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The activities referred to as "innovation" which create new value by creating and utilizing knowledge, the artefact of the capabilities of mankind, provide benefits not only to companies, but also to society and economy as a whole. Various countries are therefore competing to formulate policies to create effective innovations as a source of improving international competitiveness and encouraging economic growth. The process innovations (innovations in the manufacturing process) which Japan has taken full advantage of its strengths in, must be upgraded in order to support Japan's key industries and to ensure international competitiveness.
Currently in a structural recession, the Japanese economy is being gained upon rapidly by other Asian countries in the field of process innovation. In such a situation, there is a need to create products and services with high added value (product innovation). It is important to use continual wide-scale innovations be used to discover potential demand, and to move personnel and resources to growth sectors with high social needs.
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