Vol.8 No.2 2015

Research paper : Study of the top 70 NEDO Inside Products (M. YAMASHITA et al.)−87−Synthesiology - English edition Vol.8 No.2 (2015) of selected 70 products in NEDO projects which were successfully put into practical application and turned to commercial products recoding significant sales figures. As for the project outcomes in particular, the paper provides analyses and discussions not only of the sales effects of listed products, but also the gross social benefit such as induced economic effects, job creation, ripple effects to other technologies, and the reduction of CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the paper extracts and presents the success factors of NEDO Inside Products, which are remarkably useful for the future R&D projects and innovation policies in Japan.1 Positioning of the paperComment (Ayu Washizu, Faculty of Social Sciences, Waseda University)While the public seek for the clarification of cost-effectiveness of science and technology budget, it is generally difficult to indicate how specific funding results in specific outcomes. However, this study demonstrates that based on the research findings which could only be possible by such agency as NEDO, and this can be a valuable academic achievement.Comment (Akira Kageyama)This is an invaluable piece of work that discusses the cost (investment) effectiveness by selecting 70 products from the themes NEDO’s R&D projects tackled. In regard to the effects, not only does the paper discuss the sales effects of listed products, but also the gross social benefit such as induced economic effects, job creation, ripple effect to other technologies, and the reduction of CO2 emissions; which makes characteristic of this research. It becomes even more complex as time lapses and the lines linking technological ripple effects increase. This will certainly make the survey and analysis more complex, but the effort (or perhaps, challenge) of changing what was conventionally deemed as tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge is essential for both NEDO and the industries. Since both parties are accountable for NEDO projects, I hope this step to be incorporated into the evaluation system with NEDO taking leadership. Moreover, you successfully extracted and presented the success factors of NEDO Inside Products after the discussions with reviewers; which carries considerable implications for R&D project management in future. I believe that this paper is also beneficial as a study on R&D methodology.Comment (Naoto Kobayashi)This paper successfully shows useful cases investigating the effectiveness of the national investment in R&D. In conducting NEDO projects, it is crucical that all the research promotion organizations prepare adequate research data accumulation methodologies in advance, which will be useful for future policies on R&D and innovation in Japan.Comment (Ayu Washizu)This research is also a summary of how individual science and technology developed in NEDO projects interrelate with each other and consequently comes to fruition as a commercial product, and the follow-up study of this whole process in detail. This tallies with Synthesiology’s objective.Answer (Masaru Yamashita)I have considered it crucial to show the project outcomes quantitatively as NEDO projects are run by national funding. Thus, we submitted this paper in the hope that this would be a chance to prove their benefit. I am grateful to the people involved for giving us this opportunity. When we had an oral presentation at the American Evaluation Association a few years ago, our work was fortunate enough to receive credit from the experts around the world. As a result, last year, we submitted a paper to Research Evaluation, a journal published by AEA. We later conducted additional research with new perspective, and submitted this highly original paper to Synthesiology. I presume that this article has become more elaborate by specifying the success factors of NEDO Inside Products with certain degree of precision, reflecting invaluable comments from the reviewers. To this date, the description of project achievement available for external viewers remained qualitative. We presented semi-quantitative evaluations and visualized invisible results, and the resulting paper turned out successful in enhancing the quality of research by alluding to challenging issues.Such effort we made in this research must be carried on for a mid- to long-term. I notice the importance of follow-up surveys, and continuous revision of the figures and search for new directions must be done at the same time. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that NEDO establish a system that can measure the effectiveness of their project management with the help of our result. In the course of this research, we came across a number of new findings. It would be grateful if we attract a wider readership in research communities and businesses in Japan, so that we can continue to provide information as hints and implications for successful R&D projects by NEDO, companies, or universities.2 Structure of the paperComment (Naoto Kobayashi)The goal of this paper is the “evaluation of gross social benefit of NEDO Inside Products developed with national funding.” Two major elements to achieve this are: (1) the selection of NEDO Inside Products, and (2) the evaluation of gross social benefit of NEDO Inside Products. The sub-factors of (1) include the methodologies such as the definition of NEDO Inside Products, and the selection procedure. The sub-factors of (2) include economic evaluations, job creation, CO2 reduction, and the projection of ripple effects. I would recommend you to clarify the structure of this research you have in mind by showing that in a diagram at the end of chapter 1.Answer (Masaru Yamashita)Thank you for your valuable advice. We have added Fig. 1 at the end of chapter 1, so that our readers can see the outline of this paper.3 Categorization and inter-industry relations analysisQuestion and Comment (Ayu Washizu)You defined new product categories since the existing ones had been insufficient. As categorization is the basis of analyses and therefore is of vital importance, it seems necessary to discuss more in detail (drawing upon previous research) why you decided on this categorization. In general, innovation can be divided into product innovation and process innovation. Perhaps the former can be further divided into the creation of an unprecedented product and the improvement of existing products. The latter may be the innovation of manufacturing machines and the development of materials to be incorporated into products. Such categorization should be relevant to the discussion on the characteristics of social effects that innovation may bring about. Thus, I suggest you expound more on your categorization.The input-output analysis is used as the method to calculate the indirect effect against the direct effect. How you use the table in the paper is not an unusual one.However, as the inventor Leontief notes, the input-output table is a method to analyze the effect of technology changes by treating the change in technology as the change of input coefficients. Recently, it has been applied to LCA in engineering field, and adopted to analyze environmental impact and the ripple effects of CO2. It is preferable if you consider this way of using the table in future input-output analysis. It is difficult for the public


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