Click for next page ( 38


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 37
Appendix Keynote Addresses The U.S.-Japan Dialog on the Working Environment for Research in Universities was cochaired by Dr. Roland Schmitt, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and formerly chief scientist at General Electric, and Dr. Sogo Okamura, professor at lblyo Denld University and former dean of the School of Engineering at Tokyo University. The workshop, held at the Beckman Center in Irvine, California, was opened with keynote addresses by Drs. Schmitt and Okamura on January 9, 1989. The texts of those addresses follow. KEYNOTE ADDRESS Roland] Schmitt President Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute We are embarking on an unusual activity. Our objective is to see if we can find new ways of cooperating in research to the benefit of both our nations. Now, we already have at least four decades of evolving relations in this arena; so it may seem curious that the topic is suddenly of such great importance. But the reason is simple. Our two nations have entered a new era of comparative strength and comparative advantage in our respective capabilities in high technology industries and in research in natural sciences and engineering. In the last two decades Japan has 37

OCR for page 37
38 emerged as a predominant economic force based in no small degree on its ability to develop, produce, and market technology-intensive products. The task we have in the next two days is to see how this situation affects the modes of cooperation between our nations in university research. Limiting ourselves to a discussion of university research means that we are ignoring some of the most important issues of reciprocity and parity between our nations, although later workshops will cover them. The distri- bution of research capability among the various institutions universities, industries, and government labs is different in our two nations. Thus the improvement of productive research relationships between our two nations goes much beyond the topic of this workshop. We might agree on new cooperation in university research that would not, in fact, contribute a great deal to the solution of the broad problem. So I would first like to address some of the broader issues that surround that of university research. We should start by reviewing some of the differences that now exist. Graduate education in universities is on a larger scale in the United States than in Japan. In 1983, the number of Ph.D.s in engineering awarded as a result of graduate work in universities was 489 in Japan, 2,781 in the United States. Masters degrees, similarly based, were 7,703 in Japan, 18,642 in the United States. In this same year, the number of bachelor's degrees awarded in engineering were about the same in each country, about 70,000. These differences are a reflection of the fact that Japan has many fewer graduate students in total in its university system than the United States. The differences in scale of graduate academic research in the two countries may, in part, cause the imbalance in flow of research workers between the two. In 1986, for example, 23,334 Japanese researchers came to the United States while only 3,633 U.S. researchers went to Japan. The exchange of researchers takes place between all institutions, not just universities. But, any way you look at it, the flow of scientific and technical people and information is very one-sided today. The condition reflects the realities of the past, however, not those of the present and future. Japan's strategy for technical knowledge has been similar to its strategy with other resources. Being a land of limited natural resources, Japan has learned to live and to prosper by its wits and its energy. It imports resources, it adds value, it uses and exports the resulting products. It has done the same thing with scientific knowledge; importing it, adding value, using and exporting it in products. But, importing knowledge is different from importing coal, iron ore, or oil. Knowledge is brought back by people, not in cargo ships or tankers. Thus, Japan has sent legions of people abroad to acquire and bring back this knowledge. The United States followed a similar strategy in the last century and early part of this one. As those people who had gone abroad from the United States to acquire scientific and technical knowledge returned from

