RIETI-NISTEP Policy Symposium

Open Innovation as a Key Driver of Japan's Industrial Competitiveness (Summary)



With the compilation of the Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan underway, there is a growing expectation for further accelerating the government's open innovation program to bring about Japan's economic growth. This symposium explored private-sector initiatives required to achieve this goal and their policy implications. The keynote speech touched on the Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan and presented how the nation could promote open innovation. Ensuing presentations conveyed views about open innovation based on experiences and cutting-edge examples in the United States. The panel discussions at the end involved active debates on Japan-U.S. comparison on industry-academia collaboration and the roles of national governments.

Opening Remarks

NAKAJIMA Atsushi (Chairman, RIETI)

Innovation is essential to revitalize the economy of Japan, which has seen its population decline and growth potential diminish. Innovation-generating potential is enhanced by promoting the open innovation approach, which combines technologies and ideas held by your own company as well as other companies, universities, and other entities. I hope this symposium will contribute to boosting future open innovation policies.

NARA Hitoshi (Director General, NISTEP)

Amidst the efforts to create the Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan, many are highlighting issues such as Japanese enterprises' self-sufficiency principle in research and development (R&D), inter-organizational barriers, and lack of industry-academia collaborations. Japan must overcome these issues, engage in further debate on innovation, and deepen academic insight. I hope our discussions during this symposium will inspire and innovate Japan's policy for scientific and technological innovation.

Keynote Speech "Promoting Innovation: What's specific to the Japanese context?"

Overview of the Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan

HARAYAMA Yuko (Executive Member, Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI), Cabinet Office, Japan)

In Japan, organizations often have very weak connections with outside parties, creating an environment that is less than ideal for promoting open innovation. The government must initiate a system reform to improve the condition. Over the last 20 years, Japan has compiled and implemented Science and Technology Basic Plans. What sets apart the Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan, currently being drawn up, from previous ones is its focus on "science, technology, and innovation" rather than just "science and technology." The period 2016-2020 will see greater transformation than ever before. The key is preparedness for an unforeseeable future.

The three major pillars of the Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan are (1) initiatives toward future industry creation and social transformation, (2) response to economic and social issues, and (3) development and reinforcement of fundamental strength. Their effectiveness can be boosted with the Innovation Ecosystem, which connects diverse organizations to nurture innovation. Mobility of people is the key in creating such a system. Yet, it is not just promoting mobility for mobility's sake, but allowing people to be in the right place at the right moment so that their competencies are fully mobilized.

Tasks and promotion measures to be achieved

As "initiatives toward future industry creation and social transformation," the Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan refers to investing in R&D for bold future challenges, reinforcing human resources, promoting a system of systems approach, and strengthening enabling technologies for achieving an "ultra smart society."

As for "response to economic and social challenges," the Basic Plan cites achieving sustainable growth, facilitating local communities' autonomous development, bringing about safe and secure living, addressing global challenges, and contributing to world development.

As measures for "development and reinforcement of fundamental strength," the Basic Plan calls for fostering and fluidizing human resources for science, technology, and innovation, cultivating knowledge foundation, and promoting Open Science.

As measures for inducing a "virtuous circulation of human resources, knowledge and funds in the science, technology, and innovation system," the Basic Plan lists building an innovation system that encourages virtuous circulation of such elements, promoting reforms on universities accompanied with reforms on research funding, reinforcing/reforming the functions of the National Research and Development Agencies, and promoting science, technology, and innovation that contribute to regional revitalization.

Open innovation would not function properly unless there is an environment that allows individuals, organizations, and the government to establish a dialogue and act together. It is becoming increasingly important to incorporate what other entities are working on into your area of expertise to work out a scenario that benefits all, rather than focusing entirely on your own field and take action. The keywords are those that start with "Co-." They could be "co-production" or "co-creation."

Presentation: Lecture of U.S. Experiences

Evaluating the Performance of Public Research Subsidy Programs

Adam JAFFE (Motu Economic & Public Policy Research, Queensland University of Technology, Te Punaha Matatini Centre of Research Excellence)

It is an attainable goal that policy choices be based on evidence as to what works best. Like new drugs, we should measure the "treatment effect" of policy in how it changes outcomes, but it is difficult to determine what would have happened without a particular policy. Making comparisons of those who received assistance against those who did not is one way to do so. However, those receiving help are not chosen randomly which leads to selection bias.

