Recent trend of stakeholder involvement in Japanese science and technology policy
Paper short abstract:
Paper long abstract:
There are two areas of development of stakeholder involvement (SI) in recent Japanese science and technology policy. One is the area of regulation, or governance, of science and technology, and the other is that of innovation policy, particularly in the context of promotion of university-industry collaboration. This paper aims to show the achievements so far and problems we face in each area. While the promotion of SI in innovation policy has just started in the late FY2012, in the realm of governance, various achievements have been made since the late 1990s, especially in the field of participatory technology assessment. Since the first consensus conference in March 1998, more than 30 cases have been done on various topics such as GMOs, BSE and nuclear energy, some of which were convened by national or local government. Along with this, a new funding agency was established in 2001 and has been supporting more than a hundred R&D projects based on SI and interdisciplinary collaboration. Despite these achievements, however, we face many problems. For example, the societal and political value of SI is still underestimated among policymakers and experts, particularly under the current regime of conservative Liberal Democratic Party. A recent innovation policy document produced by the Council for Science and Technology, the Cabinet Office of Government paid almost no attention to SI. Additionally, the lack of systematic linkage between two contexts of governance and innovation in promoting SI is also a serious problem that could raise the question of inclusiveness.
Stakeholder involvement: An inclusive or exclusive practice?