OCR for page 37
39 Europe, they brought back new capabilities as well as new knowledge. And these capabilities found a rich cultural soil in which to grow and prosper our strong heritage of exploration, of moving into new geograph- ical frontiers, and of pioneering. Our propensity for pioneering, added to our new found capability in science and technology, resulted in an outpour- ing of new discoveries, inventions, products, and industries, beyond those of any prior period of history. Japan, too, with its returning researchers has brought back to its shores capabilities as well as knowledge. But those capabilities, lodged in a different cultural environment, have produced a different result. They have produced an outpouring of innovative improvements, modifications, and new generations of products that have captured dominant positions in world markets. In a sense, the cultural propensity of Japan for perfection, for step-by-step improvement, was ideally suited for the style of innovation needed in these phases of industrial evolution. Today, as Japan talks of moving more and more toward basic research, I believe it is an open question of whether or not the results will be similar to the earlier experience in the United States, given the quite different cultural soil nurturing the efforts. I will be interested in hearing the views of our Japanese colleagues. Another key question that must be answered is "Where will Japan strengthen its capability in basic and/or pioneering research?" Will it be primarily in academic institutions or will it be in government labs or industry? Attempts are being made on all these fronts but it is not clear that universities will be the principal locus of growth in such research. We need to hear from our Japanese colleagues on this. The answer will Neatly affect the conclusions of this workshop. The broad issue that confronts us today is how to ensure appropriate scientific and technical exchange between our nations, and the specific issues of this workshop must be addressed within that context. The toughest part of this challenge may rest with Japan. U.S. institu- tions generally, and U.S. campuses particularly, have a long history of being multinational, multicultural, and multiracial. Japanese institutions do not. As Japan's science and technology becomes ever stronger, it will have to strive more and more vigorously to ensure that foreign nations have ample opportunities to participate in its system as full partners, as equals. In past decades, Japan has benefited from its access to the research and aca- demic institutions of the United States and Europe. If Japan now becomes a leader in generating new knowledge, inventions, and discoveries with commercial potential, it will want to reciprocate with open laboratories, open faculties, and open institutions. The Japanese have had over three decades of experience in extracting knowledge from Western institutions C, J

OCR for page 37
40 that welcomed them. During most of that time there was no strong reason for the Western nations to ask or pursue reciprocity. ~day, there is. The present imperative for the West to learn from Japan has sprung on us quickly and with full force. We cannot take three decades to learn how to do it. Moreover, the West is faced with cultural and institutional traditions in Japan that are not congenial to foreign attempts to become a part of their fabric. Alex DeAngelis, head of the National Science Foundation's Tokyo Office, has remarked on the "sense of distance and separateness toward outsiders which is . . . a longstanding motif of Japanese society." We have a great challenge and we do not have a lot of time to resolve it. DeAngelis points out that for all of the extensive courtesy accorded guests in Japanese institutions, `'as long as [this] courtesy implies always treating outsiders as 'honored guests,' who by definition deserve better and special treatment than everyone else, then courtesy will also be used as a tool to keep people at a distance." Thus the job is daunting but immeasurably important. And it must be judged by results, not by expressed intent! It will not be sufficient to announce programs that seem to be responsive if they do not in fact work. Good intentions are not enough. Japan and the United States together must find and promote programs that work because such programs will benefit us all in the long run. This meeting today is one of a number of new activities that have grown out of dialog between the U.S. Academies and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. It is also in the spirit of the 1988 U.S.- Japan Pronto Summit agreement for further cooperation in science and technology. Getting started on these initiatives on both sides of the Pacific is important and we should strenuously try to make them work. But, should any of them fail, we cannot allow anyone to conclude that nothing will work. Instead, we must keep trying: the task is to find programs that do work. The effort will certainly be beneficial to Japan's own interests. Appro- priate steps to further internationalize its research system, and especially the academic research system, will also strengthen those systems, jUSt as they have strengthened U.S. research systems. Some of the factors commonly cited as impediments to a strong academic research system in Japan such as the dominance of the koza or chaired professor, especially in the national universities will have to be corrected. A more congenial environment for bright, young researchers such as Professor ~negawa will have to be established. Greater accommodation of interdisciplinary research, easier entry into entirely new areas of research, and more flexibility in industrial interactions are desirable. Thus, the imperatives of internationalization and those of a strength- ened capability in basic and pioneering research are compatible and syner- gistic. Alex DeAngelis, again, has summarized the objective well in saying that "the primary goal should not be to attract foreigners per se but to