Using the New Zealand Marsden Fund research grants as an example, we can compare the treatment effect of the program looking at the funded and rejected proposals. There is a boost of up to 15% per year in publications and up to 25% in citations following a grant. Using business operations survey (BOS) data to look at a program in New Zealand that helps R&D at firms, we compared firms that received funding to similar ones that were not in the program. We determined that firms that received grants had higher sales of new goods or services, were almost twice as likely to have introduced a new good or service, and were almost twice as likely to be granted a patent.

Regarding how to measure the effectiveness of targeted research, categories of impacts can be identified. Directly measuring those impacts, using a proxy/indicator, or determining intermediate outcomes can be done. The main point is not that these programs work in New Zealand and that they will work in other countries, but that these are the kinds of tools available to test whether programs are effective.

Open Innovation and Entrepreneurial Strategy: Lessons for policymakers

Scott STERN (Massachusetts Institute of Technology & The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER))

Innovation relies on the implementation of effective open policy measures. Open access can enhance follow-on scientific research, commercialization, and entrepreneurship. Institutions play an important role in developing our ability to build on prior knowledge and to innovate.

One particularly striking example are biological resource centers (BRCs). BRCs have successfully promoted follow-on scientific activities by providing research-oriented scientists with a way to verify the results on which new research will be based. BRCs also maintain records of previous experiment results as a way to anticipate potential significance in future projects. When compared to the closed systems previously in place, the rate of citations after BRC deposit increases by 122%, and the effect has continued to grow successively over time.

DuPont--a major player in the field of mouse genetics--is another perfect example of the role open policies can play in the progress of innovation. DuPont had aggressively enforced its intellectual property (IP) rights of Cre-lox and Onco transgenic mice, thereby stifling mouse genetic research. Once the IP restrictions were lifted, there was a marked increase in the rate of follow-on research. This indicates that open innovation created a more productive research environment, an increase in exploratory research, and allowed for new entrants in the mouse genetics field. Taking both examples into consideration, it is clear that open access policies seem to have a causal impact on knowledge accumulation in scientific research.

Not only is there a case for open access policy to enhance scientific research, but also a case focused on downstream commercialization and entrepreneurship. Publicly available images of the Earth's surface have allowed for the identification of regions with a higher probability of discovering gold. The higher rate of gold discovery in regions with clear satellite images indicates the value of open access.

Overall, there is a strong case that, for publicly funded research, ensuring access to data and tools allows for a higher level of innovation and research productivity over time.

The Acquisition and Commercialization of Invention in the American Economy

Ashish ARORA (Duke University & The National Bureau of Economic Research)

Open innovation increases the efficiency of innovation as well as the total rate of innovation. Based on a survey of U.S. manufacturing firms representative of the manufacturing sector, around 42% introduced a new product in 2009 and 36% of those were new to the market (NTM).

Focusing on external sources of NTM innovations, specialists accounted for only 17%, whereas customers accounted for 27%. Although there is variation across industries in the extent of innovation, 44% of innovators depended on external sources of innovation, and that rate of dependence is stable across industries and firm size. However, large firms tend to favor universities and suppliers as sources, whereas small firms are more likely to source innovation from independent inventors. When asked if they could have obtained the innovation from another source, only 34% answered "yes." Startups also showed their importance in that they comprised only 2.5% of the firms sampled, but 13% of firms acquired innovation from them.

Customers were the single most important source of external invention, but the value of the inventions was low compared to that obtained from universities, consultants, and independent inventors, whom we jointly refer to as technology specialists. However, since the cost of acquiring innovations from customers as compared to technology specialists is low, this leads to selection bias in determining the value of the innovations from different sources. However, even after controlling for selection bias, it became clear that innovations obtained from specialists are indeed more valuable than those obtained from value chains, namely, customers and suppliers. If a similar survey were conducted in Japan, we might find an even greater emphasis on value chains, which could explain the country's incrementalism.

Q&A Session


MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki FF (RIETI/National Institute of Science and Technology Policy)

MOTOHASHI: Please offer advice on evaluating mission-specific programs.

