The Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology (JFIT) bridges Japan and San Diego by offering information and introductions to businesses and policymakers across the Pacific.

As part of San Diego’s larger push to build stronger connections with Japan, UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy has established JFIT as a hub for interaction, exchange and collaboration, through research projects, conferences, networking events and global education programs. JFIT also provides regular information and discussion groups on the UC San Diego Campus.

JFIT has a three-pronged approach:

Research hub

  • Research projects on Japanese business, strategy, political economy, science and technology, and their associated domestic and global policy dimensions
  • UC San Diego-based research on energy policyclimate change, Industry 4.0 and new manufacturing technologybig data and their applications
  • Conferences that link the implications of these studies and technologies for Japan and San Diego

Networking hub

  • Access to the innovation ecosystems of San Diego and Japan, for scientists, scholars, entrepreneurs, innovators and investors
  • Regular conferences and pitching events to connect practitioners, academics, executives and students
  • Introductions to UC San Diego faculty, San Diego’s innovation ecosystem and Japan’s innovation and business community
  • Introductions to senior Pacific leaders through our Center on Global Transformation

Education hub

  • GPS “Japan Focus” track offers classes on Japanese business and politics, as well as a professional language instruction
  • Short-term executive education immersion programs to support professional talent development by Japanese companies for women (JUMP) and junior professionals (Global Talent Program)

Research Programs

“Open innovation” is Japan’s new business catchphrase, and JFIT is keenly interested in the corporate response to ongoing changes in Japan’s national systems of innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as in and corporate repositioning and global M&A and venture capital investments.

JFIT is organizing a multi-year, interdisciplinary research between the Max-Planck Institut in Munich, Germany; the German Institute for Japan Studies, Tokyo, Japan; and UC San Diego. Please note our upcoming conference on this topic in April 2018.“

“IOT”, “industry 4.0” and “artificial intelligence” (AI) are emerging as the leading themes to describe the emerging technological disruption of production processes, urban design, health sciences, robotics, consumer relations, work relations and many more areas of business and personal life. This project explores the “state of the art” of thinking about the ongoing technological disruption, innovation and national policy responses in different countries.

Project 1:  The Decline in Bank-Led Corporate Restructuring in Japan: 1981-2010

Co-authors Takeo Hoshi, Saothsi Koibuchi and Ulrike Schaede have constructed a unique dataset on all major corporate restructuring events in Japan between 1981 and 2010, in order to examine how bank-led rescue operations in Japan have changed over time. They find that the incidence of restructuring by distressed firms has become less frequent after the 1990s.

The paper can be downloaded here.

Project 2: Changing Shareholder Structure and the Rise of the Institutional Investor

In collaboration with Yuri Okina, Ulrike Schaede is exploring the rise of the role of trust banks as shareholders. Are these “Old Japan”-type stable and silent investors, or are they “New Japan”-style return-driven investors that practice exit or voice instead of loyalty? The question matters because a rise in proactive institutional investors would mean the emergence of a market for corporate control, and this would greatly affect the strategic decision-making by large Japanese companies.

Ulrike Schaede

Director, JFIT

Director's Message

Exciting things are happening in Japan in terms of industrial and policy change, corporate competitive repositioning and innovation design and policies. The emerging “New Japan” promises to be just as important a partner to U.S. business and policy going forward as it used to be a few decades ago. At the same time, San Diego is emerging as a leading innovation cluster in biotech and Internet-of-Things (IoT), in addition to its already important positions in new manufacturing technologies (Industry 4.0), defense technologies and energy, clean tech and the environment.

At this time of renewal and growth, we see great opportunities for both sides to thrive through cooperation. At JFIT, we offer a gateway that connects San Diego and Japan in the areas of open innovation and technology management, business development, strategic growth, and business and public policy reforms.

We strive to forge new ties that support global management leadership, innovation, and growth opportunities, for business executives and policymakers alike. We support research exchange with scholars, offer access to local startups and business executives, and run a unique education program, Josei/Women for Upper Management Program (JUMP) to support the rise of women senior executives, tailored to the Pacific Rim.

We welcome inquiries to our program activities and invite you to sign up for our regular San Diego-Japan NewsflashJapan Discussion Group, and other events and activities that will be announced on this website. Please also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.