Vol.8 No.2 2015

Research paper : Study of the top 70 NEDO Inside Products (M. YAMASHITA et al.)−72−Synthesiology - English edition Vol.8 No.2 (2015) the assumption that practical applications could not have been achieved without NEDO projects. Nevertheless, the sales information regarding the products of NEDO projects is only a fragment even at this point. Having selected the products, NEDO Inside Products are first categorized as follows: (i) New products which led to the establishment of new business divisions within the participating companies with most recent annual sales of 100 billion yen or above; (ii) new products with most recent sales between 10 billion and 100 billion yen; and (iii) the products with meager sales but with great potential for gross social benefit. The specific procedures of categorization are explained below.2.3 Definition of NEDO Inside ProductsThe candidates of NEDO Inside Products are defined as follows:1)The products are included if their core technologies were developed in the course of NEDO project and contributed greatly to realization and commercialization of the products, even if the companies participated in other R&D project(s) before or after the NEDO project.2)The products are considered if the technologies developed by the participating universities and public research institutes were transferred to their co-participants for realization and commercialization.3)The products are NOT considered if they were the outcomes of NEDO’s funding aid or grant projects and, “International Demonstrations/Joint Projects” whose purpose is to introduce and disseminate the products.4)The products are NOT considered if they were the outcomes of research-only projects.2.4 Points of corporate questionnairesThe following is the list of questions to the companies that participated in NEDO projects: (1) Product name; (2) project name, project period, and allocated budget; (3) the outline of project outcome(s) and in which part of the NEDO Inside Product the project outcome is used; (4) the names of the co-participants in charge of sales; (5) the product’s cumulative sales figures for the past five years for each participating company, or the sales data of the overall industry;[19]-[23] (6) most recent sales figures as of 2010, and the sales forecasts for 2011-2020; (7) the evidence used for estimating items (5) and (6) (e.g., published data and journal articles); (8) gross social benefit (e.g., the amount of CO2 reduced, energy efficiency, and job creation); and (9) patents and journal articles, know-how, the potential ripple effect to other products, awards, and other notable information. In cases where sufficient information could be obtained from the questionnaire, the following data are utilized: (10) Data published by industrial associations; and (11) data published by public bodies and private research companies. (12) In addition, any other missing data are complemented by our calculations based on different sales figures and gross social benefit, and we use these data after obtaining approval from the participants.[12]-[16]2.5 Narrowing down the NEDO Inside Product candidatesThe narrowing-down of NEDO Inside Products involved a four-step process as shown in Fig. 2: Data collection/extraction, preliminary narrowing-down, secondary narrowing-down, and verification. The following five means were taken in data collection and extraction: (1) Follow-up questionnaires, interviews, etc.; (2) patent specifications, literature, industry journals, NEDO related documents, etc.; (3) press releases, investor relations data, press reports, etc.; (4) reports from project participants; and (5) product reviews from key persons of the industry. All these means had both advantages and disadvantages, and it was practically impossible for NEDO Inside Products to form a population based on a single information source.[24] For (1) to (4), while it was more likely that we find the details on practical application, the current market trends remained unclear in most cases. It was often the case that available information could only be traced back to the time of market release: The longer the time after the development and the more the market being niche, the slimmer the chance of obtaining the figures. On the other hand, (5) was an efficient way to collect the information on the products’ market release, but the information on their relevance to specific NEDO projects at the time of development were not available in many cases. As far as the relevance to NEDO projects are concerned, the information could be verified referring to NEDO database and other sources. However, sufficient amount of information was not available for many of the projects dating back to the 1980s. As a consequence, NEDO Inside Product candidates were selected by combining the information from (1) to (5).[12]-[16] After conducting the preliminary narrowing-down of candidates using (1) to (3), the secondary narrowing-down was carried out using the questionnaires and the interviews ((4) and (5)), and the information was confirmed by a committee of external experts. This was how we selected Top 70 NEDO Inside Products.Fig. 2 Selection scheme of NEDO Inside ProductsNEDO’s departments in charge, NEDO project participants, etc.Questionnaire surveyIndustrial journals, patents, IR data, books on market scale, etc.Literature and web-site surveyPress releases of market introduction, NEDO accomplishment reports, etc.Literature and web-site surveyNEDO 20-year achievement report, 30-year achievement report, NEDO success stories of , etc.Literature and web-site surveyVerification of information through questionnaire surveys to related NEDO project participantsSTEP4 : Verification of informationSecondary narrowing-down based on sales estimates in current and future marketsSTEP3 : Secondary narrowing-downPreliminary narrowing-down based on present sales status, relation to NEDO projects, etc.STEP2 : Preliminary narrowing-downExtraction of candidates for new NEDO Inside Products from various information sourcesSTEP1 : SelectionInterviews to key persons of relevant industries


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