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Net Journal 4

Establishment of a research system with emphasis on research papers, with the motto, "students are co-researchers"

---- What do you attach particular importance to in joint research with companies?

Dr.Kaneko: While research for industrial application is conducted by request from companies or industries in many cases, our laboratory places the highest priority on the development of excellent original technologies through collaboration between students and teachers and the presentation of such technologies in research papers. We maintain a stance of undertaking joint research after letting companies know about our achievements through seminars and presentations. This stems from our belief that the highest priority in research activities at the university should be given to the education and training of students.

---- So you place more importance on training students before responding to requests from companies or society.

Dr.Kaneko: Students are as much co-researchers as receivers of education. So, all joint research projects with companies have student participation, and the funds obtained from those projects are put toward the operation of the laboratory. This means that current students depend on technologies created by their predecessors, so they are devoted to research while thinking about what they should do and leave for younger students. Outstanding human resources are developed through research led by students, and the results are returned to the general public in the form of research papers. This then leads to joint research with companies, which in turn supports Japanese industry with world-class cutting-edge technologies. That, I think, is the role of us researchers and the task of a national university.

Our laboratory also places great importance on transparency. We intend to disclose a variety of information, including not only budgets and research content but also the results of joint research with companies. If a university laboratory maintains transparency and makes all information visible, cooperation within and outside the university will become smoother, and opportunities for mutual improvement will increase. I expect this to eventually lead to a higher level of technological development.

(2007/02/06)

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