Activating Intellectual Property of BioScience and Tech in Universities; Can We Succeed?


Although countless problems are still to be solved, attempts to make use of intellectual properties accumulated in university and research institutions will get started.  This is good.  This is an effort to build functional structures that are attractive to enterprises.  There are still, however, many problems and challenges along the way enough to cause you a headache…..

I joined the press conference (in Japanese) in August 6th with my colleagues.

Scientists, engineers tend to draw a big picture or expectations from their own findings or inventions, thinking and sensing somewhat in a linear, direct goals.  It is only natural that they do so and there is nothing wrong about it.

However, people who are not scientists or engineers would often think about these findings or outcomes in relations to other ‘idea/information’ and sometimes better ‘idea/information’ emerge from such thinking.  In Japanese, we express this phenomenon as; ‘Okame Hachimoku (Onlookers can read the game (far) better than the players themselves)’ (in Japanese).  Many examples of Okame Hachimoku are found in history.

After all, it is private sector and enterprizes which deliver new services and products from inventions and discoveries to customers, thus create new market. Scientists or engineers can not do this. Of course, there are always exceptional scientists and engineers who also succeed in business, but they are exceptions. 

The new combination – ‘Neues Kombinazion’ as Schumpeter put it - is precisely what creates new values.  This is precisely the ‘innovation’ that Schumpeter talks about.

Clayton Christensen, as you know, is today’s guru of Innovation.  Especially, ‘Disruptive Innovation’ is the core of his outstanding research.  His analysis, insights, views…everything in his books are extraordinary.  More recently, he writes on education and health care, too.

I think many businessmen read ‘The Innovator’s Dillemma’, another well known book, a bit older, but a classics, published about 10 years ago.