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University-industry technology transfer in Japan: will the American model work in Japan?

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2 Author(s)
Collins, S. ; Dept. of Liberal Studies, Washington Univ., WA, USA ; Wakoh, H.

Summary form only given. In this paper we examine Japan's technology transfer initiatives in a historical context. History is important, we argue, because academic research in Japan has, for more than a hundred years, been expected to play a role in the national innovation system far different from that played by academic research in the US. The question we ask is: will the easing of regulations that formerly limited contacts between academic researchers and their counterparts in industry, along with various promotional schemes to support creation of technology licensing offices (TLOs), boost the level of patenting and licensing activity along the lines of that experienced in the US? We believe the evidence justifies cautious optimism. The methodology we employ is based on historical sources, newspaper articles reporting current developments, government documents, and a survey of small and medium sized companies in Kanagawa Prefecture. Our approach is rooted in the “national innovation systems” framework which holds that the innovative capacity of nations is best understood by studying the ways in which universities, public and private sectors have historically evolved and systematically interacted. We conclude that historic changes are indeed being made to improve and increase the potential for formal technology transfer

Published in:

Management of Engineering and Technology, 1999. Technology and Innovation Management. PICMET '99. Portland International Conference on  (Volume:1 )

Date of Conference:

1999