8/4 The Sankei News Paper Article ~Deep Innovation~ is translated in English (産経新聞7月7日朝刊記事)



Deep Innovation ~Entrepreneur Engineering Opens New Horizons~

                Sankei News Paper Morning Edition as of July 7, 2018

Twenty years have passed since entrepreneurial engineering was first proposed, advocating for technical innovation. New technologies are constantly emerging that are changing the structure of societies the world over, such as advanced artificial intelligence (AI). The efforts of people involved in entrepreneurial engineering are once again drawing attention.


Internet Dialogue

Carlos Paz de Araujo Professor, University of Colorado; founder of Symetrix Corporation; Brazilian-American. Went to the U.S. after graduating high school; earned PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Developed FeRAM, a high-capacity, integrated circuit-embedded memory chip. While teaching at the University of Colorado, in 1986 he founded the semiconductor technology firm, Symetrix. Age: 65


Gota Kano Professor Emeritus, Kochi University of Technology; Former executive at Matsushita Electronics Corporation. (Today Panasonic). Entered Panasonic in 1961; Retired in 1998 after serving as managing director in charge of the Electronics Research Laboratory at Panasonic; Became professor at Kochi University of Technology and professor emeritus in 2007. Also serves as a visiting professor at the Kyoto Institute of Technology and a board member of Symetrix Corporation. Age: 79


Upon the publication of Deep Innovation: Entrepreneurial Engineering opens new horizons, a book written to commemorate 20 years of entrepreneurial engineering, Sankei News Paper set up an interview with two of its authors, Gota Kano, Visiting Professor, Kyoto Institute of Technology, and Carlos Araujo, Professor, University of Colorado. Professor Araujo joined the international dialogue via Internet phone. The discussion, covering such topics as technology and social change, took place on June 8 (2018), with a link between Hotel Granvia Kyoto and Professor Araujo’s home in Colorado, USA. Sankei: How do you see innovation? Araujo: Innovation is an extension of an ecosystem that is constantly creating new things and producing evolutionary advances. In the United States, in every era new businesses emerge, such as Microsoft and Facebook that have a huge impact on people’s lives. The advancement of networks connected across national borders will accelerate the flow of innovation and have tremendous impact on society on a global scale. Kano: The term “innovation” in Japan tends to have the flavor of “technical innovation,” with the focus primarily turned toward the technical, but I feel it is important to consider innovation also in terms of culture. Japan has many established companies that have been in business for over 100 years. They have survived by employing the poetic principles of fluidity and immutability—adopting new ideas while maintaining essential values. I believe it is time that we started to learn from the management methods of such long-standing companies.


Sankei: What does the term “deep innovation” mean?


Araujo: The term means new, elemental innovation in the age of the Internet. It is innovation based on a deeper exploration of knowledge that winds up changing social paradigms. The new concept of nonvolatile switches that we are currently working on with Arm Holdings represents deep innovation that will underlie the fourth industrial revolution.

To give you some other examples, many ambitious projects are being launched in the field of energy — in nuclear fusion, in superconducting linear motor cars, electric jet engines, and elsewhere. Kano: In Japan, the advantages that companies have built up over the years based on industriousness and integrity are starting to quickly erode away, in my opinion. Not only are morals disintegrating in politics and industry, but we are no longer dominant in new industries that will drive the next generation of development. One way that Japan can rally is to focus on deep innovation.


Sankei: How do you see the last 20 years of entrepreneurial engineering?


Kano: I proposed entrepreneurial engineering not merely as theory on paper but because I saw the need for a comprehensive approach based on commercialization, seen through to the generation of profits. I also felt that Japan was reaching a point of crisis because of how incredibly behind it was compared to the United States in the area of business startups. To promote education in this area, over the last 20 years I have given talks and lectures at many universities, including the Kochi University of Technology, Kyoto Institute of Technology, the University of Colorado, and Stanford University, and held seminars for entrepreneurs and promoted other research activities. Active in industry today are entrepreneurial engineering graduates such as Akitoshi Hiraki, president and CEO of Hitachi Metals, and Masanobu Nagano, visiting professor at Kochi University of Technology (who commercialized biomass for electricity generation). Also helping to promote entrepreneurial engineering is Hiroyuki Matsunami, professor emeritus at Kyoto University, who is training lots of young people and writing books and papers. Araujo: The joint research done by the semiconductor design company I started 30 years ago, Symetrix, together with Panasonic, was an early collaborative project between the U.S. and Japan. One major success in entrepreneurial engineering through industrial collaboration at the international level was our FeRAM semiconductor memory coming to be used for JR’s SUICA contactless IC card. The role of entrepreneurial engineering is going to take on greater importance for Japan and help to bring about the societal implementation of necessary technologies.


