University and Society Policy Research Unit

Established : Jun. 1, 2012

Photo by AP/AFLO



Today, in Japan, there is growing social pressure on universities to bring their intellectual resources to bear on innovation that would resolve social issues, construct new social systems and promote international cooperation. Universities also share the view that they should cooperate with society more closely, in order to disseminate knowledge and to promote educational and research activities.

For closer cooperation between society and the universities, it is essential to address the interfaces between the two, be they intermediary organizations/institutions, experts, or the regulations and practices that define the relationship. Systems and methods need to be put under scrutiny, made more effective and transparent, and cause less friction than is the case today. With nearly ten years of efforts to promote industry-university cooperation in Japan, with consideration given to global changes in national innovation systems, we have a basis on which to build, but we have yet to see concrete policy outcomes that tackle the issues comprehensively. This policy research unit was established to rectify this. Our mission is to conduct research on relations between the universities and society and to present policy proposals based on our findings.


Our research interests include:

  1. University-society relations amid major global changes in national innovation systems
  2. Organizations/institutions and the regulations that govern relations between society and the universities
  3. Intellectual property rights systems and their operation, with special regard to the institutional particularity of universities
  4. Organizations and regulations on security trade control in cases involving international cooperation and people-to-people exchange
  5. Methods of communication and network formation, in order to facilitate effective communication of knowledge accumulated at universities to society

Intellectual Asset-Based Management Research and Education Program (Japanese)


Toshiya Watanabe (Vice Director and Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute / Professor, Department of Technology Management for Innovation, Graduate School of Engineering / Executive Director, Executive Vice President, the University of Tokyo)


Hideaki Shiroyama (Vice Director and Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute / Graduate School of Public Policy / Graduate Schools for Law and Politics)
Ichiro Sakata (Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute / Graduate School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo)
Yoshiaki Ando (Project Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute)
Norio Matsuki (Project Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute)
Masahiro Sugiyama (Associate Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute)
Masayuki Kobayashi (Professor, Center for Research and Development of Higher Education, the University of Tokyo)
Masami Askutsu (Project Researcher, Policy Alternatives Research Institute)