JAFFE: People in New Zealand were concerned that measuring program effectiveness was impossible. However, as long as baseline information is available, we can measure effectiveness.

MOTOHASHI: How do you balance the importance of IP rights for encouraging R&D against the benefits of open science?

STERN: Although incentives for research are important, there must be measures in place to ensure that the market for innovation functions well, particularly for publicly-funded research.

MOTOHASHI: How does the high value of innovation from specialists fit with open science?

ARORA: Specialists provide innovation that is of higher quality than that from other sources.

MOTOHASHI: How does policy analysis fit into policy action?

STERN: Innovation/science policy choices really matter. At least in the United States, policy analysis is at the margin of what is actionable.

JAFFE: Research has led to discussions about changing the Marsden Fund selection process to focus resources less on selection and more on research.

ARORA: Policy research has led nearly to several program cancellations, so sometimes there are unexpected effects.

Panel Discussion "Policy Implications"


MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki FF (RIETI / National Institute of Science and Technology Policy)

Report 1 "University-Industry Technology Transfer: Overview & continuing challenges"

Jeffrey L. FURMAN (Associate Professor, School of Management, Boston University / Research Associate, NBER))

For more than a century and a half, universities and firms have collaborated on idea generation and technology development. The system of higher education in the United States is often seen as one that encourages such interactions. A few features of the U.S. system are worthy of note. First, the U.S. system is extremely heterogeneous--there are numerous types of universities and colleges, which have different ways of working with industry. Second, the United States has no history of central university administration. Third, there is an unusual degree of competition among U.S. universities and colleges over resources, students, faculty, and prestige, among other things. Throughout the 20th century, the U.S. higher education system has also received substantial support for research from federal and state governments and from private sources, including individuals and foundations.

These features have resulted in a history of deep and varied university-industry collaborations, particularly in biomedical research and also in other areas, such as agriculture and defense/aerospace research. The Bayh-Dole Act coincided with but probably did not cause the boost in licensing, revenue, and overall university-industry collaboration in the late 20th century. It also coincided with the growth of Technology Transfer Offices (TTO). It is also essential to note that university-industry collaboration takes place in the context of numerous complementary institutions that support such interactions, including venture capital, a culture supporting risk-taking (and even failure) among entrepreneurs, and mentoring.

Nonetheless, there remain numerous frictions in university-industry interactions, including many related to the differing norms in academia and the private sector, the management challenges of such collaboration, and the underlying incentives for researchers, universities, and firms.

Overall, we have learned that aligning incentives is essential for driving university-industry collaboration, but we know, as well, that the tradeoffs are difficult to manage. It also seems clear that the U.S. system is not an ideal model for the world. The Bayh-Dole Act, for example, supports the U.S. system, but it is not a panacea and fulfills a function within the context of a nuanced ecosystem supporting entrepreneurship and innovation. Broadly speaking, it is not clear what the optimal system is to create university-industry collaborations and support long-term economic growth as a result. However, a few points are likely clear: It is important that any system be tailored to the specific institutions and existing ecosystem of the country or region in which it operates. It is helpful to have the system as transparent as possible, i.e., to enable observers to see what technologies are generated, who is licensing and using them, etc. It takes time to develop institutional capabilities, such as TTOs, and their missions may shift over time in unexpected ways. It is also likely that such efforts will yield skewed outcomes, in which some places like Silicon Valley or the Boston metropolitan area achieve more substantial returns from university-industry interaction than other areas. Lastly, it is important to remember that more benefits accrue from open science, namely, from general knowledge (e.g., student training, published research, and informal knowledge diffusion) developed by universities, than from the formal university-industry relationships on which many policy efforts are focused.

Report 2 "Comments: From a U.S. and Japan comparative perspective"

NAGAOKA Sadao (Program Director and Faculty Fellow, RIETI / Visiting Research Fellow, NISTEP / Professor, Tokyo Keizai University)

Compared to U.S. inventors, Japanese inventors use science and technology literature less frequently as the important source of R&D knowledge, much less frequently enter into collaboration with overseas-born or overseas-based researchers, and are less likely to act for business startups amidst low inter-organizational mobility and underdevelopment of venture capital in particular. These are cited as important differences.

