Explaining innovation through changes in the electrical machinery industry
The Humanware Innovation Creation course features a variety of instructors sharing their experiences and insights around the theme of innovation. The first class was held on November 8, with instructor Kiyoshi Yoshida, a Director of the Japan Science Foundation, talking about “the relationship between innovation and value-adding: examples from the electrical machinery industry”. Dr. Yoshida began his career in the electrical machinery industry before moving to the Japan Science Foundation to pursue research and education on corporate analysis and corporate ethics. Appreciating the opportunity to access the insights of such an expert on innovation and value-adding, students listed intently to everything that Dr. Yoshida had to say.
Creating added value through advanced specialist skills and management capabilities
Dr. Yoshida explained how important it was for project leaders to be well versed in international affairs, economics, and management. Using case studies of innovation by companies such as Sony and Apple, he introduced students to the key ideas of market creation and financing. He then talked about the challenges facing Japanese companies in the global economy and developments in companies outside Japan, making reference to the White Paper on Manufacturing Industries issued by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. He also described the kinds of attributes society expects from doctoral professionals, namely, an exceptionally high level of research expertise in one’s field of specialization combined with a well-rounded general education and a capacity to analogize and act with awareness of the bigger picture.
Dr. Yoshida’s final message to students was, “the real innovators and creators of added value are not companies, but individuals.” He expressed his hope that students would develop into professionals in high demand in the manufacturing industry, not only in pure research but in development as well. The students in attendance were greatly inspired by the class, and are sure to apply Dr. Yoshida’s insights as they develop their own career plans.