Research Areas and Projects
■ Research areas
IIR has entered into agreements and memoranda concerning joint research with collaborating institutions, including the industrial sector and government agencies, to create a framework for research cooperation (see “Implementation System”), and is conducting research in the following areas for each project.
(1)Measurement of innovation processes
Gathering or developing original data to understand and analyze the mechanisms of knowledge fusion and knowledge creation, the realities of knowledge commercialization processes and other innovation processes.
(2) Technology management
Research on optimal approaches to technology management that will efficiently link research and development results to innovations, as a country or industrial sector as a whole.
(3) Policies and systems
Based on the case studies, statistical database and international research described above, IIR is analyzing problems that form barriers to the creation of new industries and sustainable innovation in existing industries in Japan, and conducting research that will lead to novel proposals concerning the best approach for the design of future policies and systems.
■ Research Project  Research Project on the Knowledge Creation Process in Science and the Creation of Innovation
― Research with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP) on issues such as research concerning the knowledge creation process in science, transfers of knowledge between industry and academia, and the resource allocation structure for government R&D investment ―
IIR conducted an inclusive questionnaire survey of scientists in Japan concerning the knowledge creation process (responses were received from approximately 2,100 individuals). The summary report, which generated widespread interest, was released at a workshop co-sponsored with NISTEP in October 2011. An English-language report was prepared as well, and the study results were announced at international seminars and international workshops (OECD, August 2010; 4th BRICK-DIME-STRIKE Workshop, February 2011; Second Asia-Pacific Innovation Conference, May 2011). The presentation of the latter report at a workshop at the University of Turin was selected as an invited paper from more than 10 times competition. The survey in the United States, implemented in cooperation with Georgia Institute of Technology, was completed in March 2012 as well, with responses from more than 2,300 individuals. The results of a comparison analysis based on these surveys were reported at a Japan-U.S. workshop held in cooperation with NISTEP (with support from the National Science Foundation, a U.S. government agency).
In cooperation with Professor John Walsh of Georgia Institute of Technology, IIR aggregated the data as well, to enable a Japan-U.S. comparison of the returned samples, and performed a structural comparison analysis using the details of the knowledge creation process in science in Japan and the U.S. IIR also conducted a follow-up survey in Japan on topics such as serendipity and the conditions of fund use by project phase. These research results were reported at the “Japan-U.S. Workshop on Knowledge Creation Process in Science” (co-sponsored with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology National Institute of Science and Technology Policy and held on June 23, 2011, with support from the National Science Foundation in the U.S.), and earned strong praise from Professor Paula Stephan (Professor, Georgia State University), Professor David Mowery (University of California at Berkeley/National Bureau of Economic Research) and other attendees. The results of the Japan-U.S. comparison analysis were published as an Institute of Innovation Research Working Paper (IIR WP #11-09 “Knowledge Creation Process in Science: Key Comparative Findings from the Hitotsubashi-NISTEP-Georgia Tech Scientists’ Survey in Japan and the US”). The relevant data also were organized and analyzed by theme, with the interim results summarized in the following research papers and reported at seminars and other venues. (1) “Research in Pasteur’s Quadrant: it’s Materiality,” (2) “Science Management, Serendipity and Research Results: Evidence Obtained from Scientist Surveys in Japan and the U.S.,” (3) “The Effects of Research Team Organization and Research Funds on Knowledge Creation in Science” and (4) “The Scientific Discovery Commercialization Process.”
