Industrial R&D in Japan

Industrial R&D in Japan

AI Robotics Society 5.0 Japan

Japan’s Society 5.0: Going Beyond Industry 4.0

Germany’s Industry 4.0 is a well-known buzzword. Japan has now introduced Society 5.0. Is this a mere one-step-ahead game, or is there more behind? Industry 4.0 As the name already indicates, Industry 4.0 is looking mainly into industrial production. Its main idea is the information exchange between companies down to the machines and processes. Nowadays, not only machines but virtually […]

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AI - Toyota Concept i

Japan Takes Fast Follower Approach on Artificial Intelligence, Too

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has recently become a buzzword around the globe. The processing power of microchips is now strong enough for machines to do very complex tasks. In 2015, Google’s AlphaGo defeated the best human players in the board game Go, which was considered the last bastion of human advantage. It did not use pure computing power, but deep […]

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Academic Freedom - Waseda Shigenobu Okuma

Promoting Academic Freedom: Will Japan Seize Its Opportunity?

In my home country Germany, freedom of science is guaranteed by the Basic Law, as the constitution is called. When the Academic Freedom Act came into force in 2012, it increased self-governance of non-university research institutes in addition to universities. In contrast, the science sector in Japan has traditionally been strongly controlled by the ministries. Recently however, there is a […]

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Science and Technology Basic Plan Shinkansen High-Tech

How Japan Plans to Become the World’s Most Innovation-Friendly Country

Government and ministries strongly guide Japan’s science sector. So let us look into the new Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan that came into force this April, which should lead the path for the country’s Science and Technology (S&T) for the next five years. It places a strong emphasis on internationalization. The aim is to make Japan the “most innovation-friendly […]

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Industry-Academia Collaboration Japan - Graduate

Industry-Academia Collaboration in Japan – Opportunities for Foreign Companies

Technology transfer from science to industry has not been particularly well developed in Japan traditionally. Yet the country’s level of science is excellent and offers a good source for industry and even foreign companies. Before turning to the latest developments in the Japanese Science and Technology system in my next article, let me today make a detour to the situation […]

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Nation Based on Science - Researcher

Japan: The Nation Based on Science

Remarkably, in 1986 the mounting U.S. trade deficit in semiconductors with Japan even led to a trade agreement easing the situation. The Japanese semiconductor industry was expanding rapidly. Technologically, this was the outcome of the most successful of the so-called Big Projects I described in a previous article: The research association for the very-large-scale integrated circuit VLSI (1976-1980) helped push […]

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Bird's-Eye View of Dejima

Japan’s Science and Technology: Rooted in History

This article series tries to shed light on the characteristics of Japan’s Science and Technology system. We begin with a historical view to see how science and technology developed, the implications for the current Science and Technology system and especially the transfer of knowledge from science into industry. A very basic characteristic of Japan is its ability to learn from […]

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