Policy Links convenes workshop to support UK-Japan Policy Dialogue on advanced manufacturing
On 21 September, Policy Links convened the “UK-Japan Manufacturing and Innovation Policy Workshop”, bringing together senior officials from ministries and innovation agencies in UK and Japan.
Held at the British Embassy in Tokyo and supported by the Science and Innovation Network (SIN), the workshop set out to support the advanced manufacturing stream of the UK-Japan Industrial Policy Dialogue, established in a joint statement by Prime Ministers Theresa May and Shinzo Abe in August 2017.
Through structured and open dialogue, the workshops allowed participants to share effective policy practices and identify common interests for UK and Japan around advanced manufacturing.
UK attendees included Clare Porter, Head of Manufacturing at the Advanced Manufacturing and Defence Business and Science Group, Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS); Simon Masters, Head of Advanced Manufacturing at Innovate UK; and Sam Turner, Chief Technology Officer at the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.
Clare Porter said “The workshop identified practical next steps to increasing depth of understanding of UK and Japan advanced manufacturing capabilities including opportunities for sharing technology road maps and user cases”. “[It] provides essential background to advanced manufacturing priority of next formal dialogue between METI and BEIS Permanent Secretary,” she added.
Participants from Japan included officials from the Ministry for Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan’s Science and Technology Agency (JST), Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), as well as representatives from the Industrial Value Chain Initiative (IVI) and local academics.
Participants discussed policy challenges and business opportunities driven by the digitalisation of manufacturing, with emphasis on opportunities to more effectively integrate SMEs into the national innovation system through the adoption of new digital solutions and joint development of international standards.
The UK delegation also visited institutions including the Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Technology Research Institute (TIRI) and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) to learn more about Japan’s approach to bridging the gap between research and industry. Meetings were also held at the Centre for Research and Development Strategy (CRDS/JST), and at the Hitachi IoT Demonstration facility in Yokohama.