Current Institutional Affiliation
Vincent de Paul Professor and Director, Political Science/ Global Asian Studies, DePaul University

Kathryn Ibata- Arens is an expert on innovation and entrepreneurship in Asia, science and technology policy,
women’s economic empowerment, and inclusive innovation. Ibata- Arens’ recent research explores technology
leadership, innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem development in biomedical industries in Asia. Her book,
Beyond Technonationalism: Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Asia (Stanford University Press 2019)
analyz es national policy and firm level strategy in China, India, Japan, and Singapore. She served on the METIState
Department Japan- US Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council (2012- 13), serves on the Board of Directors
of the Japan- America Society of Chicago, and as a member of the U.S.- Japan Council (USJC). Ibata- Arens was a
Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation U.S.- Japan
Network for the Future Scholar in its first cohort (2011- 2012). In 2012, Ibata- Arens was a visiting researcher at the
Research Center for Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI, Tokyo), Ritsumeikan University Research Center for
Innovation Management (Kyoto) (2011- 12), and as a Fulbright Fellow at Kyoto University (2010).
In 2008 Ibata- Arens was a Japan Policy Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in
Washington, DC. And was an Abe Fellow in the Faculty of Commerce, Doshisha University, Kyoto (2005- 06). Her
dissertation research was conducted at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST) at
the University of Tokyo as a Fulbright Doctoral Fellow. Ibata- Arens’ previous book, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
in Japan: Politics, Organiz ations and High Technology Firms (Cambridge University Press, 2005) analyz es leading
high technology firms and regional economies in Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo.

Award Information

Abe Fellowship 2004
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Assistant Professor, International Relations, Political Science, DePaul University
The Local Political Economy of Innovation in Japan and the United States: A New Policy Model?

This project examines spatial, institutional and human interstices in successful policies supporting (new product, new business) innovation at the local level. I propose a comparative study of how embedded enterprise (how economic activity is embedded in certain socio-political milieu or "habitats" ) and civic entrepreneurship (business leaders having a keen sense of "giving back" to local communities for mutual long term gain) impact firm and community level innovation in Japan's Kansai region and the American Midwest. I employ a multi-method approach, using both quantitative and qualitative measures. Data will be collected using surveys and semi-structured interviews with firm owner-managers, government officials and civic leaders. The survey is complemented by case study analysis of high tech (IT, bio) entrepreneurial firms in St. Louis and Kyoto. Qualitative measures include local (district), city, regional and national economic development policies; grassroots activities; and sociograms. Quantitative measures include industrial mapping (e.g., composition, concentration), capital investment and trade statistics.