OCR for page 37
41 create a research environment which in and of itself will naturally attract the best minds from all over." A strong system of research that is accessible to foreigners, and that foreigners participate in meaningfully, implies dealing with the language issue. I believe it can be handled by additional language courses in both the United States and Japan. Far more important is the issue of where Japan's research strengths will grow. If basic, precompetitive research grows mainly in industrial labs or in programs, such as the International Superconductivity Technology Center (ISTEC), that are expensive and inaccessible to a broad range of U.S. researchers, including academics, reciprocity will be hard to achieve. Thus it would seem that strengthening an accessible academic research system should be a high priority and it should be an academic system tightly linked to industry. I will give other reasons in a moment for why I think this is so. The alternative-growing capability in inaccessible institutions-could have a bad effect on both of our countries. Let us imagine, for a moment, that at some future time the balance of payments for royalties and license fees on intellectual property should reverse, with Japan becoming a net exporter in this segment as it is in so many technology-based products. And suppose this happens without achieving reciprocity in access to research. Should that come to pass, I fear there would be a political backlash in the United States that would make it difficult to maintain free, open access to our universities a development adverse to both our countries. This brings me to the subject of our own research universities. What changes and issues are they facing and what will be the effect on future exchanges between the United States and Japan? In fact, U.S. research universities face a future of immense challenges and I am not confident that they are yet prepared for it. The future will be less benign toward these great institutions than has the past. And the fundamental reason is that resources human and financial- will not be as plentiful as in the past. Moreover, many universities are ill-prepared, in governance, attitude, and management, to meet this future. Today, I cannot begin to cover the full range of issues implied by these brief comments, so I want to limit myself to the issue of human resources. Today the number of high school graduates in the United States is dropping- by one-third over a decade in some parts of the country. In spite of this drop, higher education in the United States has been heartened by growing applications to college, indicating a higher fraction of high school graduates are going to college. That is fine for the moment, but there are limits to that solution of the problem. For us here today, the more serious problem is that fewer and fewer of these high school graduates express an interest in science and engineering. Among college freshmen, those interested in a science major have dropped by one-third over the

OCR for page 37
42 past two decades. And more recently, those interested in engineering have dropped by one-fourth between 1982 and 1987. So even today, in a number of schools where total applications are still growing, applications for science and engineering are dropping. Thus we face the prospect of a diminishing fraction of a diminishing supply of students going into science and engineering. And once in the "pipeline," as we call it, the attrition rates are high, especially at the bachelor's level. We thus have too few domestic graduate students in science and engineering and have come to depend on a strong flow of foreign nationals for our graduate student population. And this has now carried forward to the stage of young faculty and young researchers in our industrial labs, where we are more and more dependent on foreign born individuals to fill these. For example, by now, 50 percent of U.S. engineering faculty below the age of 35 are foreign born. In fact, the United States has become dependent on the import of technical talent. This situation is getting a fair amount of attention these days, and it may well be that, within the next few years, U.S. educators will develop-and U.S. legislators and industry fund some good programs to change these trends by increasing the numbers in the science and technology "pipeline." But even the most successful programs will not turn the situation around quickly enough to eliminate the dependency in the near future. The net effect of this is that U.S. research universities must and will continue to strongly welcome foreign students. And they have been coming in growing numbers from the Pacific Rim- especially at the graduate school level. As recently as 1980, the number of foreign undergraduates in U.S. universities outnumbered foreign graduates by two to one. By 1987, the number of foreign graduates exceeded undergraduates by 14 percent. This shift has been driven largely by the influx of Pacific Rim students while students from Africa and the Middle East have dropped. Thus, competing with any move to limit access to U.S. universities by noncooperating foreign countries will be the economic and human resource imperatives I have described. How would the U.S. balance these opposing forces, should it come to pass? It probably depends on how the public at large and its elected representatives feel at the time. In the extreme case one can imagine the equivalent of trade negotiations to determine bilaterally, country by country, what the exchanges will be. It is a situation that I hope we can avoid. Finally, among the many other trends on the U.S. academic scene that might affect future exchanges between our nations, I want to dwell on one: the relationships between U.S. universities and U.S. industry. Support of research in U.S. universities by industry has steadily grown, from about $200 million (1987 dollars) in 1973 to over $700 million, or from 3 percent of academic research and development (R&D) to over 6 percent in 1987. Although this fraction is still small, its growth is indicative

