Masaru Yarime has research interests centering around science, technology, and innovation policy, management, and governance, involving complex and dynamic interactions between technology and institutions in creating innovation. He is particularly interested in exploring the structure, functions, and evolution of innovation systems for sustainability, with a focus on data-intensive innovation recently emerging in a wide range of sectors. He has contributed to many international initiatives, including the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative on Environmental Risk Integration in Sovereign Credit Analysis, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group III Fifth Assessment Report, and the Expert Group on Policy Support Tools and Methodologies of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Currently he is serving on the editorial board of international journals, including Sustainability Science, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, and Frontiers in Energy Research – Energy Systems and Policy. He received BEng in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tokyo, MS in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and PhD in Economics and Policy Studies of Innovation and Technological Change from Maastricht University in the Netherlands. His previous positions include Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy and Project Associate Professor of Science, Technology, and Innovation Governance at the Graduate School of Public Policy in the University of Tokyo.
In our efforts to make a steady step towards a better and more sustainable society, the conventional model of university-industry-government collaboration and technology transfer practices would not necessarily be appropriate for promoting larger socio-technical innovation. The entrepreneurial paradigm tends to focus rather narrowly on spurring business as usual economic growth and not always on addressing pressing societal or grand challenges. For a university seeking to apply its expertise and sources of innovation to the goal of building a sustainable society, the existing mode of university-industry collaboration requires a careful re-examination. The present model needs to be reformed so that academia will engage itself with a variety of stakeholders in the private and public sectors through interactions in jointly creating and implementing relevant expertise. The focus of the new model is expected to effective in spurring innovation and entrepreneurialism and enabling multi-stakeholder collaborations aimed at solving complex and interconnected societal issues. The traditional policy approach to science and technology, primarily through supporting intensive R&D activities in universities and corporations and facilitating transfer of intellectual proper rights, would not necessarily be appropriate or sufficient for encouraging innovation on pressing societal issues. In traditional cases of innovations, collaborative networks involving universities, public research institutes, and private firms were supported to influence the direction and speed of scientific investigation and technological development. These R&D collaborations, however, mainly focused on solving technical questions with engineers, not on addressing broad societal issues by working with diverse stakeholders. This research project proposes to conduct a comparative study on science and technology policies aimed at stimulating innovation to address grand or societal challenges in Japan, United States, and Europe. In particular, the project examines what kinds of public policy have been introduced to promote university-industry collaboration for encouraging innovation and how these policies have been adjusted to address more socially important issues going beyond economic development, which would require wider involvement of stakeholders with diverse backgrounds and interests from a longer-term perspective. The project intends to assess what kinds of impact have been made so far and identifies future opportunities and challenges for science and technology policy. As many societal issues are increasingly involving global dimensions, the project also examines the potentials of international cooperation and collaboration between policy makers in Japan, the U.S. and Europe, as well as emerging economies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Statistical data will be collected on basic dimensions of science and technology policy to stimulate innovation through government sources, academic books and articles, and industrial reports. Interviews will be conducted with experts and practitioners involved in university-industry-government collaboration for creating innovations, including researchers in academia, policy makers dealing with science, technology, and innovation, and private companies involved in collaboration with universities and other stakeholders. Particularly policy makers in the field of science, technology, and innovation will provide detailed information about the purposes of science and technology policy and their impacts on the behavior of the relevant stakeholders with regard to collaboration to jointly create innovations to address societal challenges.