Vol.3 No.3 2010

Interview : Meta-engineering that promotes innovation−239−Synthesiology - English edition Vol.3 No.3 (2010) (Suzuki) Since we are discussing mostly about technology, I don’t know whether it is directly linked. There was an interview article with Dr. LesterNote) in Synthesiology. What Lester and Piore mention in their book Innovation: The Missing Dimension is that “innovation will take place interpretively rather than analytically”. We felt that Japan didn’t have that perspective until now, and in that sense, I think it is important to extend engineering to interpretation rather than engineering for analysis only. Of course, people with expertise in engineering have the knowledge, so if they enter the interpretive process even if they had been engaging in analytics only, they may be able to attain meta-engineering. Of course, interpretation includes synthesiological thinking, and if analysis and synthesis can expand within the same background, I think it will lead to some interesting innovation.(Akamatsu) Another point. In the United States, the people involved work very hard to create their market. In Japan, research often ends when they come up with some good technology.While this may simply be a conjecture and I may be wrong, when funding is received from the government, many companies think that they’re fine as long as they come up with “technological development”. The government provides funding for commercialization, and sometimes I think the companies should be responsible all the way to the market when they receive the funds.(Suzuki) Exactly as you say. They are looking only at the technological development. I think Japan should look at the whole system and recognize its importance.(Akamatsu)Looking at the Synthesiology papers, I feel that the researchers’ strong will to take the technology to a certain level is absolutely necessary.(Suzuki) Yes. In that sense, I think meta-engineering can be proposed globally. Japan is very good at manufacturing, and therefore it should maximize the experiences accumulated as its strengths. Then, it should strengthen the weaknesses, and start off the process that spirals from the discovery of the potential issues, the identification and build up of the necessary science and technology, the integration of fields and technologies, to the creation of social values, and then back to the discovery of potential issues.(Akamatsu) What is the final goal? How can this technology be used to achieve the goal? One must always return to that standpoint and think. Moreover, I think to arouse innovation, you need the ability to think “persistently”. I think I saw a glimpse of the relationship between meta-engineering and synthesiology. Thank you very much for the interesting discussion.(This interview was conducted at GE Japan in Akasaka, Minato-ku on May 13, 2010.)Note) Hope for Synthesiology: Discussion with Professor Lester, Synthesiology, 1 (2), 139-143 (2008).Profile of Dr. Hiroshi SuzukiBorn in Tokyo on December 25, 1946. Graduated from the Electronic Engineering Department, The University of Tokyo in 1969. Completed the doctorate course at the Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo in 1974. Joined the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation in 1974. Worked at the Central Research Laboratory, and as manager of Electric Power System Technology Division, manager of Electric Power Technology, head of Electric Power System Engineering Center, and as director and advisory engineer. Joined the General Electric Company in 2003 as the technology executive for new business. He was vice-chairman of the Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan, board member of the Engineering Academy of Japan, chair of Management of Technology Japan Branch. He is IEEE Fellow and vice-chairman of the History Committee for Electrical Engineering, IEEJ. Areas of specialization are energy system and technological management. Doctor of Engineering.


page 54