(Panoramic View Reports)
Panoramic View of the Information and Communication Field (2015)/CRDS-FY2015-FR-04
Executive Summary

Information Science and Technology (IST) spans from basic theories as scientific bases to their implementations which supports extensive industry areas of electronics, telecommunications, embedded devices, and information systems & services. Not to mention the secondary and tertiary industry, as generic tools, IST is now deeply involved in the systems implementations for the primary industry and society, which are not considered to be directly related to IST so far. This report describes the research areas of IST in two aspects or layers: the emerging layer which consists of strategically important areas in terms of the IST’s relationship with society system design, and the base layer which supports the emerging layer as the computer science foundation.
The perspective view of IST and its focal research areas are shown in a figure be-low. IST body of knowledge is organized of knowledge for element technology, knowledge for application to social system design and knowledge for focal business applications.
Knowledge for element technology is organized of two layers; one is base layer which is consisted of academically organized disciplines, another is emerging layer which is consisted of R&D areas to adapt changing circumstances.
Knowledge for application is organized of R&D areas which include not only IST itself but also some aspects of social system design, because of growing importance of IST as social infrastructure. We defined this knowledge as “IT enabled social system design.”
Knowledge for business is organized of R&D areas on implementations in industry domains IST should be intensively applied. We defined this knowledge as “Focal application area.”

Owing to the various technological innovations from the semiconductor, circuit mounting, communication, software, to the systems integration, IST accomplished remarkable progress in respect of cost, performance and benefit. Today computers and networks have widely permeated human society. Technical progress is continuously supporting all things’ dramatic progress. Systems architecture has been swinging between concentration and distribution, from a mainframe centric system to a client-server distributed system, and now cloud (centric) computing. Social Networking Services or Wikipedia have changed the user role from a consumer to a prosumer who both produces and consumes information. By the emergence of cloud computing the ownership policy of information system is shifting to utilizing computing power and applications on the internet, from possessing them. Location-based services using car navigations or mobile phones spread new types of location and context aware services.
The information and network society, so called “Cyber Society”, born in the late 20th century is moving toward the real world in the 21st century; the US initiated “Cyber physical systems” projects, the word "IoT " (Internet of Things) in which all the things are connected to the Internet was also came out. Deluging large scale digital data brought about a new trend called “Big Data”, which began to have a big influence on business and society. On the other hand, the research on human intel-lectual activity has been improved to the level which beats a top-class humans in Shogi, the Japanese chess, or in the quiz show “Jeopardy!”. The frontier of the re-search is going to the elucidation of the brain itself, the mechanism of acquisition, discovery, propagation of intelligence, and the structure of collective intelligence. The achievement of these researches is expected to lead us to the world where hu-man intellectual quality is more improved and the innovative scientific results re-turns social impact quickly and properly. The research and development area of IST is spreading not only on the traditional disciplines of electronics, software, and network but also to the new areas of human behavior, business activity design and overall social activity.

Major characteristics of Japan, USA, Europe, China and Korea in the IST field are as follows:

The Declaration to be the World's Most Advanced IT Nation updated June 2014 noticed that Japan has achieved the world’s highest levels in on broadband infra-structure development, but could not allow for IT to exhibit its full benefits and ef-ficiency without an adequate understanding of user needs and adequate undertaking business process reforms that go beyond organizational boundaries. Based on this reflection, the declaration aims that Japan strives to become an IT society at the world’s highest levels in terms of IT use and a developed problem-solving country that can distribute solutions to various problems around the world by 2020. And it also will accelerate the recovery from the earthquake disaster. The declaration adopts carrying out projects to verify successful models and or visualization like KPIs as indices for quantitative measurement of target achievement.

Internet hyper giants and traditional IT powers are leading the world in R&D and market share. According to “Strategy for American Innovation”, federal government id investing in education of next generation, creation of workforce, enhancement of nation’s leadership in science and technology, advanced social infrastructure, and construction of advanced information technology ecosystem, which have great im-portance as foundations for innovation. Expanding access to broadband, modernizing the electric grid, securing cyberspace, and expanding availability of wireless spectrum are those advanced information technologies of which ecosystem should be constructed. Under these measures, federal government is investing in not only R&D on IT enabled solution of social issues, but basic research and capacity building continuously mostly through the National Science Foundation.

One of important flagship measure in European Union’s midterm strategy for growth Europe 2020 is “Digital Agenda for Europe”. The agenda aims to deliver sustainable economic and social benefits from digital single market based on fast and ultra-fast internet and interoperable applications. Under R&D and Innovation framework program Horison 2020 following FP7, European Union invests in infor-mation science and technology R&D from two perspectives, one is advancing infor-mation science and technology by industrial-academic-government cooperation and another is IT enabled solution of social issues. Individual countries in Europe are taking original measures such as promotion of open data utilization in UK and application of information science and technology to maintain competitiveness as a manufacturing in Germany (Industrie 4.0).

Although domestic internet contents are not allowed to be accessed from abroad and internet accesses are restricted by grate firewall, internet giants such as Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are founded in China. The guidelines on national medium- and long-term program for science and technology development, which indicate the directions of the nation’s science and technology policy from 2006 to 2020, picked up information industry and advanced service industry as one of important industry areas to achieve world’s top level innovative country by 2020. The guideline noticed high priority R&D themes, which include information technology supporting for advanced service industry, large scale application software, next generation network core technologies and services, highly efficient and dependable computer, sensors and intelligent information processing, digital media platform, high resolution large area thin panel display, and information safety for important systems. And the national information development strategy 2006-2020 noticed strategic targets by 2020, which include spreading comprehensive information infrastructures, improving information technology self-development ability, holistic reform of information industry, upgrading information security protection, taking obvious outcome in economy and society by applying IT, establishing new type of industrial development model, preparing national institutions, environment and policies for advancing IT application , improving people’s information technology skill, establishing foundations for information society. As outcomes of those measures and invitation or return of researchers abroad, international cooperation and level-up in R&D are being enhanced in China.

Some global companies such as Samsung are towing Korean economy. As a national initiative, “Creative Economy Action Plan” was confirmed in order to foster “Creative Economy Ecosystem”, in which high quality jobs are created through new industry and markets creation by converging people’s creative ideas, science, technology and ICT. In the action plan, environment that promotes the creation of startups, support of ventures and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), creation of growth engines to pioneer new markets and new industries, fostering global creative talent, strong innovation capacity of science, technology and ICT, and promotion of a creative economic culture are pursued. And “Creative Economy Vitamin Project” is pursuing to advance existing industry and support solution of issues with it by converging science, technology, ICT and the industry. And the Third Science and Technology Basic Plan noticed five national strategic area of technologies (IT convergence new industry, future growth engine, clean and com-fortable environment, healthy long-living era, and security of society) and 30 major national strategic technologies, which include information security, big data ap-plication, next generation wired and wireless network, converging service platform, intelligent interaction, smart grid, health management, natural disaster monitoring, prediction and response technologies.