Development of university life-science programs and university–industry joint research in Japan
How are new university educational programs established in response to expanding sciences and how do they promote university–industry (UI) joint research? To study these questions in relation to life sciences and biotechnology, we first compiled the data on the establishment of new undergraduate and graduate programs on these fields in Japanese universities since the 1950s. We then analyzed statistically whether and how such establishment contributed to the occurrence and frequency of UI joint research in biotechnology. We found that the expansion of such university programs in fact contributed to the promotion of UI joint research. We also confirmed that, even with this contribution controlled, UI joint research projects increased following the 1998 legislation to promote technology transfer from universities (the so-called TLO Act) and the 1999 legislation to allow universities to retain rights on their inventions made with government research funds (the so-called Japanese Bayh–Dole Act).
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