What is important for Japan's innovation system in the future would be, first, to enhance Japanese companies' ability to incorporate and exploit ever-evolving science. Second, it would be to promote collaboration beyond national borders and nationalities. The team for combining knowledge and capabilities has become important in producing new knowledge. It is therefore necessary to embrace a more flexible recruitment practice and reinforce workers' foreign language proficiency. Third, the startup system would need to be strengthened. Frontier opening innovation often generates a difference of opinions, making it necessary to conduct various experiments, for which startups are major channels. The government can play the role of providing coordination for developing the ecosystem as a way of strengthening the startup system.

Report 3 "Digitalization and Innovation in Media"

Joel WALDFOGEL (Professor, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota / Research Associate, NBER)

Digitalization initially reduced the sales of recorded music and revenues of newspaper advertising, posing a threat to the media industry. However, since digitalization reduced production and sales costs and enabled individuals to produce products, the number of products available has increased substantially in the fields of music, books, and movies, which is good news for consumers.

The increase in product variety has naturally increased the number of market hits, particularly those independently produced (winners after digitalization) rather than those released by major publishers and labels (winners before digitalization). One such example is "Fifty Shades of Grey," which started out as an online novel.

In other words, digitalization is a challenge for manufacturers and middlemen in the traditional sense, but a great opportunity for newcomers. Strengthening the enforcement of copyrights, while it may be desirable for other reasons, is not necessarily required to generate new products in the tide of digitalization.

Report 4 "Hitachi's Social Innovation"

TANABE Yasuo (Vice President and Executive Officer, Hitachi, Ltd.)

Hitachi has put forth the concept of "social innovation," which is about using Hitachi's technologies to provide solutions for various modern social challenges including energy issues, urban issues, and public transport issues.

Hitachi is also strengthening its approach of collaborative creation with customers. Tapping into its strength in big data analysis, Hitachi is addressing customer needs not only through supplying hardware but also by incorporating operation and maintenance services.

In recent years, Hitachi is reinforcing its partnership strategy, such as acquiring the data analytics company Pentaho and integrating it into Hitachi's technology to build a new business platform. Hitachi has also partnered with ABB Group to launch a joint venture in the field of power transmission. With these initiatives, Hitachi is intensifying mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and its approach to customers to generate social innovation.

Report 5 "Approach to Open Innovation in Japan"

NAKANISHI Hironori (Deputy Director General for Science, Technology and Innovation, Cabinet Office, Japan)

In Japan, real open innovation would not make any progress unless the barriers between universities and companies and between companies and public research institutions are torn down. There is a need for an intermediary function to connect those organizations. The roles of the government have continued to diminish in the past 10 years, but recently it is expected that the government should play a more active role in the field of innovation.

Furthermore, in recent years, the Japanese private sector has recognized the importance of using underutilized technologies. It looks as though Japan is finally starting to explore the use of intellectual properties externally so as to expand business, that is, open innovation.

Since information and communications technology (ICT) accelerate the pace of innovation, we must build an innovation system that brings together a wide variety of stakeholders including users. The government has this in mind in drawing up the Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan.


Japan-U.S. Comparison in Industry-Academia Collaboration

MOTOHASHI: Let me first ask Jeffrey about how U.S. universities have adopted TTOs.

FURMAN: The history of university-industry collaboration in the United States is long and multi-faceted and in many ways reflects the extraordinary diversity of the U.S. higher educational system. The Morrill Land Grant Acts of 1862 and 1890 led to the founding of public colleges that took on missions to develop and diffuse locally-relevant technologies, particularly in agriculture and the mechanical arts. That same time period saw the development of a number of private, research-oriented universities, including Johns Hopkins University, which promoted university-industry linkages. In the early 20th century, American faculty often worked directly with firms on technology transfer, through various means, including consulting relationships. By the second half of the 20th century, universities were beginning to formalize linkages with industry and were increasingly patenting their technologies to facilitate the market for ideas. The 1980s Bayh-Dole Act further enabled university-industry technology transfer by allowing universities to obtain patents on technologies developed with contributions from federal funding. In the wake of Bayh-Dole, many universities set up or expanded existing TTOs (or Technology Licensing Offices). One important point about U.S. TTOs is that a few of them were able to generate extraordinarily large licensing revenues, some as great as hundreds of millions of dollars. The majority, however, did not achieve such spectacular returns, and many have begun to focus on technology diffusion to a greater degree than profit maximization.

