Enhancing industrial technology and addressing energy and global environmental problems in Japan

The aims of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization are detailed here when it comes to enhancing industrial technology and addressing energy and global environmental problems in Japan

The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) was established after the two oil crises of the 1970s when the requirement for energy diversification in Japan increased. In essence, NEDO is a governmental organisation that since 1980, promotes the introduction and development of new energy technologies. It’s interesting to note that research and development (R&D) when it comes to industrial technology was later added to the remit of NEDO. In addition, NEDO is one of the largest public R&D management organisations in the country.

The mission of NEDO is two-fold – raising the level of industrial technology – and addressing energy and global environmental concerns.

On the first aspect, we know that NEDO undertakes projects to explore future technology seeds as well as mid- to long-term projects for industrial development. NEDO also supports research related to instances of a practical application.

On the second aspect, NEDO actively looks at the development of new energy, such as wind power, biomass and waste, as well as photovoltaic, wind power, geothermal power, thermal utilisation and fuel cells. Energy conservation technologies form another part of the organisation’s remit. Promoting a greater utilisation of new energy and improving energy conservation are important aspects of NEDO’S work.

Promoting the demonstration of new energy, energy conservation, and environmental technologies abroad based on knowledge obtained from domestic projects are ways in which NEDO contributes to the resolution of global environmental problems and a stable energy supply. (1)

Contributing to society by accelerating innovation

Hiroaki Ishizuka, Chairman of NEDO believes that they are contributing to society by accelerating innovation and achieving results in a timely manner. In a recent message, he keenly observes that NEDO’s Technology Strategy Center was established back in April 2014, more of which he explains in his own words.

“It is designed to formulate technology development strategies with a mid and long-term perspective, and plan and propose new projects which incorporate its strategies. In addition, a new project manager system has also been introduced not only to improve management capabilities but also to enhance NEDO’s role as an intermediary to facilitate the commercialisation of innovative technology seeds.”

He also highlights that NEDO’s Fourth Five-Year Plan began in April 2018, which considers today’s trends in the fields of industrial technology, innovation, energy, and the environment. He explains how the Plan will be carried out.

“NEDO will carry out the plan with a focus on its three pillars of achieving results for practical use through technology development management, fostering technology-based start-ups, and providing a new direction for mid- and long-term technology development.

“First, as a specific effort to achieve results for practical use through technology development management, NEDO is striving to further strengthen its management capability to promote challenging research and development activities based on technology strategies.

“Second, NEDO will develop and implement various support measures to foster human resources and technology-based start-ups, including assistance in formulating project plans, thereby creating innovative new industries.”

Hiroaki goes on to explain that with the ambition of facilitating open innovation from R&D projects, NEDO will set up a system that provides consistent support from the seed phase right up to practical applications. “NEDO’s aim is to serve as a public-private support hub for venture businesses through cooperation and the exchange of information with other public support organisations”, he adds.

Third, Hiroaki reveals that a new direction will be taken when it comes to mid- and long-term technology development, something that will lead to cultivation and the practical use of innovation in the years ahead. He develops this third point in his own words.

“Technology development strategies utilising Japan’s competitive advantages will also be formulated by anticipating innovation trends faster and more accurately than in other countries. NEDO will then plan and carry out industry-academia-government collaborative projects.”

Having looked at what NEDO aims to do now and in the future, we leave the last words to Hiroaki who believes that technological innovation currently being developed during the Fourth Industrial Revolution will help to establish new energy and industrial systems. Let’s not forget that NEDO will continue to play a crucial part in Japan’s industrial and economic and policies, with its two-fold mission of enhancing industrial technology and addressing energy and global environmental problems.

“Society 5.0 (3) is also expected to be realised. To this end, NEDO will continue to make every effort in accordance with its Five-Year Plan so as to contribute to society by providing opportunities to produce innovation through industry-academia-government collaboration and achieving results in a timely manner.”

 

References

1 https://www.nedo.go.jp/english/introducing_index.html

2 https://www.nedo.go.jp/content/100884469.pdf

3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYrv6kOsU1o

 

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