Progress of the Creation of Science and Technology Knowledge Platform -Part 3-
By Hajime Yamada (GLOCOM)
Plans for the Next Fiscal Year
As the change of fiscal year in Japan comes at the end of March, this is an appropriate time to explain plans of the project for the next fiscal year.
In the past year, establishment of systems have been promoted. In the next fiscal year, the Creation of Science and Technology Knowledge Platform project will proceed to a phase of practical use. The characteristics of plans for the next year are the following three points.
First, efforts will be continued to further activate platform activities. As a consequence of a series of symposiums explaining the project and publicity utilizing the Internet and newspapers, the number of platforms has drastically increased, and registrants are increasing as well. We need to keep this tendency.
For that purpose, it will be necessary to stimulate inactive platforms and to set up opportunities for mutual exchange among platforms. Also, along with the increase of participants, a risk of participants' making inappropriate statements or utilizing the project apart from its original intention may appear. For these various reasons, a manager who would keep watch of the entire platform activities was suggested. In the coming fiscal year, therefore, a manager will be assigned for management of platform administration.
Second, available science and technology knowledge should be increased to further activate this project. As I have explained, all science and technology knowledge will be accommodated in the project's server as of March of 2002 when the project is provided to the public. This is not an adequate form, however.
Rather, it is necessary that many science and technology-related servers become available for a collective search to retrieve necessary information. Current plans are for associating two or three limited sites, which will develop into a system of broadly associated multiple servers.
Fortunately, many academic societies, engineering societies, industrial associations, public laboratories and think tanks have expressed their intention of participating. Sites full of information on new products have also offered cooperation. Building a system to cooperate with these resources is one of the important themes for the next fiscal year.
Third, efforts should be made to achieve concrete results rapidly. Academic interchange is not the purpose of this project. Its final purpose is to create new industries with high added values. Therefore, it is necessary to create a mechanism that will invite not only researchers and engineers but also consultants with experience setting up businesses and specialists in technology transfer to get interested and participate in the project.
To achieve this, a system of exchanging business-related opinions, in addition to academic ones, will be provided as a part the Creation of Science and Technology Knowledge Platform project. It is desirable that, as far as business is concerned, providing basic functions are free of charge, while special functions, for example a detailed consultation, among others, are charged. Accordingly, the portal site of the Creation of Science and Technology Knowledge Platform project will be improved to become a system that divides between free services and charged ones.
In order to establish this business portal site, receiving advice from consulting companies and technology transferring companies was considered to be appropriate at the design stage. Therefore, some such companies have been invited participate, and they are making proposals. A full-scale operation of a business portal site is planned to start in June of 2002.
In smmary, the systems of the Creation of Science and Technology Knowledge Platform project that have been established over the current fiscal year are going to become available for utilization in full scale in the next year. At the same time, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology are starting a joint project to create 1000 start-up companies originating from universities. Considering possible cooperation with such projects also will be important in the future.