RIETI Report May 2002

RIETI as a Model for University Reform <RIETI Featured Fellow> KOBAYASHI Keiichiro

This month's featured article

RIETI as a Model for University Reform <RIETI Featured Fellow> KOBAYASHI Keiichiro

KOBAYASHI Keiichiro Fellow, RIETI

Greetings from RIETI

In Japan, a series of policies to promote academic-business ties have been proposed since the late 90's. Universities are counted on to play new roles, such as incubating venture companies, commercializing research results, and fostering entrepreneurs. Behind this trend is the fact that promotion of these ties is perceived as an economic policy tool to pump prime economy, generate jobs, and revitalize the regional economy. As a result, it is becoming obscure what the government policy objective really is.

In June 2001, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Atsuko Toyama announced the "Structural Reforms Policies for National Universities." It set forth the government's policies toward university reforms, including transforming national universities into independent administrative entities. National universities, which are set to become independent administrative entities, are increasingly aware of the importance of relations between universities and businesses, as well as their interests in a coalition between the two. Active debates are also being made at the Cabinet Office's Council for Science and Technology Policy and Industrial Structure Council (CSTPISC).

In April 2001, RIETI became an independent administrative institute (IAI) with a non-civil servant status, and thus became more flexible and efficient in human resources, budget, management, and research systems.
Our project team on university reform has proposed various reform plans before we even became an IAI, giving substantial influence on discussions at CSTRISC. We hope RIETI's experiments will continue to give advise to national universities as they become IAIs.

RIETI is conducting various research activities regarding academic-business ties. As part of these activities, we held a policy seminar on May 20. Mr. Katao, Director of METI's Academia-Industry Cooperation Promotion Division talked about recent trends and issues of the academic-business coalition. We also invited Mr. Isogai, MEXT's Director of technology Transfer Promotion, as a speaker for BBL on May 15. RIETI will set up a booth at the Academic-Business-Government Coalition Promotion Conference on June 15 and 16 in Kyoto. We will report on this event in our future Newsletter. For this volume, we report on Mr. Katao's Policy Seminar.


Dr. Kobayashi has been fellow at RIETI since 2001. He joined the MITI in 1991 after receiving Master's degree in mathematical engineering from the University of Tokyo. His research areas include endogenous growth theory, the general equilibrium, business cycles, the bad debt problem, debt-control policy, and macro-political economy. He received his PH.D in economics from the University of Chicago in 1998.
His best seller "Loop of Japanese Economy" (2001, with Sota Kato, Nihon Keizai Shinbumsha, Japanese Language only) won prizes in Japan.

For his working paper (PDF), click here.

His latest working paper (PDF), click here

For his discussion paper (PDF), click here

For his column, click here

Kobayashi has presented his views on Japan's non-performing loans problem at many occasions. Click here

His article appeared in "Nihon Keizai Shinbun" (April 15, 2002)
Click here

Kobayashi is currently working on 'A Note on a mechanical source of business cycles- the bounded ability to control-.'

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