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Japan Opens National R&D Database to Aspiring Innovators

What will be the next great tech breakthrough of the Fourth Industrial Revolution? The secret may lie in a wealth of research and development (R&D) data waiting to be tapped.

Just as advanced technologies such as IoT, big data and AI have reshaped the world, a growing wealth of untapped R&D data has the potential to create new businesses and help innovative companies gain competitive advantages in their fields. The key is cultivating a shared database of R&D data that aspiring innovators can turn into new businesses and growth opportunities.

Bridging the disconnect between research and businesses

Since 2000, Japan’s Industrial Technology Enhancement Act has enabled companies, universities and research institutions that participate in government-funded R&D projects to retain intellectual property rights related to these projects, including patents. While this has increased incentive for companies and institutions to participate in national R&D projects, the results of these projects have not always been adapted for business use.

To help draw out the full potential of government-funded R&D, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is promoting the use of national R&D data to a broader range of companies and universities, in addition to the initial drivers of the project. Allowing the use of R&D data across different disciplines will help promote open innovation, create new businesses, and strengthen industrial competitiveness.

National data catalog contains a wealth of hidden treasures

Based on this strategy, all data collected from METI-funded R&D projects launched after FY2017 is subject to registration in a national data catalog. Interested parties can receive registered data after creating a data use agreement with the data owner. Through this program, METI aims to promote more effective uses of R&D data, increase collaboration between companies and research institutions, and foster greater industrial competitiveness.

For more information on the National Project Data Catalogue, follow the links below.

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Last updated:2019-06-25