RIETI Policy Symposium

Innovation Process and Performance: Findings and lessons from inventors surveys in Japan, the U.S., and Europe


Japan's economic growth depends heavily on high-quality research and development (R&D) performed by corporations, universities, and other institutions, combined with their effective commercialization. Japanese industry's high level of R&D investment has long been recognized worldwide and has served as the important source of Japan's economic growth. Recently, however, Japan needs to address a number of challenges in this area.

  • Finding ways for Japanese corporations to effectively increase their capability to absorb and utilize scientific results; the importance of which has been increasing with growing global R&D competition
  • Promoting R&D collaboration among organizations, including collaboration between industry and academia, with a view to increasing the productivity of R&D
  • Designing appropriate incentives for researchers to increase R&D productivity in frontier areas
  • Enhancing the role of the technology market, such as patent licensing
  • Establishing an efficient institutional framework for governing R&D competition, such as rules for the disclosure and protection of intellectual property and standards, and promoting government support for basic research

To deepen social science research into these issues facing Japan's innovation, in the first half of 2007 RIETI conducted a survey of Japanese inventors aimed at gathering a variety of information, including the objectives and processes of R&D, the source of knowledge, spillover effects, the motivation to acquire patents, and strategies for the utilization of results, along with profiles of the inventors and their motivations. Responses were obtained from nearly 5,300 inventors. RIETI also cooperated with the Georgia Institute of Technology in conducting a survey in the United States, using a similar questionnaire, with 1,900 inventors responding. The survey used for the collaborative Japan-U.S. surveys was a substantially expanded version of the European survey conducted between 2003 and 2004 that yielded 9,000 responses.

At this symposium, the key results obtained from these inventor surveys will be presented, and the structural characteristics of Japanese innovation will be clarified based on comparative analysis of the surveys, with the participation of leading researchers on innovation from the U.S. and Europe. We hope the results will serve to enrich the dialogue on how innovation performance may be enhanced in the future.


  • Time and Date:
    09:45 - 18:00, Friday January 11, 2008
  • Venue:
    Otemachi Sankei Plaza
    1-7-2 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (Tokyo Sankei Bldg. 3F)
  • Language:
    Japanese/English (with simultaneous interpretation)
  • Charge: ¥2,000 (an official receipt will be issued)
    (Students ¥1,000; please present your student ID at the reception desk.)
  • Hosts: Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI)
  • Contact: RIETI, (Ms.) Tomoko Harada
    Tel: 03-3501-8398 Fax: 03-3501-8416

* Streaming video footage of and handouts pertaining to the symposium will be available for download from the RIETI website after the event.

* Purpose of Use of Images

Agenda (subject to change)

9:45 - 9:50 Opening Remarks

FUJITA Masahisa (President and Chief Research Officer, RIETI / Professor, Konan University / Adjunct Professor, Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University)

9:50-12:40 Part 1: Keynote Speech and Presentations (1)

Session Chair: KODAMA Fumio (Professor of Graduate School of Engineering Management [MOT Program], Shibaura Institute of Technology / Professor Emeritus, the University of Tokyo)

9:50 - 10:40 Keynote Speech 1 "Determinants of innovative performance: Insights from economics"

Bronwyn H. HALL (Professor, Graduate School, Economics Faculty, University of California, Berkeley / Professor of Economics of Technology and Innovation, University of Maastricht, Netherlands)

10:40 - 10:45 Break

10:45 - 11:25 Presentation 1 "Main findings from inventors survey (1): Commercialization of R&D results"

NAGAOKA Sadao (Research Counselor, RIETI / Director and Professor, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University)

11:25 - 12:05 Presentation 2 "Main findings from inventors survey (2): Invention process - knowledge resources and collaborations"

John WALSH (Associate Professor, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology)

12:05 - 12:20 General Comments

Richard R. NELSON (George Blumenthal Professor of International and Public Affairs, Business and Law, Emeritus, Columbia University / Director, Center for Science Technology and Global Development, The Earth Institute at Columbia University)

12:20 - 12:40 Q&A

12:40 - 13:30 Lunch Break

13:30 - 15:20 Part 1: Keynote Speech and Presentations (2)

Session Chair: OKADA Yosuke (Professor of Economics, Hitotsubashi University / Chief Researcher, Competition Policy Research Center, Japan Fair Trade Commission)

13:30 - 14:20 Keynote Speech 2 "Inventors and Invention Processes in Europe: Policy Implications from the PatVal-EU Survey"

Alfonso GAMBARDELLA (Professor of Management at the Universita Commerciale "Luigi Bocconi," Milan)

14:20 - 15:00 Presentation 3 "Incentive System for Inventors"

OWAN Hideo (Professor, Graduate School of International Management, Aoyama Gakuin University / Visiting Professor, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)

15:20 - 15:30 Coffee Break

15:30 - 17:55 Part 2: Panel Discussion "Future R&D strategy and policy"

NAGAOKA Sadao (Research Counselor, RIETI / Director and Professor, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University)

Panelists: (in alphabetical order)

AKIMOTO Hiroshi (Managing Director, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd.)

EZAKI Masahiro (Senior General Manager, Intellectual Property Division, Toyota Motor Corporation)

OSAKABE Nobuyuki (General Manager, Advanced Research Laboratory, Hitachi Ltd.)

WADA Shuichi (Counsellor [Science, Technology and Innovation], Cabinet Office)

DOI Ryoji (Consulting Fellow, RIETI / Director, Research and Development Division, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau, METI)

WADA Tetsuo (Professor, Faculty of Economics, Gakushuin University)

Bronwyn H. HALL (Professor, Graduate School, Economics Faculty, University of California, Berkeley / Professor of Economics of Technology and Innovation, University of Maastricht, Netherlands)

Dietmar HARHOFF (Director and Professor, Institute for Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich)

17:30 - 17:55 Q&A

17:55 - 18:00 Closing Remarks

OIKAWA Kozo (Chairman, RIETI)

18:00 - 19:00 Reception