Sankei: How do the American and Japanese environments differ in terms of innovation?


Araujo: In the United States, there are lots of new trends emerging in business. Even in the field of semiconductors, new innovations are appearing that are not merely the extension of previous research but new departures, such as neurocomputers and deep learning. The important thing for Japan is for there to be even closer collaboration between universities and industry. Japanese universities are much more reliant on the government in certain ways than American universities. It also seems that companies are starting to lose their drive to do research.


Kano: To promote innovation, it is important to promote diversity. While it is vital to teach young people not to be afraid of failure, we also need to build a social system that provides people with ample second opportunities. Japan is beginning to lose the strength it once had. Based on the U.S.-Japan model of collaboration, we should be looking to the Asian market and establishing new tie-ups—with Taiwan for example—understanding Japan as a presence in global society.


Sankei: What is your message for the next generation?


Araujo: Before attempting something, believe with total confidence that you can accomplish it. This will lead to success, because actually, “believing is seeing.”


Kano: I would like to see Japanese people reevaluate their serious, industrious character based on the principle that knowledge must be accompanied by deed. Japan still has plenty of opportunity to succeed.



(Colum 1)

For new business in the digital society


Yasuharu Suematsu Former President, Tokyo Institute of Technology Advisor, Kochi University of Technology A Forbes magazine survey revealed that three of the five richest people in the world are engineers who studied information and communications technology. The richest person is Jeffrey Preston Bezos, born in 1964, a graduate of Princeton University with degrees in computer science and electrical engineering. Bezos started Amazon.com in 1994. The second richest person is William (Bill) Gates, born in 1955. Gates started Microsoft in 1972 when he was a student at Harvard University. The fifth person on the list is Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, born in 1984, who started the social networking site Facebook in 2006 while a student at Harvard.          As the list shows, emerging fields of technology presented a golden opportunity to young engineers who were quick to see their potential. With this in mind, in 1997, when the Kochi Institute of Technology was only in its third year of existence, I set up a graduate school and established an entrepreneurship course of study that was a postgraduate-only program that did not exist at any other university. Initially, the faculty was headed by Dr. Hiroyuki Mizuno, former senior vice president of Panasonic, and included individuals such as Dr. Gota Kano, also of Panasonic, Noboru Maeda, who was recommended by Sony director Shigeyuki Ochi, and Dr. Masayuki Kondo, recommended by Kunio Nakajima, then director-general for technology at MITI. Simultaneous remote lectures were set up at venues in Kochi, Tokyo, and Osaka, and an effort was made to spot talent among non-students. The program evolved into the current entrepreneurial management course, today headed by Professor Seigo Nasu. In 2000, the Entrepreneurship Engineering Research Society was founded at the Institute of Image Information and Television Engineers by Dr. Gota Kano and others. Today, as the shift from quantitative to qualitative change is taking place in such technological areas as AI, big data, high-capacity digital data transmission, and with the sudden rise of digital society, a host of new technologies are being germinated, including the emergence of new systems of medical treatment. It is strongly desirable to encourage entrepreneurs with the drive to bring technologies into actual use in society, and we must teach and support entrepreneurs with regard to expenses and management, and further promote the active participation of government. This is all is why I have high hopes for the future of entrepreneurial engineering.


(Column 2)

Why Deep Innovation is Needed Now ~Acceptance of diverse viewpoints needed~

~Shift to meeting needs and logical management~


Dr. Susumu Koike, former executive vice president of Panasonic

Dr. Akio Shiibashi, president of JR East Mechatronics.

Dr. Gota Kano, ibid Sankei: What was your motivation for publishing this book?


Kano: On this occasion, 20 years after proposing the concept of entrepreneurial engineering, I wanted to raise the topic of revitalizing Japan’s stagnating manufacturing enterprises and bring up ideas about what should be done going forward.


Koike: I was responsible for three chapters of the book and I wanted people to consider the true meaning of innovation. “Deep innovation” means looking deeply into the nature of things to create something substantively new. This requires a shift in focus from “seeds” to needs—from technologies and materials to asking what people need. It requires a logical management policy that focuses on trying to be useful to society rather than turning a profit. A good, practical example of this approach is the use of CeRAM developed by Carlos Araujo, professor at University of Colorado, in JR East’s SUICA contactless IC card.


