Visions of Future Technologies: Government, Globalisation, and Universities in Japanese Biotechnology

Martin Fransman

in Visions of Innovation

Published in print May 1999 | ISBN: 9780198289357
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596261 | DOI:

Series: Japan Business and Economics Series

 Visions of Future Technologies: Government, Globalisation, and Universities in Japanese Biotechnology

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An outline is first given of several influential views regarding the role of the Japanese government and universities in the area of biotechnology. The role of the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in biotechnology is then examined in detail, focusing attention on some of the major cooperative research programmes initiated by MITI in the field of biotechnology and the outcomes of these programmes; some of the biotechnology projects undertaken under the auspices of the Science and Technology Agency (STA) are then analysed and evaluated. Questions of policy‐making and influences on this are tackled next through an examination of the relationships between business, bureaucrats, and politicians in Japan, and the role of some of the other Japanese ministries involved in biotechnology is then discussed, including conflicts between ministries that have arisen in this area. The role of Japanese universities in biotechnology is analysed, including evidence from a study on the importance of research in Japanese universities for some of the leading Japanese biotechnology companies, as well as a case study of a leading biotechnology research laboratory at Tokyo University. The next question examined, on the basis of a study of patents in biotechnology‐related pharmaceuticals, is how advanced research in biotechnology in Japan is distributed between company laboratories and universities, and whether this pattern of distribution differs from that in the major Western countries. The chapter ends with a summary of some of the main features of the Japanese system in biotechnology.

Keywords: biotechnology; bureaucrats; business; companies; conflict; firms; globalization; government; government ministries; Japan; Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry; Japanese Science and Technology Agency; patents; pharmaceuticals; policy‐making; relationships; research; universities; vision

Chapter.  20639 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Microeconomics

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