・Nagaoka, Sadao, Masatsura Igami, John P. Walsh and Tomohiro Ijichi, 2011, “Knowledge Creation Process in Science: Key Comparative Findings from the Hitotsubashi-NISTEP-Georgia Tech Scientists’ Survey in Japan and the US”, IIR Working Paper WP#11-09, October 2011
・Nagaoka, Sadao, Masatsura Igami, Manabu Eto and Tomohiro Ijichi, “Knowledge Creation Process in Science: Basic Findings from a Large-scale Survey of Researchers in Japan”, IIR Working Paper WP#10-07, November 2010
・Nagaoka, Sadao, Masatsura Igami, Manabu Eto, Tomohiro Ijichi, 2010, “Knowledge Creation Process in Science: Basic findings from a Large-scale Survey of Researchers in Japan”, IIR Working Paper WP#10-08
■ Research Project  Research Project on Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration Research
― IIR currently is conducting a questionnaire survey concerning industry-academia collaboration research and development, in cooperation with the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology ―
IIR currently is conducting a questionnaire survey concerning industry-academia collaboration research and development, in cooperation with the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The survey covers research projects that produced patents for inventions resulting from industrial-academic collaboration for which an application was submitted in FY2004-FY2007. The purpose of the survey and a summary can be viewed here. ⇒
■ Research Project  Empirical Research Concerning the Relationship Between Researchers’ Knowledge Creation Processes and Research Promotion Policies based on an Analysis of Nobel Prizes
Information on over 800 Nobel Prize Winners and their research results have been archived by institutions related to the Nobel Museum and other foundations. IIR is utilizing this information to make comparisons with other advanced leading countries and analyze the relationship between changes in Japan’s research promotion policies and the breakthrough knowledge creation process. IIR is undertaking a quantitative international comparison analysis, searching for differences in the performance of each country from the viewpoint of their global academic standing. In conjunction with this research, IIR also is preparing case studies concerning the influence of research aid through a researcher’s life cycle, based on sources such as an analysis of Nobel Prize-related materials and documents and interviews with related parties. Based on these materials, IIR will verify the utility of the Nobel Prize as a standard for evaluating the influence of public research promotion policies on breakthrough knowledge creation activities.
■ Research Project  Collaboration Research Project with NEDO
― Research with NEDO on the innovation process and research and development project management methodologies using data on R&D projects receiving government support ―
With cooperation from NEDO, IIR has constructed a new database that will enable detailed understanding of the processes of knowledge production and commercialization in government-supported projects, and is conducting research on the innovation process at the project level. Specifically, together with contributing to the improvement of survey items from the design stage for project follow-up surveys implemented by NEDO, IIR has been using the survey results to carry out studies on research project management and the conditions for proliferation of the relevant technologies. IIR also implemented a new questionnaire survey with NEDO on government-supported projects and participating researchers. The survey covered about 250 research projects, and received responses from approximately 300 core researchers concerning roughly 140 projects.
In FY2011, IIR published findings obtained from the questionnaire survey in a scientific journal as “The Innovation Process in Government Funded Research Consortia in Japan.” Five results obtained from conducting interview surveys and organizing data on inventions, as well as from research on topics such as changes in project and corporate organization, the forms of research and knowledge sharing at consortia, and the invention activities of participating researchers, were released at workshops.
・Nagaoka, Sadao, Manabu Eto, Yusuke Naito and Naotoshi Tsukada, “The Innovation Process in Government Funded Research Consortia in Japan,” Economic Research, Vol. 62, No. 3, pp. 253-269, July 2011
・Aoshima, Yaichi, Kazunari Matsushima and Manabu Eto, “Commercialization of Government Funded R&D: Follow-up Research Survey on NEDO Research Projects,” Frontier of Japanese Business Studies, No. 7, Chap. 7, Hitotsubashi University Center for Japanese Business Studies, ed., Yuhikaku Publishing Co., Ltd., pp. 73-87, March 2011
・Matsushima, Kazunari, “Effects of Government Funding on Private Sector Research and Development Activities,” Frontier of Japanese Business Studies, No. 7, Chap. 9, Hitotsubashi University Center for Japanese Business Studies, ed., Yuhikaku Publishing Co., Ltd., pp. 99-111, March 2011
・Nagaoka, Sadao, Manabu Eto, Yusuke Naito and Naotoshi Tsukada, “The Innovation Process in Government Funded Research Consortia in Japan,” Economic Research, Vol. 62, No. 3, recent publication (July 2011)
■ Research Project  Research Project on Competition and Cooperation Processes in the Semiconductor Industry
― Research Concerning the Social Significance and Development Feasibility of the Semiconductor Sector Road Map and Japan’s R&D System Within the Global R&D System ―
IIR is pursuing collaboration research with a broad range of individuals, including experienced semiconductor engineers at device and fabrication equipment manufacturers who independently participated in formulation of the Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, global researchers exploring semiconductor processing technology and administrative officials and others at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry who are well informed about semiconductor industry policy. Researchers engaged in cutting edge R&D at many organizations, including Hitachi Central Research Laboratory, Nikon, Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL), the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), have lent their cooperation to this project. By using network analysis methodology, IIR is analyzing, on a worldwide scale, the details of collaboration R&D processes relating to leading-edge semiconductor processing technology, particularly the lateral and temporal relationships among individuals. By focusing on the innovation process, this project is undertaking research to clarify the “strengths” of Japanese firms from the viewpoint of the duality of technologies, markets and organizations, which have changed discontinuously as a result of increasing product complexity and the accompanying rapid expansion in the breadth and depth of technological difficulty, as well as their “weaknesses,” and seek policies to overcome these limitations.