OCR for page 37
43 of its importance to industry. Moreover, the magnitude of the support is far from representing the whole of industry-academic linkages. Much government supported research on campuses such as that of the U.S. Department of Defense is strongly linked to industry. And universities have been the source of much entrepreneurial activity-campus-originated ventures, again R&D for industrial development. For a moment I want you to think about this campus-based, industry- linked R&D as America's form of cooperative industrial R&D. I know that is perhaps an oversimplified point of view, but bear with me for a moment. U.S. antitrust laws severely limited the amount of direct, precompetitive cooperation among U.S. firms. But corporate sponsorship of academic research, the formation of industrial affiliate programs on campuses, the use of professors as consultants, sending industrial researchers back to campus, and spinning oR entrepreneurial venture firms are all legitimate activities. They have thus constituted the U.S. form of cooperative industrial R&D. It has several notable characteristics: it is relatively open with only modest direct advantages to the sponsors and participants compared to others; it is relatively inexpensive to participate; and it is not usually highly focused. The Japanese forms of cooperative industrial R&D have been quite different. Although such programs have not been the dominant factor in Japanese success that many in the United States believe, there have been productive instances. In part, cooperative programs like the Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) effort that ran from about 1976 to 1980 provided Japanese industry with research results that U.S. firms often get from academic research in the United States. But, in contrast with the relative openness of U.S. R&D, the Japanese programs were closed. As I have already remarked, the current version of such a program, ISTEC, though open is expensive. This picture is another example of asymmetry in our systems that we will have to deal with in promoting further exchanges. What does the future hold? I believe that cooperative industrial R&D in the United States will grow for two reasons: first the antitrust laws are now more congenial to such enterprises and, second, the potential shortages of human resources for R&D in the United States may give additional impetus to such cooperation. Indeed, the trend has begun, with MCC and SEMATECH being prime examples. I hope that in the United States, this growth of cooperative industrial R&D will continue to be tightly coupled to university research because the linkage enriches the campus environment and the education of our students. It will also help solve the shortage of human resources. But we are going to have to be inventive in finding ways to preserve these linkages because industry will be moving into areas of cooperation in which the

OCR for page 37
44 complete openness of traditional campus research may not be appropriate. We also need to make sure that this growth is not at the expense of the past productive arrangements and in fact adds to them. But, either way, U.S. industry may look more closely at Japanese participation in such programs. If it is not different from the past, and we do not achieve reciprocity of R&D exchanges in some other way, then we are going to have problems. I would like to suggest that there are two Japanese strategies that would contribute productively to establishing a balance. One, of course, is to strengthen academic research in Japan, and, as Alex DeAngelis suggests "the primary goal should . . . be to create a research environment which in and of itself will naturally attract the best minds from all over." Doing this would inevitably increase the number of U.S. researchers in Japanese universities. But there may be a complementary way of partly affecting a more equitable flow of R&D between the two countries and that is through the kind of people sent from one country to the other. Heretofore, Japan has sent researchers to the United States in large numbers who primarily intend to learn new things and bring new research results back to Japan. But Japan might help equalize the flow by sending senior researchers in larger numbers to U.S. universities people who could bring the most advanced results of Japanese research from industrial and government labs so U.S. campuses. U.S. universities would be an elective way of disseminating such expertise. This would be a means of partly equalizing the flow of research that could be productive almost immediately. In conclusion, I have tried to present the challenge facing us today as we seek ways to increase the equitable exchange of academic researchers. I have also looked at a couple of key features of the U.S. academic scene that bear on this exchange and have made a couple of suggestions. The challenge facing us is great, but it matches the benefits that would ensue from success. If we and the subsequent workshops in this series come forth with new ideas to improve the exchanges between our nations, both of us will benefit immeasurably. If we fail to address the present issue and fail to achieve the result we all desire, the consequences will be bad for both of us. Failure will cause additional walls to be built around the R&D of each country. This would be bad for both of us. We must not fail.

