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Grands projets in the Japan’s new science and technology strategy. Yuko HARAYAMA Tohoku University Council for Science & Technology Policy Content. Grands projets and Japan after war catch-up P riority-setting I mplementation

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grands projets in the japan s new science and technology strategy

Grands projets in the Japan’s new science and technology strategy


Tohoku University

Council for Science & Technology Policy

  • Grands projets and Japan after war catch-up
    • Priority-setting
    • Implementation
    • Example:New energy technology area
  • Grands projets during the « lost decade »
    • Priority-setting
    • Implementation
  • Grands projets in the new S&T strategy (The end of Japanese grands projets?)
    • Framework
    • New approach

6CP Bruxelles

a fter war catch up p riority setting
After war catch-up: Priority-setting
  • Role of MITI (actual METI) in the “Japanese Miracle”
    • Widely acknowledged by Western and Japanese policy experts!
    • As a referee, as a coordinator, as a scenario writer?
  • A complex mix of consensus-building and planning (shingikai, industry associations, large companies,…) to set up long term “Visions”in emerging areas

6CP Bruxelles

a fter war catch up implementation 1
After war catch-up: Implementation (1)
  • Specific, vertical, intervention
    • to fit the different priorities, needs and circumstances of individual industries
  • Custom design of policy instruments
    • From“hard” policy tools: laws, regulations, direct financing
    • To softer tools such as administrative guidance: non-codified, extra-legal guidelines
  • Research & DevelopmentConsortia

(Officially Technology Research Associations since 1961)

    • Large-scale collaborative programs
    • High-tech industries
    • METI primary tool of industrial policy and its primary method of influencing Japanese corporate behavior

6CP Bruxelles

a fter war catch up implementation 2
After war catch-up: Implementation (2)
  • R&D consortia
    • The aim
      • To organize major industrial sectors concerned with solving technological problems common to the sector as a whole or to a smaller group of major companies within the sector (Ito)
    • Role
      • Often linked to the establishment of a vision. R&D consortia were “essential in realizing the goals of the vision” (Watanabe)
    • For instance, the “Vision of the 1970s”
      • put the emphasis on computer, industrial robots, integrated circuits, fine chemicals, aircraft and battery-powered electric vehicles
      • most of these areas have experienced the creation of R&D consortia (VLSI, SELETE, Sunshine program, Moonlight program, Next Generation Super Computer,…)

6CP Bruxelles

a fter war catch up example
After war catch-up: Example
  • New energy technologies area
    • Key role played by NEDO* (New Energy & Industrial Technology** Development Organization)
    • Through large-scale cooperative programs
    • Principal R&D consortia
      • Sunshine Program (started in 1974)
      • Moonlight Program (started in 1984)
      • New Sunshine Program (started in 1990)
        • Lithium Battery Energy storage Technology Research Association (Matsushita, Hitachi, Shin Kobe,…)
        • Photovoltaic Power Generation Technology Research Association (PVTEC) includes the 30 most important companies in the area
        • MCFC Technology Research Association (Mitsubishi,…)
        • PAFC Technology Research Association (Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Toho Gas and Saibu Gas)

* Established in 1980 ** Since 1988

6CP Bruxelles

lost decade p riority setting
« Lost decade »: Priority-setting
  • Context during the 90s
    • The recession!
    • Japanese model of industrial policy not relevant anymore in the post catch-up period!
  • Priority-setting
    • « It is not clear anymore what to target » now that Japan has reached leadership (Okitomo)
    • Government and industry no longer share the same expectation and preference (Watanabe)
    • Before having strategic technologies, Japan needs an economic strategy (a METI official)
    • the speed of techno and market changes has increased

6CP Bruxelles

lost decade implementation
« Lost decade »: Implementation
  • Increasingly difficult to enlist leading companies in R&D consortia
    • Ex: LIBES (lithium battery) consortium: Sony (who holds the patent) refused to participate
    • Ex: Fifth Generation Project: Nihon Univac and IBM Japan declined MITI’s invitation
  • R&D consortia are too rigid to cope with the pace of technological change
    • Ex: consortium on HDTV technologies, could not switch to digital technologies
  • Companies are increasingly international (alliances, M&A) which make their participation in national Big Projects less attractive/more difficult

