased ex post manner under incertitude of knowledge concerning virus safety against production cells strengthened the trust to CHO cell relatively because of its existing operating experiences. The incertitude of scientific knowledge for virus safety enhanced the self-enforcement to CHO cell and induced opportunity loss to develop a novel technology to manufacture antibody products more efficiently. It is important to consider incertitude of scientific knowledge in innovation in order to prevent opportunity loss for a novel technological trajectory.