OCR for page 37
45 KEYNOTE ADDRESS Sogo Okamura Professor Tokyo Deny University I am pleased to be addressing such an important and engaging subject important because it contributes to human development, engaging in the sense that it needs more attention so that research can flourish in a fertile environment. 1b help us in our discussion of the differences and similarities in the working environment for university research in Japan and the United States, I would like to outline some aspects of the research environment in Japan, including government policies, the culture of aca- demic research, the research funding system, university-industry relations, and international cooperation. SCIENCE POLICY AND UNIVERSITY RESEARCH IN JAPAN Japan's education system was reformed after World War II. Since then, economic development has brought about the expansion and popularization of higher education. Increases in the number of students in higher educa- tion have not only elevated Japan's intellectual level, but also contributed to training the manpower required by industry. As higher education grew more popular, what were once research institutions increasingly became educational institutions. In its efforts to expand higher education, Mon- busho (the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture) focused more on establishing new universities in provincial areas than on promoting research excellence. Through this policy several universities that were commonly ac- knowledged as centers of excellence before the war suffered reductions in financial and human resources. Moreover, Japanese society's strong feelings against discriminatory funding have created a system in which all universities are treated equally. We cannot, therefore, classify Japanese universities as "research" or "teach- ing" universities. As a result, university faculty are expected to engage in research (considered an integral part of their activities) with "outdated equipment and rundown facilities," and diluted research funds. As of May 1987, there were 475 universities in Japan. Of these, 96 were national universities established by Monbusho, 37 were public universities set up by prefectural or municipal governments, and 342 were private institutions. Of the 475 universities, 288 had graduate schools, 198 of which included a Ph.D. program.

OCR for page 37
46 Monbusho's Science Council has held intensive discussions about ~m- proving the working environment for university research. These discussions resulted in two reports. Basic Policies for the Promotion of Science (October 1973) covered: 1. improvement and reformation of the research system, 2. expansion of research funding, 3. development of research manpower and research support systems, 4. promotion of international cooperation, and 5. improvement of the science information system. Basic Policy of and Measure for the Improvement of the Scientific Re- search System (February 1984) included: 1. promotion of important science projects, development of research manpower, measures to meet the demands and expectations of society for university research, promotion of international cooperation, and promotion of the humanities and social sciences in Japan. Following these recommendations, an attempt was made to promote centers of excellence in university research. It was, however, very difficult to distribute the limited financial and human resources to many universities and the attempt failed. Nevertheless, one of the most successful projects, I believe, was the establishment of the National Interuniversity Research Institutes. Most of these institutes focus on the natural sciences, particularly the so-called "big sciences" such as accelerator theory, space, fusion, and Antarctic research, but creative research in engineering has been rather ignored. CULTURE OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH IN JAPAN Many hypotheses have been offered from various fields about Japanese "creativity": Neuropsychology- the Japanese brain and cognitive patterns may not be suited to creative research. Psycholinguistics the Japanese lack of creativity may stem from the Japanese language itself. Cultural anthropology-the Japanese agrarian village mentality discourages the strong-willed pursuit of individual opinions be- cause rice farming was always done as a group. Moreover, ancient belief structures were polytheistically ambivalent and tolerant of other beliefs.

