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Gov’t to include numerical targets in five-year basic program for science and technology

  • 2015-11-02 15:00:00
  • , Nikkei
  • Translation

(Nikkei: November 2, 2015 – p. 13)


 The Cabinet Office is planning to include numerical targets in its five-year basic program for the promotion of science and technology. The move is aimed at gauging achievements in 23 key areas, such as the number of spinoff businesses set up by universities and public research institutes and global rankings of Japanese universities. By responding to the call that the basic plan should set goals for achievements, the government will assess progress based on the numerical targets and incorporate the results into policy-making.


 The basic program serves as a benchmark for the country’s policy direction covering science and technology. The government will draw up its fifth program spanning the five years through fiscal 2020.


 The program will include indices to gauge achievements in the 23 areas, which will include the number of initial public offerings made by research-focused start-ups, global shares of Japanese products and services, and ratio of tenure-track young researchers. Specific numerical targets will be decided later.


 The government will use the indices when it drafts a set of “comprehensive strategies for scientific and technological innovations” based on the basic program. The objective is to set forth policies that can produce successful results.


 In its proposition made in June on fiscal integrity, the Fiscal System Council argued that the past basic programs only set the numerical targets of research and development funds and pointed to the need to change to a style that can set clear goals to assess achievements.


 Planned indices to be incorporated into basic program

· The number of government-funded R&D programs and amounts of grants that are aimed at spawning innovations

· The number of initial public offerings made by R&D-focused start-ups

· The number of intellectual assets, research papers, and standardizations in the field of information and communication technology

· Global shares of products and services

· The ratio of tenure-track young researchers

· The ratio of hiring of female researchers

· The ratio of students who think science is a fun subject to learn

· Japan’s shares in the top 1% of cited research papers and citation counts

· Global rankings of Japanese universities

· Cross-sectorial faculty exchanges

· The amount of R&D funds universities and public research institutes accept from businesses

· The number of science papers cited for patent applications

· The amount of money the government spends to procure cutting-edge products

· The number of start-ups established by universities and public research institutes

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