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Industry-Academia Collaboration: Innovative Strategies from Europe for Corporate Success in Japan

Following the calming down of the new Coronavirus outbreak, foreign companies are expected to enter the Japanese market in 2023, bringing with them their technologies and services. This move is likely to disrupt markets where domestic companies have traditionally been dominant, compelling major Japanese companies to develop new technologies and businesses Despite this push towards innovation, it has proven challenging to shake off the path of dependency that has been ingrained in Japanese society over the years. This is particularly evident in the difficulty of marketing technologies that have been fundamentally researched domestically or internally.

To overcome this challenge, companies have attempted to incorporate novel basic research and startups from outside the company. However, the gap between global trends and the company's own developments has resulted in the company lagging behind foreign competitors without translating into sales.

To address this issue, German methods of recruitment, internships, and industry-academia collaboration could be adopted. Unlike Japan, Germany does not have a seasonal "new graduate hiring" and instead recruits based on the skills and experience needed at any given time. Recruitment guidelines serve as a corporate strategy, guiding students on which skills and research will create value in the marketplace.

Internships are viewed as a way for students to gain practical work experience as assistants and team members and for companies to evaluate their skills for potential employment. In addition, university courses in business are mandatory even for science majors, and the curriculum is designed to make students immediately effective in the corporate world after graduation.

This system creates a natural link between what students learn at university and what they do in the workplace. Graduates often return to their alma mater, communicate with professors, and take additional classes to enhance their skills and research content even after employment, leading to industry-university collaboration. Personal and spontaneous communication between graduates and universities often leads to the exchange of information about global market trends in companies and the latest research at universities, and often triggers industry-university projects.

In contrast, Japan typically carries out projects between companies and universities through a partnership procedure, which may not effectively market the project. One reason for this may be the discrepancy between the content of university courses and research and the practical content required after employment, leading to a lack of communication between graduates and universities.

While it may be challenging to implement major changes to Japan's recruitment and internship systems immediately, individuals can actively communicate with their alma mater and exchange information on business trends and research content. This fundamental action is essential for continuously marketing basic research in the future.


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