Vol.5 No.1 2012

Research paper : Analysis of synthetic approaches described in papers of the journal Synthesiology (N. Kobayashi et al.)−48−Synthesiology - English edition Vol.5 No.1 (2012) combination, the main description can be given by the aforementioned categories such as the aufheben, breakthrough, and strategic selection types. However, as shown in Table 1, the realistic thinking is that these three types are combined serially or parallelly, rather than existing independently. The synthesis normally takes place over several steps, and in some ways, a fractal structure can be seen in the technological synthesis. An example of multistep synthesis is seen in the environment and energy field as described in chapter 3 section (1). Here, the strategic selection method broken down from the social demand and the breakthrough method of important elemental technologies are combined (Fig. 12).On the other hand, this synthesis method is conducted based on a strategy. When the elemental selection and combination are done, it is fed back to the strategy and the scenario, it is then fed back again to the elemental selection and combination. There are cases where the combinations are changed or improved, or there are cases where the strategy evolves along with the advancement of the synthesis method as the objective becomes clear. The example of the latter is “Development of real-time all-in-focus microscopes” by Ohba.[45] Here is the process where the elemental technologies were integrated and synthesized to the higher element, the objective that was ambiguous became clear, the technologies were finally integrated as the three-dimensional real-time all-in-focus microscope, and the product was commercialized. Initially, the research started with somewhat vague hypothesis formation of “realization of high-performance optical microscope.” After meeting with several companies and completing the prototype, the hypothesis was advanced, the processes of clarifying the strategy and scenario for its realization were repeated, and the product was finally commercialized. It should be noted that the verification and advancement of the hypothesis occurred through encounters with several companies.As the synthesis progresses, the synthesized artifact comes into contact with society as a product, and the “trial in society” is conducted. It is extremely rare that the introduction to society starts smoothly. Here is the next feedback loop. When the “trial in society” is conducted, the responses from various stakeholders are offered as feedbacks, and new strategies are proposed. There may be feedback on the selection and combination of the elements rather than the strategy itself. The example of bioinformatics by Suwa and Ono presented in the life science field in chapter 3 section (2) shows the spiral structure where the effective feedback was given by the researchers who used the research result, and this led to the building of strategy and scenario, thereby turning the loop several times. In the example of geology shown in chapter 3 section (6), the understanding of geological phenomena and model building advanced as the social demand gradually changed, and the feedback to the strategy and synthesis method occurred consecutively.On the other hand, when the feedback to the synthesis result is given through social contacts and on site trials, the dynamic movement of synthesis being conscious of time is necessary. A representative example is the analysis by Chuma on the recent decreased international competitiveness of the Japanese semiconductor industry.[46] The system-on-chip (SoC) is a design method of aggregating the necessary functions as a system on the semiconductor chip. As the clock speed increases dramatically, there are three central issues of the system design: response delay speed among the individual element, transfer speed, and the communication structure that links each job. This means that it is necessary to understand the relationships of the elemental technologies in an extremely dynamic manner. According to Chuma, the decrease in the international competitiveness of the products was because the development system of the Japanese companies could not keep up with this dynamic motion in the world. From the investigation of various case studies in this paper, it was found that in any synthesis method, the relationships among the individual elemental technologies were closely correlated and synthesized, and this correlation was temporally contiguous, and the dynamic movements such as concurrence and interchangeability were not apparent. In the future, as the competition of R&D becomes more severe, the dynamic movement and quick feedback of the linkage among the elements, as well as acceleration of R&D will become necessary.(2) Synthesis method for introduction to societyAs the final major issue, there is the “synthesis for introduction to society.” As described in the research by Ishii,[47] Fujii,[48] and Osawa et al.,[49] in cases where the point of introduction to society is the obtainment of traceability as in the metrology standard, it is necessary to build a social system consisting of calibration laboratories, and it is necessary to seek a measurement technology that corresponds to the traceability system. Also, in cases where the demand is clear in society, for example, a specific performance index such as the memory capacity, the technology that can meet that demand will be introduced relatively quickly. As seen in the research by Yuasa et al.,[22] the production technology is important as the issue for introduction to society. However, in many cases, the social activity affects the introduction independently from the technological development. For example, giving of values such as subjective sensitivity to a product and impactful concept may promote the introduction to society. Also, rather than pushing the introduction to society in a short time, it may be also necessary to promote autonomous synthesis like sowing the seed of necessary elements. Also, it is important to respond to the feedback from society, rather than the one-way provision of technology.


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