OCR for page 37
47 Rather than detail these and other hypotheses since I am not really versed In these areas, I would like to mention that the Japanese people are, by nature, fond of basic research. During the Edo period, which preceded the Meiji Restoration In 1868, the Japanese government advocated a strict isolationist policy, and international exchange of any kind was practically nonexistent. Japanese academic circles were completely cut off from sci- entific developments abroad. Nonetheless, the Edo period saw the growth of some branches of domestic science. Japanese mathematics or wozan, for instance, showed vital progress. Advanced formulae in differential and integral calculus as well as analysis by matrix were invented completely independently from Western mathematics, even before the discoveries of Newton and Laplace. Moreover, some of these advanced mathematics, such as calculation by progression, were learned simply for pleasure. With the Meiji Restoration, however, the Japanese government re- al~zed the importance of science and technology to industrialization and emphasized applied research and development (R&D). Thus it has only been over the relatively short period of the past 100 years that the Japanese have placed high priority on applied research and development a minor interlude in the whole history of Japan. Even today, pure basic research is considered to be more noble than efforts in applications. BASIC PRINCIPLES OF JAPAN'S RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT POLICY Japanese industry has recently made remarkable progress, proving its ability to adapt to changing demands and making the most of opportunities in the world market. This progress, however, has brought about serious trade friction. Japan has been criticized for using foreign technology in the manufacture of new products without contributing to the store of human knowledge through basic research. It is only fairly recently that the Japanese government has come to recognize the importance of basic research and the need for international cooperation in such endeavors. The basic principles of Japan's current science and technology policy are founded on a cabinet resolution of March 1986 called "General Guide- lines for Science and Technology Policy." This resolution was based on the recommendations of the Council for Science and Technology in a report entitled Comprehensive Fundamental Policy for the Promotion of Science and Technology Focus on the Current Changing Situation from a Long-term Perspecave of November 1984. The Cabinet guidelines stressed three major . . O Electives: promotion of highly creative basic research, development of science and technology in harmony with humanity and society, and

OCR for page 37
48 3. promotion of international activities. What will this mean in practice? The financial and human resources devoted to research and development reveal much about Japan's interna- tional position in science and technology. Japan has shown tremendous growth in both R&D expenditures and personnel. Japan currently spends 8,120 billion yen on R&D, a threefold increase over 10 years ago. As a percentage of gross national product, Japan's total R&D expenditure levels have risen annually, reaching 2.8 percent in 1986, approximately equal to or a little higher than that of the United States. A gap remains, however, between the ideals and principles set forth in the cabinet guidelines and their realization. I hesitate to say that the establishment of basic research systems in Japan will go smoothly. The Japanese government has a far smaller share of national R&D expenditures than do the governments of the United States, West Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. Moreover, the ratio of public funding to total R&D expenditure has been declining in Japan. The number of researchers in Japan appears to be rising, but statistical data on the number of researchers expressed in full-time equivalence is not available in Japan. It is, therefore, difficult to compare the Japanese R&D personnel situation with that of other countries. University faculty in Japan are expected to conduct research as part of their professional activities. Accordingly, even foreign language teachers who teach beginner's courses and could hardly be expected to conduct research are customarily counted as full-t~me researchers. Consequently, the number of university "researchers," especially in the humanities and social sciences is probably highly inflated. Industry, higher education, and national and public laboratories claimed approximately 61 percent, 31 percent, and 8 percent, respectively, of the total Japanese research personnel in 1986. The number of R&D scientists is increasing, but nowhere so much as in the private sector. Finally, the Japanese government's budgeting system is extremely rigid. Even requests for basic research funding must be accompanied by concrete specifications of expected results. This system places a great burden on the researcher. Thus it seems that the Japanese government is making empty promises to strengthen basic research systems with no real intention of implementing them. National universities and related research institutes are funded by Monbusho, which covers expenses for personnel and management, research and education activities, and the construction of research and education facilities. Research and education activities are funded by general funds or