6CP Bruxelles

lost decade pros cons
« Lost decade »: Pros & Cons
  • A very political debate
    • “much of the work on Japanese practices presented by those advocating or opposing joint research is self serving”
    • In the 90s: boomerang effect… not only R&D consortia are not effective anymore but their past effectiveness has been overestimated
  • The critics addressed to R&D consortia
    • Remote government-industry relationships (problem NEDO/METI/Companies)
    • R&D consortia were technology-push
    • R&D consortia are not cooperative : “nothing but a public show: seemingly cooperative institutions mask an underlying reality of fierce competition and conflict” (S. Callon)

6CP Bruxelles

lost decade new model
« Lost decade »: New Model?
  • Consensus on the need for a new model
    • “METI has to realize that the government role is not to identify promising technologies but to improve the overall environment for innovation” (Porter et al)
    • “Japan must abandon its piecemeal, vertically oriented approach and support university-led basic research, which will provide the foundation for long-term and continuous technical innovation (METI, 2000)
    • government programs that have funded applied research programs that benefited a specific industry be scaled back or terminated (Japanese Administrative Reform Council, 1997)
    • research consortia are “policy tools from the past” (METI official, 2003)

6CP Bruxelles

n ew s t s trategy framework
New S&T strategy: Framework
  • The S&T Basic Law (1995)
    • Context
      • Economic recession ⇒ To legitimate R&D investment
      • Government’s agenda: “Nation based on the creation of S&T”
    • Implication
      • No more monopoly of METI
      • Toward “National Policy”!
  • The S&T Basic Plans
    • 1st BP(96-00), 2nd BP (01-05) & 3rd BP (06-10)
  • Innovation 25
  • “Projects for accelerating the transfer to society”

6CP Bruxelles

n ew s t s trategy 1 st basic plan
New S&T strategy: 1st Basic Plan
  • Highlights
    • Universities on the front line
    • Technology policy to serve the society, mainly the economy
  • Strategies
    • To increase R&D fundings
    • To reinforce university-industry linkages
    • To help the commercialization of « intellectual assets »
    • « 10 000 post-docs  program» (System reform)
    • To increase the mobility of researchers and enginners
  • Total budget
    • 17 trillion yen (actual expenditure 17.6 trillion)

≈ 102 billion €

6CP Bruxelles

n ew s t s trategy cstp
New S&T strategy: CSTP
  • « S & T Policy » by the past
    • Shared competencies
      • S & T Agency = Initiator & Executor
      • Science & Technology Council = Consutatif instance
      • Ministry of finance = arbitrage
  • Council for S & T Policy (CSTP: 2001)
    • Within the Cabinet Office directly attache to the Prime Minister
    • Under the authority of Deputy Minister in charge of Science & Technology (Fumio KISHIDA?*)
    • Above all ministries
  • CSTP’s functions
    • Coordination
    • Initiation
  • Expert Panels

*Also charged of Okinawa & Northern territories Affaires, Social Affaires, Re-Challenge, Deregulation

6CP Bruxelles

n ew s t s trategy 2 nd basic plan
New S&T strategy: 2nd Basic Plan
  • Basic ideas
    • S&T to serve the society
    • Strategic approach
      • To create a competitive environment
      • To implement evaluation system
      • To reinforce tripartite cooperation
      • To reinforce the inter-ministerial coordination
    • Priority domains
      • Life sciences, IT, Environment, Nanotech & Materials
  • Total budget
    • 24 trillion yen (actual expenditure 21.1 trillion)

≈ 144billion €

    • 36% increase over the 1st Basic Plan

6CP Bruxelles

n ew s t s trategy 3 rd basic plan
New S&T strategy: 3rd Basic Plan
  • Accelerating Innovation
    • To promote “Centers of excellence”
    • To stimulate interdisciplinary fields
    • To enhance the quality of human resources
  • System reforms
    • To enhance the mobility of people
    • To attract foreign researchers
    • To make research environments more competitive
  • Total budget
    • 25 trillion yen (≈ 150 billion €)

