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2018 | Book

Publicly Funded Transport Research in the P. R. China, Japan, and Korea

Policies, Governance and Prospects for Cooperation with the Outside World


About this book

This book discusses transport research and innovation, highlighting prospects for cooperation between different countries. To create a basis for such cooperation, the book first describes the status quo in individual countries, focusing on China, Japan and Korea, and identifies the main technological trends as well as current innovation policies in these countries, discussing their main advantages and the challenges to establishing collaborations between them. The book is a valuable resource for transport researchers, research authorities and transport organizations, not only in the three countries considered, but also in the US and the EU. By providing a revealing snapshot of current transport research and policies, it fosters exchanges and collaborations between nations.

Table of Contents

The Case for Transport Research Cooperation with China, Japan, Korea—Rationale for This Book and Summary of Its Findings
This chapter contains a summary of the main issues raised and the findings in this book as regards the current situation and the policies that exist for research and innovation, in general, as well as in the field of Transport more specifically, in the three countries examined i.e. the P.R. China, Japan, and Korea. This summary, is given in a synthetic way that gives considerable “value added” but nevertheless does not replace the detailed data, information and analyses that are given in each respective Chapter. It also explains the rationale for writing this book and the reason for focusing on the public sector, while by no means dismissing the role of the private sector and the public-private collaborations. The focus of the Chapter is on the governmental systems and practices for transport research in the three countries, providing a good overview of the inertias as well as the accelerants for relevant policies with respect to promoting technological change and more international cooperation in the transportation sector. For each of the countries examined the Chapter addresses, in summary form, the policies, the governance structures, the strengths and weaknesses of the current systems of publicly funded transport research; the endogenous and exogenous factors motivating the development of international collaborative relationships between these Asian and other countries; the role of the private sector; and also the core scientific research capabilities and prospects of each of the countries in as much as they affect the transport sector. The capacity and capability of the countries examined, to consistently produce the science necessary to enable significant technological innovation and “transformative” change in the Transport sector, globally over the long term (e.g., in 20 years or more) as well as nationally, is examined through a synthesis of the SWOT analyses that are made in each of the other Chapters. These analyses are focused toward the assessment of the prospects for international cooperation in the transport field for these three countries. The Chapter concludes that if entrepreneurial activity by private interests over the past 5 years, is a valid leading indicator it appears that transportation innovation will be propelled forward globally primarily via private interests and not so much through agreements consummated by government agencies.
George A. Giannopoulos, John F. Munro
The Changing Context of Transport Research
This chapter gives the general context within which transport research takes place today and examines the increasing interest in international cooperation in tackling transport related problems and challenges. After referring briefly to the most important previous studies and reports on this subject, the chapter addresses the relevant key concepts and global challenges that seem to be the main forces driving transport research and transport research cooperation. One of the key issues examined, is the strong emphasis in all current transport research funding to satisfy short-term priorities related to increasing the industrial competitiveness of the respective country and serve as a means to expand technological influence and market-control. Researchers are normally asked to keep a mostly national focus, but whereas in the past that focus was dominated by tangible—though purely domestic—priorities, the new focus is on providing justification to claim the technological superiority of national industrial products at the global level. The chapter discusses the consequences of this approach and the merits of expanding cooperation at international level in order to reconstitute the traditional distinction between policy-oriented and industrial/technological research and the need to strengthen the contribution of social science disciplines, economics, and systems considerations. It further discusses the case of “legacy” versus “transformational” (transport) systems research and the top-down versus bottom-up approaches in triggering change in the transport sector. It argues that the current trends in forming transport research agendas are increasingly dominated by topics identified by the industry incumbents complemented by a bunch of policy topics intended to provide justification for a regulatory environment and political priorities that usually have a strong national focus. The chapter also discusses the general factors triggering international research cooperation in general and in transport in particular. It categorizes these factors in two main groups: Those related to policy makers or to government at large, and those related to researchers. The first results in a top-down process, in which government officials from different countries establish a collaborative framework, usually on the grounds of economic or diplomatic objectives, and offer it to researchers. The second results in a bottom-up process, in which personal networking is progressively institutionalized by research organizations, so that the research communities in the countries concerned lobby their respective government for support and resources. Finally, the chapter looks at ways in which the particular model of international cooperation in transport research can increase its disruptive innovative capacity and concludes that this can be done primarily through stronger leadership and involvement from governments and other multinational organizations as well as through a more collaborative approach and making researchers more influential in decision making.
Angel Aparicio
Publicly Funded Research and Innovation in the P. R. China and the Outlook for International Cooperation
