In recent years, it has been suggested that Japan's overall activity in the science and technology field has gotten comparatively lower internationally. In terms of the production of publications, for example, Japan has slid from third place globally (behind the US and the UK) to fifth place globally (behind the US, China, UK, and Germany). Furthermore, from the perspective of quality too, the proportion of the top 10% of most-cited papers originating from Japan seems to be showing a declining trend across most areas.
This project investigated the management circumstances of domestic and foreign universities, which are the starting points for science and technology innovation. The investigation aimed to analyze reasons as to why Japan's productivity in basic research development has dropped, by identifying problem areas and identifying best practices for efficient and effective research administration. In doing so, it is hoped that proposals can be produced for the directions that should be taken for improving the management of Japan's universities and research institutes.
The government has set the generation of more science and technology innovation as one of the main pillars of the 4th Science and Technology Basic Plan, which clearly sets out the issues Japan most needs to tackle. As well as the need for ongoing production of outstanding and globally top-level soft assets, the plan also highlighted the importance of taking a comprehensive and systematic approach to science and technology policy for the promotion of innovation.