Shiibashi: I wrote about the development and implementation of SUICA, a real-world example of deep innovation. This technology, allowing the instantaneous reading of data from an IC card simply by touching it, rather than passing it through the ticket gate, was a truly leading-edge technology at the time. Its development required a huge amount of manpower and funding, and numerous setbacks were encountered along the way. But our staff was insistent on producing something of high quality for people to use, and we just kept working on it, putting off the balance sheet accounting until later.


Sankei: Who is your audience for the book?


Kano: People who are thinking of creating a startup, engineers working in a company, mid-level managers, etc.


Koike: People seem to be losing their open-mindedness toward others in the world today. But innovation emerges from the acceptance of diverse viewpoints. Small venture firms have more promise than large companies, I would say.


Shiibashi: I would like young people to think for themselves and be proactive. That’s what I want them to learn.


Caption: Dr. Kano, Dr. Koike and Dr. Shiibashi (left to right) discuss the importance of deep innovation



             ~Congratulations Messages~


Hiroyuki Matsunami: Professor Emeritus, Kyoto University

On the 20th Anniversary of the Entrepreneurship Engineering Research Society, I am honored to have the chance to contribute a message on the 20th anniversary of the Entrepreneurship Engineering Research Society. Over the years, I have been asked to give talks to the society and have been written about in the book Kigyō Kōgaku (Entrepreneurial Engineering) published by Gentosha. This research society has played a very significant role. Considering myself just one member of a society that has become reliant on semiconductors, for nearly 50 years I have worked to create diodes and transistors using silicon carbide (SiC) that was used for abrasives and firebrick materials. In 1987, I discovered or invented a method called “step-controlled epitaxy,” a growth technique for high-quality single crystals, which was a serendipitous occurrence. But SiC power devices that use this method achieved previously unimaginable power efficiency, leading to the reduction of environmental impact, which will certainly be of use to society in coming generations. The performance of these power devices is an order greater than current silicon devices and will bring a paradigm shift in power electronics. Taking basic research being done at Kyoto University, we approached Japanese firms to cooperate in launching a national project. Stimulating the drive for corporations to work together, we were successful in being the first in the world to implement SiC power devices in real-world situations. The establishment of the American entrepreneurial firm Cree (now Wolfspeed Cree), which has contributed to the advancement of SiC technology, happened because I was living in the United States at the time. I am happy to see the results of basic research in academia lead to development on a global scale. Together with the unique ways in which SMBEs will use SiC power devices, an open innovation approach will lead the world forward.


Akitoshi Hiraki: President and Chief Executive Officer Hitachi Metals, Ltd.

Congratulations on the 20th Anniversary of the Entrepreneurship Engineering Research Society. When I first met Dr. Kano, I was an engineer working at the Yasugi Plant in Shimane Prefecture for Hitachi Metals. I was in charge of spattering targets used in liquid crystal display manufacturing. I will never forget the long train ride I would often take back to the city of Kami in Kochi Prefecture from Yasugi. At the time, many people believed that the cathode-ray tube (CRT) would keep going strong, and components for CRTs were flagship products for our company. I saw the market trends and knew a shift was coming from CRTs to LCD panels, and I felt a crisis looming. If I hadn’t studied entrepreneurial engineering, perhaps the Yasugi Plant would not exist today. I persuaded company executives that this shift was imminent, and I applied what I learned from entrepreneurial engineering to establish a company in Taiwan. We were thus able to meet demand for LCD panels when the TV market made the stark jump. Had we done nothing, the company would have gone under, along with its products made for CRTs. Industries can rise or fall in an instant. Business operations do not magically adapt to change. Take the automobile, for example. A major shift is taking place from gasoline-powered cars that use an internal combustion engine to electric cars that have a motor. Other new technologies, as well, are starting to emerge that will change the structure of industry. It will be too late if an enterprise waits until the world has changed before taking action. I look forward to seeing many people who have studied entrepreneurial engineering be proactive and play a vital role in helping industries achieve sustainable development.



This article was sponsored by Sankei Shimbun and carried out with the support of the Institute of Image Information and Television Engineers, Kochi University of Technology, Kyoto Institute of Technology, and Advanced Science, Technology & Management Research Institute of Kyoto (ASTEM).