MOTOHASHI: U.S. universities are known for their diversity. What kind of benefits does the diversity provide?

FURMAN: My sense is that the diversity of the U.S. higher educational system is one of its strengths, both in achieving educational results and in generating new ideas. As I mentioned before, many of the Land Grant Colleges established agricultural experimental stations with the aims of helping local farmers and many other universities took on missions, financed either by public means or private contributions, which were consistent with the interests of their state economies. Complementing the state-focused and state-funded Land Grant Colleges supported in part by federal funding, the United States also developed a series of research-oriented universities with national and international research, including Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, founded by Benjamin Franklin. The system also includes relatively small colleges such as Williams College and Smith College that have retained a focus on liberal arts education but that draw a national and international student population. There are also systems of more regionally-focused colleges and other specialized institutions of higher education, each of which can tailor its links with industry in a way that matches with its unique orientation and mission. The result of this diversity is a high degree of potential match between the needs of private industry for ideas, technology, and labor and the abilities of U.S. higher educational institutions to provide them.

MOTOHASHI: Can you explain about the case of industry-academia collaboration involving Hitachi?

TANABE: The real-time tumor-tracking irradiation technology of Hokkaido University Professor Hiroki Shirato was combined with Hitachi's spot-scanning irradiation technology to develop a proton beam therapy system. This development was conducted under the Japanese government's "Funding Program for World-Leading Innovative R&D on Science and Technology (FIRST)" Program. The key to the success was the R&D approach based on an equal relationship and understanding of market trends.

MOTOHASHI: Professor Nagaoka, you have said that increasing collaboration in Japan with those born overseas could boost efficiency. What is the logic behind it?

NAGAOKA: Combining the human resources within Japan would not necessarily be competitive enough. It has been demonstrated that the formation of a global team is especially important in R&D for the fields with strong connection with science. Expanding the pool of foreign-born scientists in Japan is also important. Many foreign-born scientists and engineers working in the United States are those who have studied at U.S. universities and remained in the academic or business sector there. This is a very special circumstance, only applicable to the United States in its capacity to gather human resources from around the world. We must build a capacity to attract excellent human resources from overseas.

MOTOHASHI: According to Professor Nagaoka's research, the ratio of studies that have referred to universities as the source of R&D knowledge was quite similar between Japan and the United States. That means Japan and the United States are almost equal in terms of the volume of industry-academia collaboration. The question is what factors set the two countries apart, and how the differences can be measured.

FURMAN: This is a very good point. Measurement of university-industry interaction is made complex by the fact that the majority of such interactions are informal rather than formalized through licensing, co-patenting, or joint ventures. Certainly, one could use counts of these as indicators of university-industry partnerships, but many linkages, such as those involving the transfer or sharing of doctoral and master's level students, may not show up in such data. For those, we could also use indicators of university-based entrepreneurship or other indirect indicators, such as the number of firms established geographically close to universities.

NAGAOKA: Basically, my study only examined the frequency of joint research and joint inventions, and not their quality. In this sense, it does not totally clarify the difference between Japan and the United States. I can talk about specific examples which can highlight how the university and industry collaborations matter. Many of the highly novel drugs developed in Japan are the outcomes of formal or informal industry-academia collaborations. This is because corporate scientists for these drugs started their R&D in the stage where science was still incomplete. Thus, they had to build a process of mutual learning between universities and companies, which, in turn, helped create the discoveries and their commercialization.

NAKANISHI: Many companies say that, compared to U.S. universities, Japanese universities do not take a business approach in doing joint research. While the number of joint research projects is high in Japan, their level of funding per project is as low as two million yen on average. This could be because of companies' low expectations for universities to produce real outcomes. In this context, judging from a recent increase in projects worth over 100 million yen, companies are now starting to see universities as true partners.

IT and innovation

MOTOHASHI: Joel, can you explain why there has been a steady increase in the ratio of "pre-digitalization losers" turning into "post-digitalization winners?"

WALDFOGEL: It is difficult to predict which books, movies, or songs will be a hit. Yet, just as you would increase the chance of winning a lottery by buying lottery tickets more often, the increased number of products on the market as a result of digitalization has boosted the number of "hit" products. What is important here is to realize that it was digitalization technology, rather than government policy, that has led to open innovation in the media industry. Innovation comes from non-traditional organizations.

