Coordinating the university’s administrative and management specialists

 

Coordinating the university’s administrative and management specialists

Overview of activities

In order to strengthen Hokkaido University’s capabilities as a research university, is necessary to reinforce a needs-driven approach to research, which utilizes research and development resources for innovation after accurately ascertaining the research needs of industry and society. In addition to further expanding interorganizational large-scale industry-academia collaborations, the Research Development Section’s urgent tasks include initiatives to better integrate research findings into society and disseminate information on our expertise and technology.

In 2015, we contributed to the launch of the Institute for the Promotion of Business-Regional Collaboration, with the goal of expanding interorganizational industry-academia collaboration and the social implementation of these projects. We have continued collaborating with this organization on various activities, including the sharing of information, databases, equipment, the dissemination of research findings.

Going forward, we hope to further strengthen our collaborations with the Institute for the Promotion of Business-Regional Collaboration Organization, the Front Office for Human Resource Education and Development, and other organizations. Our goal is not only to increase the efficiency of operations, but also to generate synergies by integrating industry-academia and local collaborations that, until now, have been conducted by individual organizations. We hope to introduce strategic and organizational collaboration with a view toward integrating university administration and the management of staff in each organization.

 

List of activities

Strategic planning to enhance local collaboration

We are working to promote regional reinvigoration projects through collaborations with local governments. To conduct strategic planning of these projects, we use local government policies and apply for external funds from projects that work with local governments to utilize the university’s research resources. We are also establishing a comprehensive database of researcher information, which functions as a matching tool when launching new industry-government-academia projects at various levels.
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Research promotion and social implementation support relating to industry-academia collaborations

To facilitate the integration of the university’s educational and research activities into society and to contribute to the resolution of societal issues, we support industry-academia projects, serving as a hub between participating departments and divisions at the initial research stage. When an organizational response is required, we temporarily dispatch URAs for projects relating to research promotion and play a role in investigating the construction of university structures. We respond to urgent issues, such as when we established a consultation desk to oversee responses to ABS regulations after Japan became party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (Nagoya Protocol).
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Strategic planning for a staff training system

We are building a university-wide initiative to recruit and develop highly competent, exceptional staff. As part of this initiative, we have implemented a career survey targeted at undergraduate and graduate students to investigate the reason behind the recent decline in graduating master’s degree students applying for doctoral programs. We also reinforce the tenure track system, which is managed by the Front Office for Human Resource Education and Development.
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Strategic Branding and the Search for Additional Sources of University Revenue

In collaboration with the Institute for the Promotion of Business-Regional Collaboration, the Public Relations Division, and other companies, we are working to develop new official university products that will lead to an increase in Hokkaido University’s revenue. For example, we are identifying campus facilities and research findings that can be commercialized and investigating how to monetize these resources. Together with various stakeholders within and outside the university, we are involved in reinforcing and enhancing the Hokkaido University brand. To this end, our projects include 1) strengthening on-campus tourism, such as the University Museum and Botanical Garden, 2) using our students’ ideas and skills to develop official university products, and 3) finding a way to share the university’s historic assets with society.
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Team members

Naosuke Okada

Senior Research Manager

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<Projects he is responsible for >

 

Yuki Takagi

URA

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<Projects she is responsible for >

  • Planning support services to aid researchers (from young to senior) in writing articles
  • Collecting information on external funds related to international joint research
  • Supporting research collaborations with overseas researchers

Coordinating with research support staff in other university departments

 

Mami Furuhata

URA

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<Projects she is responsible for >

 

Activity details

Strategic planning to enhance local collaboration

We are working to promote regional reinvigoration projects through collaborations with local governments. To conduct strategic planning of these projects, we use local government policies and apply for external funds from projects that work with local governments to utilize the university’s research resources. We are also establishing a comprehensive database of researcher information, which functions as a matching tool when launching new industry-government-academia projects at various levels.

<Examples of activities>

Highlighting researchers’ regional and industry-academia collaborations

We collect data on collaborations between Hokkaido University and other local researchers in order to highlight relationships between researchers, local governments, and other organizations. We also gather information on individual researchers, including their research themes, acquisition of external funds, and publication record, and have created a pilot database with this information. Going forward, we hope to provide this information to the Institute for the Promotion of Business-Regional Collaboration so that it may prove useful to match researchers with local governments and companies.

 

Research promotion and social implementation support relating to industry-academia collaborations

To facilitate the integration of the university’s educational and research activities into society and to contribute to the resolution of societal issues, we support industry-academia projects, serving as a hub between participating departments and divisions at the initial research stage. When an organizational response is required, we temporarily dispatch URAs for projects relating to research promotion and play a role in investigating the construction of university structures. We respond to urgent issues, such as when we established a consultation desk to oversee responses to ABS regulations after Japan became party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (Nagoya Protocol).

<Examples of activities>

Hosting a site visit for the Thai Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA)

On June 24, 2017, following a request from the Japanese Cabinet Office, we accepted a group of delegates from the Thai Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA). The purpose of this visit was to facilitate the use of “Michibiki,” a quasi-zenith satellite system launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), in Southeast Asia and to introduce examples of its utilization in Hokkaido. After introducing the group of delegates, which contained members of government parties, universities, and companies, to Hokkaido University’s research, we gave them a demonstration of the unmanned tractors on Experimental Farm No. 1, and they visited the experimental and Information Technology (IT) farm in Iwamizawa City. In September 2017, once again following a request from the Cabinet Office, another group of delegates from Thailand’s Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and GISTDA visited the university for similar purposes.

