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  5. Two Documents Compiled: “Guideline for Enhancing Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration Activities (Supplemental Version)” and “University Factbook 2020”

Two Documents Compiled: “Guideline for Enhancing Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration Activities (Supplemental Version)” and “University Factbook 2020”

June 30, 2020

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) jointly compiled two documents: “Guideline for Enhancing Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration Activities (Supplemental Version) - Toward Value Creation through Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration-” (hereinafter referred to as the “2020 guidelines (supplemental version)”) and “University Factbook 2020,” as efforts for further advancing full-fledged organizational-scale industry-academia-government collaboration toward creation of new value.

1. Background

For the purpose of encouraging industry-academia-government collaboration to contribute to companies’ creation of innovations, the industry, academia and government sectors should not focus on conventional, bilateral collaboration between researchers but recognize themselves as partners and advance full-fledged organizational-scale collaboration between the three sectors toward the creation of new value.

Aiming to establish such full-fledged organizational-scale collaboration, METI and MEXT formulated the Guideline for Enhancing Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration Activities in 2016 (hereinafter referred to as the “2016 guidelines”). Since then, the reform of universities and other institutes has been progressing to a certain extent.

Meanwhile, METI and MEXT analyzed and assessed the current situations of the reform in order to further accelerate it and discovered some bottlenecks facing universities and other institutes. Furthermore, based on the results of past reform, they found that industrial players, serving as one of the two wheels of the reform, still lack solutions to some of the challenges.

2. Summary of the 2020 guidelines (supplemental version)

METI and MEXT analyzed solutions to the bottlenecks in carrying out the 2016 guidelines, presented new solutions that address changes in social situations, reorganized guidelines targeting industrial players and compiled these results into the 2020 guidelines (supplemental version).

Characteristics of the 2020 guidelines (supplemental version) are as follows.

  1. They provide organized approaches to evaluating “knowledge” in terms of money while recognizing industry-academia-government collaboration not as a “cost burden” but as an investment in “value” (e.g., compensation paid to regular researchers and students for the time of their commitments and payment in the case of success in their research);

  2. They expand the field of view from “organizations” to “ecosystems” including university-oriented venture businesses (e.g., to include universities’ acquisition of shares and share options etc. of their university-oriented venture businesses); and

  3. They reorganize guidelines targeting industrial players on the basis that both universities or other institutes and industrial players are equal partners.

3. University Factbook 2020

METI and MEXT have been publishing an annual “University Factbook” since 2018, aiming to make certain data (e.g., the progress in efforts taken by universities in accordance with the 2016 guidelines and achievements brought about by universities’ collaboration with industrial players) “visible” so that those efforts and achievements can be compared and evaluated.

The ministries also released “University Factbook 2020” in line with the compilation of the 2020 guidelines (supplemental version).

Division in Charge

Industry-University Collaboration Office, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau