Role of Public Research Institutes as an Innovation Platform: Case study of the Tsukuba Innovation Arena (TIA-nano)

Author Name MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki (Faculty Fellow, RIETI) / Byeongwoo KANG (Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO)
Creation Date/NO. October 2015 15-P-014
Research Project Empirical Studies on "Japanese-style" Open Innovation
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The Tsukuba Innovation Arena (TIA-nano) was established as an "innovation platform" by public research institutes (PRI) and private firms for joint nanotechnology research and development activities. It is a virtual network comprised of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and other PRIs in the Tsukuba area. In this study, the activities of AIST in two specific technology areas—carbon nanotubes (CNT) and power electronics (SiC devices)—are chosen from a variety of research areas under the framework of TIA-nano, in order to draw some policy implications for project management of industrial collaborations. It is found that AIST has collaborated increasingly more with firms particularly after its incorporation in 2002. In addition, we find that it role as an innovation platform is different between CNT and SiC in that it is important to proceed with CNT projects for firms by using open intellectual property (IP) policies, while for SiC projects, a vertical coordination role is more important for AIST.