6CP Bruxelles

n ew s t s trategy strategic priority setting 1
New S&T strategy:Strategic priority setting (1)
  • Basic research
      • Steady promotion
  • Policy mission-oriented R&D
    • 4 priority promotion areas: Life science, IT, Environmental sciences, Nanotech & materials)
    • 4 promotion areas: Energy, MONODZUKURI-tech, Social infrastructure, Frontier
    • Further prioritization based on:
      • Future impact on science, economy, and society
      • Japan’s competitive advantage
      • Public & Private partnership
      • Strategic S&T priorities including “Key technologies of national importance”
      • +Various measures for promoting S&T

6CP Bruxelles

n ew s t s trategy strategic priority setting 2
New S&T strategy:Strategic priority setting (2)

Total S&T budget (FY2007): 3.57 trillion yen

Basic research&higher education

1.42 trillion yen

Policy mission-oriented R&D

1.79 trillion yen

Strategic S&Tpriorities

286 billion yen(16%)

62 Strategic S&T priorities

/273 R&D themes

Systems reform& others

365 billion yen

6CP Bruxelles

n ew s t s trategy strategic priority setting 3
New S&T strategy:Strategic priority setting (3)

Connecting basic research and the development of new drugs and other clinical technologies

Life science



Winning international competition in next generation-super computers and in the IT industry





Taking international leadership for overcoming global warming

Nano &


Making breakthroughs with innovative materials

* Other various

integrated areas

of S&T exist


Breaking the dependency on oil in transportation services




Further strengthening Japan’s MONODZUKURI-tech



Minimizing damages in case of a catastrophic disaster


Transportation systems for outer-space and deep-sea utilization

and others…

6CP Bruxelles


n ew s t s trategy strategic priority setting 4
New S&T strategy:Strategic priority setting (4)
  • Key technologies of national importance
    • Next generation super computer* (IT)
    • Marine-earth observation & exploration system (Environment, Social infrastructure, & Frontier)
    • X-ray free electron laser(Nano & Materials)
    • Fast reactor cycle technology development(Energy)
    • Space transportation system (Frontier)

* Presentation on Nov. 20

6CP Bruxelles

n ew s t s trategy innovation 25
New S&T strategy: Innovation 25
  • Former Prime Minister Abe’s vision (2006)
    • “Innovation” and “Openness”
    • Innovation 25 Strategy Council (Cabinet Office)
  • Long Term Strategic Guidelines “Innovation 25”
    • Adopted at a Cabinet meeting (June 2007)
    • Policy roadmap towards Japan based on innovation
      • Strategies for social system reform
      • Roadmap for technology innovation strategies
      • Institutional reform, including inter-ministry cooperation

6CP Bruxelles

n ew s t s trategy pats
New S&T strategy: PATS
  • Characteristics of “Projects for Accelerating the Transfer to Society”
    • Interdisciplinary approach
    • Public-Private cooperation
    • Inter-ministry approach
    • Embedded system reform
  • Projects aiming for:
    • “A society where all can stay healthy throughout life”
    • “A safe and secured society”
    • “A society with diversified lifestyles”
    • “A society contributing to resolve the global issues”
    • “A society open to the world”

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Example: Advanced home care for elderly people, disable people, & sick persons




Technologiessupporting in-home care


Medical & health care devices

Elderly, disable, sick persons

Telemedicine system

Applied research

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare(80 million yen)

Experimental proof

Supporting mobility, autonomy, communication

Rehabilitation devices

Society whereall canstay healthy throughout life


METI (1.2 billion yen)

Robots for assisting mobility, communication, autonomy

Family taking care

Home care Project

2008 FY

Reduced physical & time constraints


Care facilities

・Standardization (METI)

・Facilitating the use of newly developed technologies (MHLW, METI)

・Regulations related to the application in different fields (concerned ministries)

System reform

Cost reduction

6CP Bruxelles

grand projets still alive
“Grand Projets” still alive!
  • But…
    • transforming their:
      • Mission
      • Supervisor
      • Governance & Management
      • Funding structure
      • Scope (R&D + institutional reform)
    • As a response to the changing:
      • Economic & social environment
      • Institutional framework
  • “Grands Projets” as an evolving political tool!

6CP Bruxelles