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Mar. /2017
Towards Optimal Development of Centers of Excellence in Japan - For the Formation of Sustainable Strength of Organization and Realization of Innovation -/CRDS-FY2016-SP-03
Executive Summary

In our country, from the first half of 2000's, the growth rate of the related budget of science and technology slows down and management expense grants of national university corporations have been reduced continually since 2004. From such situation, the relative decline of the international competitiveness is concerned. On the other hand, expectation which science, technology and innovation can contribute to the solution of many societal problems is rising increasingly. Therefore it's the important issue to develop the policy for promoting science, technology and innovation in the limited budget.

In this context, centers of excellence as one of the programs with political importance have been founded for approximately 15 years, recently. These centers have achieved policy purposes of production of creative study results, the advance of an education research system and the creation of innovation through the formation of the center. Furthermore, there is also a case by which the wider effect such as the spread to institutional reform of the whole organization and the formation of the organization-specific advantages.

On the other hand, as these programs aiming at the new center foundation have built in an unsystematic manner, some issues raise by the various shapes. Mainly, there are the difficulty of the long-term strategy planning, the differential of the educational research environment according to the tendency to reward large-scale strong institutions, and restriction of a wide educational research field. In addition, sustainability issues are lying after the financing period.

Based on such a consciousness, this strategic proposal presents the conversion to a policy which corresponds to the current state of each university from a conventional policy which is that programs aiming at the new center foundation and the maintenance stand unsystematically. This proposal consists of the following 7 items.

< Grand design of centers of excellence >  (1) Large-scale center corresponds to a top-down request
 (2) Gentle three-layer structure of support scal
 (3) Support for various educational research fields
 (4) Support for universities than large research universities
< Flexible and continuous operation of centers of excellence >
 (5) Establishment of life cycle of centers of excellence
 (6) Building and reinforcement of networks
 (7) Promotion of the strategic fund plan

Centers of excellence make contribution to promoting the science and technology, innovation policy as well as play the important role in promotion of university reform. Based on such special qualities, this strategic proposal proposes the optimal development of centers of excellence taking into consideration from both points of view of science and technology, innovation policy and higher education policy.

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