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All sectors of our society have grown more aware of the need to discover new knowledge, create new technology, and use these advances to build new industries if Japan is to achieve an affluent, prosperous social environment in the twenty-first century. More than ever before, scientific research has become the focus of society's hopes and expectations, including a desire for increased cooperation and collaboration between universities and industry. Over the past few years, in particular, people have looked to university research for new advances that can lead to commercial activities, such as venture businesses, that will contribute to industrial restructuring and the revitalization of local communities and economies.
It is incumbent on universities to respond to these expectations on the part of society, including industry, and contribute to their fulfillment. Through expanded interaction with the wider community, universities receive fresh external stimuli that can revitalize their research activities and lead to the discovery and development of new areas of scientific research, which is valuable both to universities and to society in general because of the potential to contribute to the accumulation of humanity's intellectual assets and the advancement of the national economy.
The promotion of cooperation and interaction between industrial, academic, and governmental circles is identified as a pillar of the Science and Technology Basic Plan, which indicates a variety of promotion strategies. The "Action Plan for Economic Structure Reform," which was adopted by the Cabinet in May 1 997, and the "Program for Educational Reform" (revised edition), a report submitted to the Prime Minister by the Minister of Education, Science, Sports and Culture in August 1997, also call for increased efforts to promote research based on university-industry cooperation and collaboration ( Table 3-2 ).
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