Japan has a long tradition in cooperative programs. Usually these are down-to-earth, sintered through many rounds of expert discussions that have resulted in a consensus, which is formalised in an affidavit carrying the personal stamp signatures of the participants. Such group-centered endeavours for kaizen, continuous improvements made step by step, have often resulted in flawlessly perfect products.
In research and development (R&D), Japanese research associations follow similar mechanisms. With a theme often initiated and financially supported by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industries (Meti), usually through its project house New Energy and Industrial Technology Organisation (Nedo), public-private partnerships are formed whose members in industry, academia, and government jointly develop a new technology through open innovation, before they dissolve after several years (Table 1, p. 56).
Examples of current Japanese research a
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