Historical Significance of the Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS)

Author Name TAKEDA Haruhito (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. December 2017 17-J-076
Research Project Historical Study on Industrial Policy
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Based on the recommendation by the Factory Automation (FA) Council in the late 1980s, the Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS) policy was promoted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). The project advocated techno-globalism and continued for more than 10 years with the aim of enhancing production technology through international joint research. Although this policy was promoted with the goal of building an internationally sharable technological foundation in uncompetitive areas through concerted research, it also looked to mitigate criticism of Japan from other countries. Based on the records and memoirs by MITI, companies which joined the international concerted research, and academic researchers who participated in the project, this paper explores why the IMS was terminated without fulfilling its goals.