During the end of the 20th century, China transitioned from a developing country to an emerging economy and an industrialized nation. By 2030, China expects to have pulled abreast of most advanced countries technologically, and to accomplish this goal, it is increasingly focusing on innovation that pushes outwards the technology frontier and builds upon current areas of acquired comparative advantage. Transport is one of these frontier areas with electrification of vehicles being in the forefront. The declared aim of successive Chinese governments has been to make China an innovation producing and originating nation, i.e., where innovations are invented and designed rather than imported from other countries. This aim, and its related policies, call for the modernization of the domestic innovation system through structural reforms, acccelerated formation of international collaborations, and large scale financial investment in education, research, and technology ventures. The policies for building innovation and entrepreneurship and for promoting international cooperation in Research, Technological Development, and Innovation (RTD&I) are described in the Medium and Long-Term National Plan for Science and Technology Development, or MLP, published in 2006. This chapter examines the above issues and the general scientific research and innovation situation in the P. R. of China with emphasis on the Transport sector. Chinese innovation and entrepreneurship policies are currently designed to promote more openness, a fact that—at the moment—leaves ample room for international cooperative research and development projects for the creation of innovations at home and abroad. The prospects and chances for succeeding in these policies are examined in this chapter in detail, including the enablers and obstacles for such cooperation and openness. The chapter also provides information on the historical background of Chinese economic development policies as well as the quantitative characteristics of the present RTD&I regime. Finally, the chapter provides a SWOT analysis of capacities and obstacles for additional international cooperation. The main conclusion is that in today’s China, attracting, absorbing, improving and owning knowledge is “a core strand of the current policies”. These policies however, may be affected by larger geopolitical considerations such as territorial disputes, and political differences between China and the other countries concerning the benefits of globalism and free trade.
John F. Munro, George A. Giannopoulos
Publicly Funded Research and Innovation in Japan and the Outlook for International Cooperation
Research governance in Japan is a hybrid that combines bureaucratically centralized top-down control with supplementary “bottom-up” input from associations, research centers, major industrial sectors, and academia. The interest in examining the Research, Technological Development and Innovation (RTD&I) structures and policies in this country stems from the particularity of the above research governance structure in combination with the strong international commitment and involvement of its Transport related industries and the private sector. It also stems from the observation that Japan is a relatively speaking “slow mover” when it comes to institutional or cultural change as well as a relatively “closed” system, regarding RTD&I. Its official efforts to embrace new thinking, seem in conflict with a systemic resistance to change and this may create sub-optimal or even contradictory policies and programs that could compromise Japan’s efforts to regain its RTD&I prominence globally and in East Asia. This chapter examines all these issues in a systematic and thorough way starting with an examination of the background to economic change in Japan and the emergence of its Science and Technology Basic Plans . It then proceeds to examine the Japanese research governance and funding system and its main international RTD&I collaboration policies and activities. It also focuses on transport research and examines its place in the overall Japanese RTD&I system, its principal stakeholders, and gives specific examples of current Japanese international RTD&I cooperation efforts in the transport sector. The Chapter concludes that even if Japan is able to establish an optimal RTD&I international cooperation policy, there are a number of factors that will continue to slow its ability to compete on the RTD&I front. These include an aging population that is highly dependent on social services and thus absorbing many public funding resources; the “insular” culture in the country that is biased against significant participation by foreign scientists; the corresponding reluctance of foreign scientists to relocate to Japan; the growing labour costs; and an apparent reluctance to encourage foreign investment for RTD&I in Japan. In the field of transport, Japan (especially the Japanese private sector) is making considerable progress in establishing international transportation RTD&I collaborations with Europe, the United States, and other countries of East Asia. A major sign of this progress is Japan’s so called ST&I diplomacy relationships primarily with other East Asian governments. This maybe driven by competition considerations and the potential for finding new markets but it is still a very significant “opening” of the Japanese RTD&I system to the outside world. The Chapter provides a SWOT analysis to examine and evaluate these initiatives and the numerous opportunities for greater collaboration between Japan and other countries. It also examines the significant threats which, if not mitigated, may undermine RTD&I collaboration and progress over the mid to long term.
John F. Munro
Publicly Funded Research and Innovation in Korea and the Outlook for International Cooperation
This chapter presents the current situation as regards Transport research and innovation in the Republic of Korea (South Korea or simply Korea) with special emphasis on the policies, capacity and general prospects for more international cooperation in this area. It also gives a basic understanding of the overall Research Technological Development and Innovation (RTD&I) system in this country and discusses the obstacles and challenges that Korea faces in maintaining this system as one of the most advanced in the world. It shows the policies and other activities that this country is pursuing in RTD&I in order to strengthen its national competitiveness and to increase its international technological stature in addressing shared global issues and challenges and providing technological assistance to developing countries. In focusing also on the field of Transport the chapter gives particular attention to the so called Land, Infrastructure and Transport RTD&I (LIT/RTD&I) which the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) has developed and is pushing forward as a tool to pursue national new growth engines in the field of Transport. Korea’s international cooperation policies in RTD&I are mainly carried out through specific projects which are funded and supervised by various individual governmental agencies. In relation to these policies the chapter also includes a SWOT analysis of the Korean RTD&I prospects for increased future international cooperation and their focus in the field of Transport. Among the measures recommended to strengthen its current capacities and implement further its international cooperation capabilities in the land, infrastructure and transport areas (LIT/RTD&I) are, the rebuilding of the current classification structure applicable to international RTD&I work; development of more systematic investment plans to address specific investment strategies for international collaboration in RTD&I; establishing a system to share information between government organizations and government-funded research institutes active in international RTD&I collaboration in the land, infrastructure and transport areas; and developing specific RTD&I strategies for individual partner countries considering their unique conditions, their level of development and geopolitical location.
Jaehak Oh, Young-Jun Moon, Jong-Deok Lee
Publicly Funded Transport Research in the P. R. China, Japan, and Korea
Prof. George A. Giannopoulos
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