RIETI Report June 2002

Think Tank Professionalism <RIETI Featured Fellow> TAMADA Schumpeter

This month's featured article

Think Tank Professionalism <RIETI Featured Fellow> TAMADA Schumpeter

TAMADA Schumpeter Fellow, RIETI

Greetings from RIETI

On June 15 and 16, the Academic-Business-Government Coalition Promotion Conference was held in Kyoto as we mentioned in an earlier newsletter. RIETI's public relations team had an opportunity to introduce its research activities on university-industry-government cooperation and hear opinions from many people dealing with the issue. Taking this opportunity, we held a series of separate meetings with university officials, professors and members of local governments in Kyoto and Osaka, exchanging views on respective organizations' research activities, operations and public relations.

Throughout our trip to Kyoto, "professionalism" was the keyword.
Kenichi Imai, director of research at Stanford Japan Center, said that American universities have professional fundraisers so that they can secure financial resources for research activities and operations. Meanwhile, Ritsumeikan University has sent its staffers to a business school in the US to train them to be professionals in university management and administration, according to university officials.
The Kyoto-based university has been attracting much attention to its initiative to rationalize school management and administration systems. Through our meeting with the Ritsumeikan officials, we learned how they changed a decision-making process led by professors into one in which professional administrative staff have a greater say and involvement in university management.

It has been pointed out that the presence of a quasi-independent intermediary organization to serve as an interface between universities and companies is indispensable to successful university-industry-government cooperation. Technology Licensing Organizations (TLOs) and venture capital are examples of such organizations. There have been some successful cases if they could hire professional intermediary staffs, but there are not many people with these skills. Instead of creating an intermediary organization, some universities have opted to set up a liaison office on campus, comprising professors and administrative officials. Generally speaking, it remains uncertain to what extent these liaison offices can play a role.

New profession that are free from the old-fashioned ideas are being born today. We also realized how much attention RIETI has been attracting as a model of an independent administrative agency with non-civil servant status, because people we met in Kyoto asked how we operate RIETI. To respond to their questions, once again, we can say "professionalism" is the key.

RIETI in the Press

"How to fix Japan's English language deficit," by C H Kwan; The Asia Times (6/27/02)
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"Why Japan doesn't fear 'made in China' label" by C H Kwan; The Asia Times (6/25/02)
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"Japan's entrepreneurs face rough road," by Takehito Yasuda ; The Asia Times (6/21/02)
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TAMADA Schumpeter
Mr. Tamada has been a fellow at RIETI since March, 2002. He joined MITI in 1990 after receiving B.A. from the University of Tokyo. He received a MPA degree from John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. From 1997 to 1999, he served as deputy director of the Technology Policy Division of Industrial Policy Bureau. From 1999 to 2002, he was assistant professor at Tsukuba Advanced Research Alliance, University of Tsukuba. His expertise is science and technology policy or, he prefers, strategic innovation policy, especially in R&D tax incentives and promoting university-industry partnership.

For his column, click here

His publications and papers include:
"Policy Paradigm Shift from Science and Technology Policy to Innovation Policy," Systems and Policies for the Globalized Learning Economy, Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc. (forthcoming)

"Empirical Study on Effectiveness of Research and Experiment Tax Credit," Proceedings of Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology, 1999

"Recent Trends of Japanese Industrial Policy: Giant Leap from Technology Policy to Innovation Policy," Proceedings of Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology, 1999

"Transfer of Knowledge from Universities/Research Institutes to Industry," Working Paper for ASEM S&T Ministerial Conference, 1999

He is currently conducting research on linkages between scientific and technological knowledge in Japan by applying a bibliometric approach to Japanese patent data. He contends that in promoting industry-academia relations, resources should be focused on the areas where the science linkage is strong. He argues that biotechnology and nano-technology are the two most important areas that the government should support to promote industry-university linkages.

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