Vol.4 No.2 2011

Paper supplement to “Study on the PAN carbon-fiber-innovation for modeling a successful R&D management” (O. Nakamura et al.)−121−Synthesiology - English edition Vol.4 No.2 (2011) [Additional explanations]As stated in the “Abstract” and “Introduction”, this paper is an investigation and a construct based on the interviews to the people (listed in the “Acknowledgement”) who were directly involved in the initial phases of the innovation, with focus on the internal motivation of the researchers and the actions taken by the GIRIO management, in the process where research results of a public institution were recognized by society, transferred to industry, and led the industrial transformation. Therefore, this paper is not a technological history that follows the whole development phases of the PAN carbon fiber.1 “Strategic” research promotion at GIRIOPage 155 right, subchapter 2.1(2)Original: …It could be imagined that the results of PAN carbon fiber research was strategically announced…The statement “strategically announced” is based on the analysis and interpretation from the interviews with the people involved. It is the authors’ interpretation that the fact that the research was “announced” seems to indicate that there was some strategy rather than being a random course of events.Pertaining to the research itself, it is clearly stated in several places that “the topics were determined according to personal interest and concern”. This is part of the instruction given by the superiors at the time (in case of Shindo, the supervisor was Sengoku), and derives from the fact that “the degree of freedom for the research topic selection and how the research was carried out differed greatly by person”. It is also clearly stated in the paper that for Shindo, “the development of carbon fiber was incidental upon seeing the newspaper article.” The topic selection and new findings were dependent on the autonomy of the researchers or on some incidental encounters with newspaper coverage, and this is quite distinct from the recent MOT evaluations that emphasize that the “R&D must be conducted strategically and should be planned”.The “strategy” of the model discussed in this paper includes the spontaneous activities of the individual or group in the initial phases of the R&D. This means that the organization does not impede the activities or the diffusion of the products, but various measures (such as encouraging securement of intellectual property) are taken to incite and enhance the activities. This paper states that research, an individual spontaneous activity, and organizational strategy are not in antinomy, but are compatible, and moreover, innovation will be accelerated if the two work hand in hand.The statement “GIRIO … organized the infrastructure Europe and U.S.JapanU.K.U.S.PANRayon cannot surpass PAN199019701950Shift of emphasisMaterial companiesCarbon companiesWithdrawals by companies from carbon fiberUse in pressure container andarchitectural material stiffenerEnd of Cold War(decreased demand in aerospace)Mitsubishi RayonToho RayonSemi-works starts upFishing and golfLaunch leisure productsPilot plant starts operationDevelopment of pitch fiberGives up rayon fiberUCCCarbon fiber projectHerculesWhitacreRayonPANMorganiteCourtauldsRolls RoyceGovernment-led developmentTorayUCC achieves performance surpassing PAN by tensile treatment of rayonCarborundumGreat Lake Carbon3MHITCONippon CarbonNational Carbon (subsidiary of UCC) launches rayon carbon fiberInvention of PAN carbon fiber (Akio Shindo, 1959)Invention of rayon carbon fiber (W.F. Abbott)Fig. 3 Efforts by Japanese and overseas industries on carbon fiber


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