Business Office Feature

LIFE SCIENCE TECHNOLOGIES: Innovation in Japan Results from Reforms

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Science  13 Apr 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6078, pp. 249-255
DOI: 10.1126/science.336.6078.249


Japanese academic reforms over the last decade have encouraged entrepreneurship and technology transfer from universities to industry. These reforms are now yielding results. Science and business leaders hope these changes push Japan into the next phase of innovation development, with increased flexibility and transparency, a more global focus, and more national and international collaboration. Japanese scientists are ready. After delays caused by the March 2011 triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant failure, the lights are on again in Japanese research laboratories. Although recovery and reconstruction are priorities, the long-term goals of developing sustainable energy sources and solving the health challenges of an aging population continue to be major focus areas.