Studies on the Japanese Innovation System
Fiscal 2002 Survey on Business-Academia Collaboration Regarding Innovation System (Updated on May 8, 2003)
This report provides the results of a survey conducted in 2002 on the state of Japanese companies' collaboration with external partners - particularly universities - in research and development activities.
Outline of Survey
- Survey samples: Companies in the manufacturing, wholesale and certain service industries, with 50 or more employees and capital of 30 million yen or more, which are engaged in R&D activities (7,442 companies).
- Valid responses: 802 companies (Ratio of respondents: 10.8 %).
- Due to the low response rate, a follow-up survey was conducted over the phone on 100 companies randomly selected from the non-respondents. Since 17% of those subjected to the follow-up survey were not conducting R&D activities (and thus should have been excluded from the original survey population), the adjusted response ratio comes to around 13%. The follow-up survey results were also utilized in interpreting the overall results (taking into consideration the statistical bias due to the presence of non-respondents).
Key points of findings
- Some 70% of the companies undertaking R&D activities are engaged in collaboration with external partners; 40% with universities.
- Compared with the situation five years ago, business-academia collaboration has expanded due to the notably greater participation of small and midsize firms. Many companies cite universities as potential collaboration partners in the future.
- Overlapping research, such as happens with joint research projects, is the most popular form of collaboration, while there are not many cases of technology transfer-type collaboration, such as those involving patent utilization and technology implementation.
- As to the goals of business-academia collaboration, only a few companies cited contribution to sales and profits. Instead, many companies regard such collaboration as a means to absorb specialized knowledge and improve their technology potential.
- Japanese universities lag behind their overseas counterparts in creating "business-like relationships" with companies.