During FY2011, IIR implemented additional research of inventors and others at IMEC in Belgium, LETI in France and ALD in Finland, and additionally performed a social network analysis based on the extensive volume of U.S. patent and key academic papers, to clarify the characteristics of Japanese power within the related global R&D networks, taking state-of-the-art processing technology as an example. A part of the results was published in a scholarly journal. IIR also initiated a workshop with design developers from STARC and Hitachi Central Research Laboratory, with the aim of putting the spotlight on the conditions giving rise to the same tendency in the semiconductor design sector. In conjunction with the workshop, an interview survey at related companies in Japan and overseas was implemented. Furthermore, a survey concerning measurement SEM for semiconductors and electron microscope sphere aberration correction technology, which was the first innovation in half a century in that technology, was additionally implemented in Japan and other countries.
・Chuma, Hiroyuki, “Searching for the Characteristics of R&D Strategies in the Semiconductor Industry: From a Network Analysis Viewpoint,” Economic Research, Vol. 62, No. 3, pp. 225-240, July 2011
・Chuma, Hiroyuki and Norikazu Hashimoto, “Moore’s Law, Increasing Complexity and the Limits of Organization: The Modern Significance of Japanese Chipmakers’ Commodity DRAM Business,” in H. Itami, K. Kusunoki, T. Numagami and A. Takeishi (eds.), Dynamics of Knowledge, Corporate Systems, and Innovation, Springer, (conference volume), pp. 209-245, 2009
・Chuma, Hiroyuki, “Searching for Main Causes of Declining International Competitiveness in Scientific Industries: Example of the Semiconductor Industry,” published in Fujita, Masahisa and Sadao Nagaoka, eds., Productivity and Innovation Systems (2011), Chapter 7, pp. 317-360
・Nakaya, Masao, 2011/03/17, “Analysis of Semiconductor Industry Profitability: Substantive Analysis of Semiconductor Firm Panel Data,” IIR Working Paper WP#11-03, Hitotsubashi University Institute of Innovation Research
・Kameyama, Masaomi, 2010/09/10, “Lithography and the ITRS,” IIR Working Paper WP#10-06, Hitotsubashi University Institute of Innovation Research
■ Research Project  Biotechnology Sector Innovation Project
― Research on Approaches to Advanced Technology, Venture Firms and Alliances in the Biotechnology and Life Science Sector ―
In cooperation with the Japan Bioindustry Association (JBA) and the Office of Pharmaceutical Industry Research (OPIR) of the Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, IIR is undertaking research from the following three perspectives. First, in cooperation with JBA, IIR conducted a questionnaire survey covering approximately 800 biotechnology companies, including firms that had been recently established, concerning the market entry and growth mechanisms at Japan’s biotechnology ventures (responses were received from between 200 to 300 companies). IIR also prepared data making it possible to grasp in detail the growth process from the time of entry, including data on the sources of core technology, manager exchanges, intention to complete an IPO and R&D capital restrictions, which it is using to research the processes of market entry and growth. Second, IIR is working with OPIR to carry out a comparative study of start-up firms and alliances in the pharmaceuticals industry in Japan, the U.S. and Europe. This extremely novel research was undertaken to comparatively study not only licenses but also to look comprehensively at transitions in alliances, including the introduction of biotech technology through mergers and acquisitions, at the top ten companies in Japan, the U.S. and Europe. Third, in innovation there tends to be a bias toward a comparatively small number of inventions generating a substantial portion of the economic effects. Consequently IIR is pursuing a detailed case study regarding the process of discovery and commercialization with the cooperation of Dr. Endo Akira, the discover of statins, which are frequently described as “the greatest new drugs in history.” IIR is also working to undertake a similar case study with the cooperation of Dr. Ohsugi Yoshiyuki, who developed the first antibody drug in Japan.
IIR released the results of the start-up firm survey it is implementing with the Japan Bioindustry Association in FY2011 at the American Economic Association. IIR published a related new WP as well. The comparison analysis of the main causes of growth at biotechnology firms that have listed their stock in Japan and the U.S., and the results of a case study looking at the development process for Actemra, the first antibody drug in Japan, were announced at a research workshop.