Measures for regulating the Nagoya Protocol ABS (Access and Benefit Sharing)

The Nagoya Protocol, which provides for access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization, was adopted at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, in October 2010. Japan signed the Convention the following year, in 2011, and after waiting for the establishment of a domestic system ratified it in May 2017. On August 20 of that same year, the country officially became a signatory nation.

Based on the international trend of countries asserting sovereign rights over genetic resources within their own territories, various countries are creating domestic laws and regulations for ABS (access and benefit sharing). When using overseas genetic resources for research and development, it is necessary to comply with the laws and regulation of the resource’s country. In order to address researchers’ questions and concerns, URA established the ABS consultation desk in July 2017 in cooperation with the Organization to Promote Industry-Academia and Regional Collaboration. In August and October of the same year, we held briefings on ABS for university faculty and administrative staff.

Our work on this project continues: we are building an ongoing framework to respond to ABS regulations and cooperate with all relevant departments in order to facilitate the smooth promotion of research and compliance within the life sciences at Hokkaido University.

ABS Briefings

Click here for information on other events

Date held Theme
August 2, 2017 First: “How Should Researchers Respond to the Nagoya Protocol?”
October 27, 2017 Second: “Researcher Responses to ABS In Order to Use Overseas Genetic Resources”
Other collaborations with the Institute for the Promotion of Business-Regional Collaboration
  1. We investigated how to properly manage and share equipment and highly confidential information acquired though organizational, industry-academic collaboration projects after the relevant projects have ended.
  2. We linked the webpage introducing the Hokkaido University’s Program for Promoting the Enhancement of Research Universities and its various measures with the webpage on a food platform promoted by the Institute for the Promotion of Business-Regional Collaboration. This positions the Project to Promote the Strengthening of Research Universities as the core strategy of industry-academia collaboration.
  3. We have introduced research strategy projects and compiled case studies of organizational industry-academia collaboration and information on university equipment, systems, and other resources that can be used by people outside the university. To disseminate this information, we have produced a pamphlet that proposes many ways new organizational industry-academia collaborations can be formed.

Strategic planning for a staff training system

We are building a university-wide initiative to recruit and develop highly competent, exceptional staff. As part of this initiative, we have implemented a career survey targeted at undergraduate and graduate students to investigate the reason behind the recent decline in graduating master’s degree students applying for doctoral programs. We also reinforce the tenure track system, which is managed by the Front Office for Human Resource Education and Development.

<Examples of activities>

Examples of collaborations with the Front Office for Human Resource Education and Development
  1. Survey on student awareness of doctoral programs: We are collaborating with the Front Office for Human Resource Education and Development, the General Affairs and Planning Department, and other organizations to conduct surveys and implement measures to promote the education, development, and graduation of Ph.D. students. We interview students and other relevant parties in the Front Office for Human Resource Education and Development and elsewhere in the university, analyze students’ thoughts and behaviors, including through Social Networking Services (SNS) posts, and consider measures that are tailored to a real image of students. For example, we have found that many students cite a lack of economic support and anxieties about finding work after completing their doctorate as reasons for not continuing on to doctoral programs.
  2. Reinforcement of the tenure track system: Our URA contributed to the design and deployment of the Front Office for Human Resource Education and Development’s 10 Year Department Tenure Track System to secure research-related staff for whom a long education and development period is required. We are working to spread the use of this system throughout the university. Our research manager attends the intercultural exchange seminars planned and managed by tenure-track faculty members and conducts various other activities, including providing information on efforts to strengthen the Hokkaido University’s research capabilities and on the research management framework.

Strategic Branding and the Search for Additional Sources of University Revenue

In collaboration with the Institute for the Promotion of Business-Regional Collaboration, the Public Relations Division, and other companies, we are working to develop new official university products that will lead to an increase in Hokkaido University’s revenue. For example, we are identifying campus facilities and research findings that can be commercialized and investigating how to monetize these resources. Together with various stakeholders within and outside the university, we are involved in reinforcing and enhancing the Hokkaido University brand. To this end, our projects include 1) strengthening on-campus tourism, such as the University Museum and Botanical Garden, 2) using our students’ ideas and skills to develop official university products, and 3) finding a way to share the university’s historic assets with society.

<Examples of activities>

Promoting the Hokkaido University brand

Hokkaido University has resources other than those relating to education and research, including proactive students with an abundance of original ideas, expansive campuses, historic facilities, the University Museum and Botanical Garden, the Archaeological Research Center, Hokkaido University Archives, and many other facilities that are open to the public. All of these resources are irreplaceable assets for the university and the pride of the students, faculty members, administrative staff, and graduates.

In January 2017, Hokkaido University created Brand Utilization Project Teams with the aim of enhancing and better utilizing the Hokkaido University brand. Two URAs contributed as leaders of the teams for “Company Utilization of the Hokkaido University Brand” and “Discovering University Assets and Investigating Student-Conceived Projects.”

We make full use of larger events to solicit the opinions of outside stakeholders, including the 150th anniversary celebrations of the university’s foundation in 2026 and the Sapporo International Art Festival (SIAF). We cooperate as necessary with organizations such as the alumni association and outside companies to share the value of the Hokkaido University brand with as many people as possible, and we are conducting measures that will have a positive impact on society.

Hokkaido University original goods and the Hokkaido University Museum original goods

 


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