Innovation, "the process by which firms master and get into practice product designs and manufacturing processes that are new to them," is vital for companies wishing to remain competitive in today's rapidly changing high technology industries. American and Japanese firms are among the world's most technologically innovative and competitive. However, the changing dynamics of global competition are forcing them to rethink their technological innovation strategies. The choices they make will have great impact on their futures as companies as well as on the livelihoods of their employees and the communities in which they operate.
In order to understand the ways in which Japanese and American companies are changing their technological innovation strategies and practices, the Committee on Japan of the National Research Council and the Committee on Advanced Technology and the International Environment (Committee 149) of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) organized a bilateral task force composed of leading representatives from industry and academia to assess developments in corporate innovation strategies and report on their findings. Through a workshop discussion of the issues and subsequent interaction, the task force explored the institutional division of innovation in both countries: the structure and performance of technology-based industries, the role of the government in the support of science and technology, and the role of universities in the science and technology system. The task force was particularly interested in exploring the points on which the two systems are converging,-i.e., becoming more similar in strategy and practice-and where they continue to be distinct and different.
Although a comprehensive study of these trends in U.S. and Japanese innovation was not easily feasible, the task force was able to develop several conclusions based on its workshop discussion and follow-up interactions that were substantial in time and content. This report identifies a set of issues whose further elucidation should be helpful in guiding public policy in both nations. These issues include the role of external sourcing of innovation, transnational activity and globalization, the organization and performance of R&D, and the role of consortia, joint ventures and other joint activities. A call for greater international efforts to collect and analyze data on these important trends is the central recommendation of the task force.
Table of Contents
|MAJOR AREAS OF U.S.-JAPAN CONVERGENCE AND CONTINUED DISPARITY||1-1|
|Role of Government||2-2|
|Greater Reliance on External Sources of Innovation.||4-4|
|Need to Continue Scholarly Work on Models and Frameworks for Innovation||5-5|
|NOTES AND REFERENCES||6-7|
|NOTES AND REFERENCES||9-9|
|NATIONAL LEVEL DIFFERENCES||10-10|
|R&D's Role in Setting Corporate Business Plans||11-11|
|NOTES AND REFERENCES||12-13|
|3 Are the U.S. and Japanese Innovation Systems Converging? Evidence for and Against||14-16|
|Focus on Improving Productivity||18-18|
|Globalization of Innovation||19-20|
|Joint Initiatives in Manufacturing and Product Development||21-22|
|Issues Raised by Globalization||23-23|
|CHANGES IN GOVERNMENT'S ROLE||24-24|
|NOTES AND REFERENCES||25-28|
|EXTERNAL SOURCING OF TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION||29-29|
|Vertical and Diagonal Relationships in Outsourcing||30-31|
|Diversification vs. New Firm Creation in Relation to Outsourcing of Innovation||32-32|
|Impact of External Sourcing of Innovation||33-33|
|Precompetitive Research Partnerships, Alliances, and Consortia||34-35|
|CONSORTIA FOR INFORMAL STANDARDIZATION AND RELATED TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT||36-36|
|NOTES AND REFERENCES||37-38|
|INDICATORS OF JAPANESE AND U.S. TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES AND ASSETS||40-40|
|CORPORATE TECHNOLOGY STOCK MODEL||41-41|
|NOTES AND REFERENCES||42-43|
|U.S.-Japan "Problem Convergence" and Continued Disparities in Environments and Approaches||44-44|
|Need for International Efforts to Improve the Quantity and Quality of Data on Innovation||45-45|
|Need for Additional Work on Models and Conceptual Frameworks for Innovation, and Research on Similarities and Differences||46-46|
|De Facto Standards||47-47|
|NOTES AND REFERENCES||48-48|
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