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[Paper Express] Experience and Enlightenment of Independent Technological Innovation under Japan's "Technology-based Nation" Strategy -- Based on the Perspective of National Innovation System Research

Abstract:In the 1970 s, with the improvement of Japan's comprehensive national strength, it was pressured by the United States in the fields of finance, trade, science and technology. In order to cope with the crisis at home and abroad, Japan put forward the strategy of "building the country through technology" at the beginning of the 1980 s. The strategy takes the realization of the transformation from "technology introduction" to "independent technological innovation" as the core concept, focuses on key core technology research, and gives full play to the advantages of different subjects of "government, industry and university". The essence is to reshape Japan's national innovation system and contribute to Japan's future technology. Competitive advantage has laid a solid foundation. Based on the theory of national innovation system, this paper systematically analyzes Japan's "technology-based nation" strategy and its related supporting measures for key core technology research, discusses the role positioning and functions of the main bodies of the national innovation system under the strategy, summarizes the relevant experience of Japan's independent technological innovation and the enlightenment to China's scientific and technological self-reliance.


Key words:technology-based nation; national innovation system; key core technology; national R & D plan; national scientific research institution


Abstract: Science and technology competition plays a pivotal role in competitions between countries. Historically,countries with first-mover advantages would impose competitive exclusion and technological blockades against latecomers to export their commodities and low-and mid-end technologies to latecomers and maintain their hegemony in high and sophisticated technologies. In the 1970s, Japan, with the rise of its national strength, was suppressed by the United States in finance, trade, and science and technology. In response to the domestic and international crises, Japan proposed the "Nation Based on Technology" strategy in the early 1980s. The strategy features a transition from the introduction of technology to independent technological innovation and focuses on breakthroughs in core and key technologies by leveraging the advantages of different parties in government-industry-academic collaboration to reshape Japan's national innovation system and lay solid groundwork for Japan's future competitive advantages in science and technology. The strategy encompasses five strands:(1) selecting core and key technological fields based on the bottlenecks in national development;(2)pursuing a state-led and focused R&D system surrounding the needs of industrial development;(3) building a government-industry-academic collaboration mechanism by defining responsibilities of the government, state-owned research institutions and enterprises;(4) increasing R&D support for enterprises by implementing a range of national R&D programs;(5) improving the R&D institutional environment for enterprises by providing financial, equipment and talent support. In recent years, the United States has imposed technological blockades against China and provoked technology and trade wars, and the two countries have seen ever-escalating bilateral disputes. The current economic scale, technology level, and development environment of China resemble those of Japan of the 1970s and 80s. Guided by the theory of national innovation system, this article systematically analyzes Japan's“Nation Based on Technology”strategy and its supporting measures for grasping core and key technologies, discusses the roles and functions of various parties in the national innovation system under this strategy, and summarizes the experience of and insights into how to select and grasp core and key technologies, so as to provide a point of reference for China's policymakers. The conclusions are as follows:(1) the government should coordinate and organize the process of selecting core and key technologies in a present-based and future-oriented fashion, making full use of the bottom-up forces, centering on the actual needs of economic and social development and the future of industrial development;(2) the government should help enterprises enhance R&D capabilities, incorporating the actual needs of industrial development into national strategy, providing theoretical support and technical guidance for enterprises, creating an institutional environment favorable to R&D;(3) the strengths of state-owned research institutions as national strategic science and technology forces should be exerted to offset the R&D expertise gap of enterprises and to assist the government in performing organization, coordination and management functions;(4) the government should continue to optimize program organization and management capabilities and seek to establish professional science and technology management systems and methods.


Key words: nation based on technology;national innovation system; breakthroughs in key technology;major national research and development program;national research institute


Author: Li Huimin, Chen Guang

Author: Institute of Science and Technology Strategy Consulting, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Department of Chinese Academy of Sciences Work Bureau

The full text has been published in Science and Science and Technology Management, Issue 2, 2022.

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