R&D and Economy in Japan

November 24, 2010

Today I was a speaker at the Faculty seminar. The thematic focus of the meeting was Experiences of conducting research in Australia and Japan. I gave a presentation about links between scientific research and economic activity in the Japanese context. You will find the presentation below.

Downloads – Links between scientific research and economic activity in Japan

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Presentation at the doctoral seminar

November 2, 2010

Today I made a presentation about my Japanese fellowship at the doctoral seminar held at the Management Faculty of the Bialystok University of Technology. Here is the presentation [Polish]:

Download: Staz naukowy “Foresight impact on innovation”



September 30, 2010

My wife calls me a climate migrant. I tend to find opportunities to leave Poland whenever weather there worsens. Now, since the weather becomes unpleasant in Tokyo too, it is time to go back. πŸ™‚

It has been a very rewarding period in my academic life. I am sure it continues to yield long into the future.

Thank you so much, prof. Yashiro! Thank you prof. Bock, prof. Skibniewski, prof. Matwiejczuk, prof. Skorek! Thank you IIS secretariat and Yashiro Lab students! Thank you Japan Foundation!


IFTECH for dessert

September 29, 2010

On the last day of my fellowship I had an appointment at theΒ  Research Center for Policy Studies in the Institute for Future Technology (IFTECH). I was received with a lot of kindness of openess by Mr Takashi Kikuta (Center Director), Mr Keiichiro Tahara (researcher) and Mr Adam Lobel (researcher).

The IFTECH staff provided me with relevant information about the Japanese S&T Basic Plan – its history and current status. I also got a very good explanation on different actors taking part in the innovation policy making process.

We agreed that it is very difficult to filter out the impact that foresight has on policy because a) policy is influenced by so many different factors, b) you never know what exactly made a policy-maker to take a certain decision. Mr Keiichiro Tahara suggested two possible ways such evaluation could be carried out: inteviews with policy-makers or analysis of the minutes from the discussions of the bodies that make policy. The first one needs openess from the public officials, the second one requires a high level of transparency at all levels of policy-making.

Keiichiro Tahara

Research progress – presentation

September 28, 2010

At today’s Yashiro Lab seminar I had a chance to report on my 1,5-month research in Japan. It is too early to name it a report on research results as the process is ongoing and the aims are of a long-term nature. I’d rather call it research progress report.

During my fellowship I have managed to gather a large amount of relevant materials and to establish links with staff of key institutions dealing with foresight in Japan. This will be crucial as I move on to the next phase of my work – already back at the Bialystok University of Technology.

Download: Foresight Impact on Innovation – Research Progress Report



September 26, 2010

What you would normally expect from a museum is the presentation of a certain aspect of history. The one I have just visited, by contrast, takes its visitors on a trip into the future. That institution is the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.

Situated in the modern and picturesque Tokyo Waterfront area, the museum’s mission is to “achieve a society where everyone looks to the future guided by wisdom and understanding”. This sounds very much like one of the aims of foresight activities – encouraging the society to develop a culture of discussing about the future.

The permanent exhibition is divided into four fields: Innovation and the Future, Information Science and Technology for Society, Life Science, The Earth Environment and Frontiers. The museum offers a lot opportunities for learning and interaction – it is interesting to both small and bigger kids like me. πŸ˜‰

And I have learned a new word: serendipity!


How to be a scientist

September 23, 2010

I have read a book presented to me by my PhD supervisor prof. Zofia Kedzior for the University of Economics in Katowice. Its title is How to be a Scientist [in Polish]. It has been written by an acclaimed Polish cosmologist, philospher and a Roman-Catholic priest, Michal Heller. Heller writes:

“I am a big supporter of the cumulation law. 15 minutes every day […] give about 80 hours yearly […]. This means that 15 minutes every day is a tremendous amount of time. When you work regularly, but by small steps, you may not notice progress (and that may be destructive) but results do accumulate. You can learn and achieve much this way.”

Systematic work, even at a moderate pace, is indeed a very good idea. So simple and so difficult… πŸ™‚