Observations from Japan: Lessons in Research and Technology Transfer

By Bitting, Robert K. | Journal of the Society of Research Administrators, Spring 1988 | Go to article overview

Observations from Japan: Lessons in Research and Technology Transfer


Bitting, Robert K., Journal of the Society of Research Administrators


OBSERVATIONS FROM JAPAN: LESSONS IN RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

Introduction

During a recent tour of Japan, fourteen members of Alfred University's Industry/University Center for Glass Research (IUCGR) visited five glass companies, two universities, and a government research laboratory to discuss shared interests in the area of glass technology. The group had the opportunity to view firsthand the dynamic research interactions between Japan's universities, industry, and government agencies. What follow are impressions of the state of research and technology transfer in Japan gleaned from this brief exposure to the research infrastructure. The lessons learned were often simple, yet with major implications for the American research effort. A better understanding of the Japanese research infrastructure can provide administrators with some ideas and practices which may be applicable to America's unique and varied research systems.

Background

Since World War II, Japan has been tremendously resourceful in catching up with Western advanced technologies. The postwar Japanese strategy emphasized Western knowledge in the universities while retaining respect for Eastern values, particularly in Japanese social institutions. Under the guidance of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Japanese companies imported foreign technology, invested heavily in new plants and equipment, and developed techniques to manufacture low-cost, quality products.(1) Universities were conceived as institutions to serve society, and leading scholars often counseled government and industry officials in the formation of policy. The Japanese universities came to perceive the development of pure science as their mission while responding to increasing demands for university services in the course of industrialization.(2) This has allowed them to maintain a dual focus on basic and applied research. Accordingly, there has been a gradual increase in both business and government expenditures for scientific research in the postwar period with particular acceleration since the early 1960s.

Student revolts in the late 1960s against tuition hikes, university authoritarianism, and selectivity forced the government to institute reforms which have included modifying the entrance examination system, increasing government expenditures for higher education, and changing national government's procedures for allocating funds to universities. Another thrust of reform has been to broaden international contacts by Japanese higher education.(3) For example, the Japan Foundation, founded in 1973, promotes scholarly exchange between the U.S. and Japan. The New Glass Forum, a MITI initiative, involves more than one hundred companies, four major public universities, and three government research laboratories that meet six times a year to further the development of glass science and manufacturing. Foreign companies may join this organization. In 1980, MITI announced the Technopolis Concept, a plan to build a network of 19 high-tech cities throughout Japan. These cities are focusing on advanced research in industries such as biotechnology, advanced ceramics, electronics, new materials, robotics, and computers.

University/Industry Tour Group

The IUCGR group was composed of seven faculty researchers (including Dr. L. David Pye, Center director), representatives from Ford Motor Co., PPG Industries, Corning Glass Works, Hotwork, Inc., and the author (director of operations for the Center). The institutions visited were: Hoya Corporation, Tokyo; Asahi Glass Co., Yokohama: Central Glass Co., Nagoya; Nippon Electric Glass Co., Otsu; Nippon Sheet Glass Co., Ltd., Itami-City; Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo; University of Osaka Prefecture, Osaka; and the Government Industrial Research Institute, Osaka.

These companies, academic institutions, and government research facilities are among those at the forefront of Japan's effort to change a successful economy based on ideas and inspiration from the West into one revolving around creative Japanese initiatives. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Observations from Japan: Lessons in Research and Technology Transfer
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.