・Honjo, Yuji, Sadao Nagaoka, Kenta Nakamura and Yumi Shimizu, “Challenges of Growth in Bio Startups: A Look at Tie-ups and the Exchange of Top Representatives,” IIR Working Paper WP#12-01, 2012
・Braguinsky Serguey, Yuji Honjo, Sadao Nagaoka, Kenta Nakamura, “Science-Based Business: Knowledge Capital or Entrepreneurial Ability? Theory and Evidence from a Survey of Biotechnology Start-ups” IIR Working Paper WP#10-05, March 2011
・Honjo, Yuji, Kenta Nakamura, Sadao Nagaoka and Yumi Shimizu, “Japan’s Bio Startups: Acquisition of Core Technology, Alliances and Challenges to Growth” IIR Working Paper WP#10-03, 2010
・Toshiro Takatori, Kenta Nakamura, Sadao Nagaoka and Yuji Honjo, “Structure and Performance of Alliances Among Japanese, U.S. and European Pharmaceuticals Firms, IIR Working Paper WP#09-07, 2009
・Honjo, Yuji, Sadao Nagaoka, Kenta Nakamura, Setsuo Morishita and Yumi Shimizu, “Entry and Growth Performance of the Japanese Biotechnology Industry,” IIR Working Paper WP#09-06, August 2009
■Research Project  Standards etc. in Other Sectors
― Research on Standards and Innovations in Other Sectors ―
IIR is conducting “research on the interrelationship between standardization trends and innovation” as well under the leadership of Professor Eto Manabu. This effort has analyzed various examples to determine the effects of standardization on innovation, and based on the results has undertaken research for the purpose of devising methods for applying standardization to business activities, developing methodologies to train the individuals who use those methods and disseminating this information to the industrial sector.
・Fujino, Jinzo and Manabu Eto, (contributing ed.) Business in Standardization (Chapters 3, 4, 5, 6 and 9), Hakuto-Shobo Publishing Company (2009/12)
・Eto, Manabu, “The Role of Patents Built into Standard,” Annual Bulletin of the Japan Academy of International Business Studies, Vol. 14 (2008/9)
・Eto, Manabu, “Business Impacts of Global Standards: Competition Has Changed by the Testing Standards,” Hitotsubashi Business Review, Vol. 57, No. 3, December 2009, pp. 6-19
・Eto, Manabu, “Definitions and Functions,” in Donggeun Choi & Byung-Goo Kang eds., Standardization: Fundamentals, Impact, and Business Strategy (APEC SCSC Education Guideline 3) , Chapter 1, June 2010, pp. 3-36
・Eto, Manabu: “Lifecycle, Organizations, and Development Procedures,” in Donggeun Choi & Byung-Goo Kang eds., Standardization: Fundamentals, Impact, and Business Strategy (APEC SCSC Education Guideline 3), Chapter 2, July 2010, pp. 37-55
・Nagaoka, Sadao and Naotoshi Tsukada, “Standard-making R&D and Standard-using R&D: A First Look at Their Characteristics Based on Inventor Survey,” Hitotsubashi Business Review, Vol. 57 No. 3, December 2009, pp. 50-65
・Nagaoka, Sadao, Naotoshi Tsukada and Tomoyuki Shimbo, “The Structure and the Emergence of Essential Patents for Standards: Lessons from Three IT Standards,” in Canter, Uwe, Jean-Luc Gaffard and Lionel Nesta, eds. Schumpeterian Perspectives on Innovation, Competition and Growth, Berlin : Springer, 2008
■ Research Project  Creation of a Research Database
IIR has developed a methodology to utilize the patent database for innovation research as well. Other research includes the development of a questionnaire survey synchronized with the patent database system, and the development of software linked to the names of Japanese inventors.
■ Research Project  Research on the Scientific Sources and Economic Effects of Innovation
Science of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (JST)
Appropriately understanding the scientific sources of innovation and innovation’s economic effects is vitally important for the development of science for policy.
In this project, IIR is conducting a systematic survey of innovation pioneers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors concerning the scientific sources of innovation, and building objective data for comprehending mechanisms for the creation of innovations that take the sciences as their source. With this as a cornerstone, IIR also is assessing the extent to which public information in papers and patents understands the flow of knowledge from science, researching methodologies to elevate that capacity to understand that knowledge flow, and evaluating the economic effect of science-based innovations. Based on these efforts, IIR will provide useful, original data and analytical methodologies for policy design to enhance the contributions of science to innovation, and make policy proposals.