Vol.8 No.2 2015

Research paper : Study of the top 70 NEDO Inside Products (M. YAMASHITA et al.)−84−Synthesiology - English edition Vol.8 No.2 (2015) effects) and its contribution to the society. These NEDO Inside Products are subject to change in the order of few years as a consequence of a drop in retail price or fluctuations in sales volume. Thus, it requires consistent monitoring of their sales and ripple effects. All products are the results of further R&D activities and investments for practical application/commercialization: The effort participant companies made after the completion of NEDO projects. For the realization and commercialization of R&D outcomes, the companies are known to make investment an order of magnitude larger than the funding awarded by NEDO; however, business investment against sales revenue was out of our scope since every single amount of business investment was hardly obtainable. It should be noted that it often takes over 10 or 20 years for the practical application and commercial production of an innovative technology.[24] This implies that it is a long-term research investment that can develop unique and unrivaled expertise, turn young researchers into leading figures, and lead to preemptive investment for future R&Ds.By assuming the contribution rate of NEDO project outcomes to be 100 %, we could present maximized sales revenue and contribution estimates of the R&D outcomes . We could also grasp the general trend of project outcomes and the milestones towards practical application (the effectiveness of industry-government-academia collaboration, success factors in management (see Subchapter 2.8), adaptability to regulations, overcoming of failures, etc.). What is more, the study enabled us to roughly evaluate NEDO’s development investment from their project outcomes in terms of overall impact to the society-induced economic effects and gross social benefit (e.g., CO2 reduction, energy efficiency, and job creation), added to the products’ sales.30 years have passed since the first NEDO project, and approximately 3 trillion yen has been invested as development fund. To make above estimates, we chose only a portion of prospective products on grounds of sales performance. The ripple effects, the impact from the know-how, and gross social benefit of the rest of the products were excluded. Figure 7 illustrates NEDO Inside Products’ impact on economy, technology, and the emergence of further functionalities. The industry would regard the economic effects including sales and job creation, while research communities may benefit from the technological effects through paper submissions, patent applications, and awards. On the other hand, consumers’ perspective lies heavily on the products’ gross social benefit such as the improvement in quality of living and safety and security measures. In sum, the purpose of our research was the evaluation of overall impact induced by NEDO Inside Products in the light of economic effects and gross social benefit. The economic effects could withstand quantitative evaluation to certain extent; the benefits such as CO2 reduction or job creation could be expressed in figure although some others including quality of living and a sense of convenience are not fit for quantitative measurement. In future, it is necessary for us to elaborate the impact evaluation methods while extending our research on the products’ emerging functionalities for the improvement in quality of living and public services; reduction in public investment; added convenience, safety and security; and health maintenance. Also, another research on the intellectual property of NEDO Inside Products is underway, and a paper is forthcoming.AcknowledgementIn conducting this research, we received valuable advice and support from: Dr. Makoto Misono, Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo; Chief Researcher Yufuko Takashima, Chief Researcher Kazuyuki Tsuchiya, Researcher Michiya Marui, and Researcher Harutoshi Imamura of the Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc.; and the companies that participated in NEDO projects. We express our deep gratitude.Scope of future researchScope of this researchConsumers’ viewIndustry’s viewResearchers’ view④ Technological transfer to unexpected fields ・・・Applications in wide-ranging fields⑤ Contribution to R&D infrastructure ・・・Product received the ●●Award ・・・Patent applications, paper submissions, etc.⑥ Improved functionality of the product ・・・Major improvement in detection sensitivity of disease ・・・Improved safety with no hazardous substances ・・・Remarkable increase in processing speed of computers ・・・Larger scale deployment of natural energy① Sales of product ・・・Sales of ●●100 billion yen/year② Sales in supply chain ・・・Sales of ●●trillion yen including parts used③ Gross social benefit (employment, tax revenue) ・・・ ●●ten thousand jobs created by the commercialization of the product ・・・Japanese products capturing the top share in the ●● industry1. 2. 3. Effect of the NEDO Inside ProductsFig. 7 Ripple effect of NEDO Inside Products


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