OCR for page 37
49 specific funds, such as special research funds for facilities and equipment, research grants, and so on. The general funds system has sometimes been criticized as inefficient and wasteful. "Since each professor receives an equal amount of funds available for general research support, some funds go to faculty members who are not actually pursuing serious research." General funds are, how- ever, more flexible than specific funds, which must be used as set forth in the proposal submitted to Monbusho. It is extremely difficult to adjust specific funds to research progress. Moreover, although general funds are allocated to universities according to a standard formula based essentially on the number of researchers and the nature of the koza, universities can distribute them to faculties, departments, or individual staff members, based on their activities. In practice, however, because it is difficult to evaluate research activities across disciplines, general funds are most commonly distributed according to a standard formula. This system poses another difficulty in promoting research excellence. UNIVERSITY-INDUSTRY RELATIONS About a hundred years ago when Japan started to devote herself to industrial development, highly educated researchers were hard to come by. Most of them were employed by national universities and government research institutes rather than industry. In addition, university professors and government officials had more opportunities for study abroad than did engineers in industry. Therefore, industry relied heavily on universities for scientific knowledge. In those days, university engineering professors were real leaders in their fields, not only in theoretical work but also in practical matters. They maintained close relations with related industry and were often asked to design and make specifications for new products. After World War II, however, this changed. lbo many universities flourished in Japan, and the authority and social status of university pro- fessors diminished. Furthermore, Japanese industry developed its own research and development activities, which eventually became remarkably strong. Japanese industry thus became independent from the research work of the universities. In addition, university professors became more immersed in theoretical work and less familiar with practical affairs. This attitude led to the disintegration of university-industry cooperation, partic- ularly university-industry research interaction. It is also noteworthy that the innovation process in Japan is somewhat different from that in the United States and Europe. In the United States and Europe the innovation process is usually considered a linear process. In Japan, however, it is seen as a kind of network. In either case, universities are responsible for basic research while industry engages in development,

OCR for page 37
so production, marketing, and distribution. In the United States and Europe, there is a tendency on the part of industry to expect the innovation process to begin with the results of basic research conducted by universities and research institutions. In Japan, the innovation process does not always start in the research stage; it often begins in development, production, marketing, and distribution. When industry recognizes the need for research during the marketing or production processes, for example, it immediately launches a new research project to solve the problem; it does not have time to seek assistance from university researchers. This approach to the innovation process may be one reason for the unexpected lack of university-industry research cooperation in Japan. Although formal cooperation between universities and industry is very poor in Japan, significant collaboration has been conducted indirectly or informally. Quite a few university professors become project leaders, ad- visers, or investigators in government-sponsored projects or join academic society research committees where university and industry researchers con- duct research jointly. Industry also asks university professors for free advice. In return, industry provides generous support to university professors by making experimental instruments, research devices, and other materials available free of charge or at reduced prices. Finally, since a number of high-level managers in industry are graduates of engineering schools, they can easily collaborate informally with their former professors. These forms of cooperation, however, are only available to well-known professors from first-class universities. In addition, rapid changes in the atti- tudes of young people in Japan may make cooperation between universities and industry even more difficult in the future. Many opinions and recommendations about how to strengthen the linkages among universities, industry, and research institutions have been made, and the government has tried to improve and expand cooperation between universities and industry. Unfortunately, however, I must say that systematic cooperation between industry and universities in Japan lags behind that of the United States. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION In looking at recent reports and recommendations made by various or- ganizations, both in government and the private sector, there is at least one common element- the emphasis on the importance of international coop- eration. Japan once more is behind in efforts at international cooperation. In order to carry out international cooperation successfully, I believe Japan must become more sensitive to and develop a better understanding of the fact that the world is made up of different societies, cultures, languages, beliefs, historical backgrounds, traditions, and so on. Bearing that fact in

OCR for page 37
51 mind Japan must maintain funding mechanisms that are flexible enough to be useful in pursuing a program of international cooperation. Japan's international relations started only about a hundred years ago. ~day, she still lacks experience in international society. We should strive to overcome this handicap and to learn from the United States. We would also hope that the American people will keep an open mind and be sympathetic to the fact that few Japanese get an opportunity to interact with foreigners.