MOTOHASHI: Does Hitachi take the R&D approach of identifying technological seeds in customer needs and actualizing them through industry-academia collaboration?

TANABE: As you said, Hitachi historically has had the mentality of self-sufficiency. However, in order to provide solutions from the customers' point of view, our business divisions and researchers must adopt the stance of not always being too particular about self-sufficiency. We are now working on building such mentality through on-the-job training.

MOTOHASHI: Similarly to music and publishing, would the surge of newcomers make the market tougher, creating a threat to our business?

TANABE: Our competitors in the United States and Europe and even our followers in South Korea and China are doing exactly what we are trying to do. In the international business arena, there is always competitive tension. In order to survive this market condition, we must thoroughly explore strategies such as open innovation and partnering.

The roles of the national government

MOTOHASHI: Next, let us examine the roles of the national government.

WALDFOGEL: When policymakers are evaluating intellectual property protection systems--such as patents and copyrights--it is important to think not only about the revenues made possible by IP protection but also the costs of bringing products to market. The ultimate goal of IP protection is not revenue per se but rather a continued flow of new products.

MOTOHASHI: Japan has very few environments that cater to making trial and error for innovation. This has been pointed out as one of the main differences from the United States. Can anyone comment on this notion?

NAGAOKA: I am reiterating my stance that the reinforcement of the startup system is crucial in boosting experiments across our society. In Japan, currently it is extremely rare for researchers to change employment. There must be a way of increasing the number of startup projects while maintaining the option for lifelong employment. The Council for Science, Technology and Innovation is also working on the reinforcement of startup projects, including the development of venture capital. This is an important policy initiative.

TANABE: Hitachi's level of human resource fluidity is still low. However, we welcomed two executive officers from overseas, one from the United States and the other from Britain, in April 2015. Hitachi must embrace more changes by bringing in new inspirations, including human resources, from outside.

In terms of policy, in this age of Internet of Things, it is extremely important to work out a system for obtaining and utilizing data. This involves attention to security and privacy. The government is demonstrating heightened awareness on information security, stepping up the authorization settings for the National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC), and amending the Act on the Protection of Personal Information. The government should work on establishing an environment that allows for free acquisition and transfer of data, and also contributes to building a global scheme that enables free data movement under certain conditions.

MOTOHASHI: Jeffrey, do you have any advice for Japan?

FURMAN: I do not think that I am in a position to make specific policy recommendations without substantially more studying of specific topics. However, I think that I can usefully summarize some of the general principles that have been raised today and that might be a useful in guiding innovation policy. The first idea was raised in Professor Adam Jaffe's presentation, which is that it is valuable to design an assessment system when introducing any new innovation promotion policies. That way, policymakers will be in a better position to assess the value and effectiveness of the policies they implement. There could be multiple dimensions of assessment, but it is important to think about the system in advance and to adopt an assessment plan when adopting the policy. The second broad idea was raised in Professor Scott Stern's presentation. He suggested that an important consideration with all innovation and science policy is that these policies should be made with the aim of enabling future generations to make maximum use of today's advancements. This means making as much information and as many research materials as possible available for research purposes. This will enable creative researchers to use the data and materials in ways that policymakers may not have envisioned. The third suggestion, consistent with Professor Ashish Arora's presentation as well as those of Scott and Adam and even my comments on the U.S. university system, is that it is worthwhile to support broad economic experiments in order to achieve innovation. Concentrating innovation initiatives inside of a small number of firms may not achieve the same results as enabling innovative efforts to be explored by a larger number of organizations.

MOTOHASHI: Mr. Nakanishi, do you have any comment about today's discussions?

NAKANISHI: I believe university researchers should be more active in engaging in innovation as they are in the position of being able to take risks and have knowledge that has been accumulated over time. The world is beginning to change, for example, the Japanese government set up funds worth 100 billion yen at four national universities.

Japan's R&D scheme called the Impulsing Paradigm Change Through Disruptive Technologies (ImPACT) Program is offering support for high-risk projects that could deal a high impact if successful, similarly to the activities of the United States' Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Efforts are made to launch similar schemes at other government offices.