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Regular version of the site

Transformative Power of Innovation

The Seventh International Academic Conference 'Foresight and STI Policy', traditionally organized by HSE ISSEK, took place in Moscow at the beginning of November. Mr Kato, the Director General of the National Institute of Science and Technology of Japan, was the key speaker at the event. He has talked to HSE News Service about his research interests, as well as about cooperation with HSE in the field of foresight research.

'Since I took office of the Director General of NISTEP, I have worked on strengthening institutional interaction with STI think tanks around the world, including HSE ISSEK. I am sure that ISSEK is one of the leading STI policy think tanks in the world. So far, our collaboration was in the area of foresight by mutual visit of experts, like ISSEK Associate Professor Konstantin Vishnevsky and  Dr. Kuniko Urashima in NISTEP. However, our Memorandum of Cooperation provides for cooperation in a broader area in various forms, so I am looking forward to exploring new areas of possible mutually beneficial cooperation.

My talk at the conference was focused on enormous transformative power of innovation in changing society and economy. STI policy is becoming more vision-driven. Therefore, foresight is even more important, and has to be responsible to future generation, as well as present generation. We need to deepen our understanding of two-way, dynamic interaction between innovation and societal change. Involvement of multitude of stakeholders in foresight is essential.

Big Data can be an important source in catching early indication of transformative technology and innovation. NISTEP staff has been developing an AI system for this purpose. Still, I think human insight has a role to play in identifying the early indication.'