Innovation creates new demand and enhances productivity, which promote Japan’s sustainable growth and development. NISTEP has a mission of providing objective evidence for implementing science, technology and innovation policies. In this regard, NISTEP investigates and analyses innovation and innovation activities in firms to better understand Japan’s innovation system.


Measuring and Analyzing Innovation

The fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan promotes evidence-based policy planning, evaluation, and implementation as a means of strengthening the functionality for promoting science, technology, and innovation (STI). NISTEP investigates innovation and innovation activities in firms in line with international guidelines for collecting and interpreting such data. NISTEP also constructs unique data sets that combine data at the institutional level with bibliographic information, and analyses the economic impacts of knowledge flows through academia into industry. These research projects are expected to contribute to a better understanding of the innovation system and innovation processes that are subject to or part of the background of STI policy. They are also expected to improve measurements of innovation.


Surveys and research

Japanese National Innovation Survey (J-NIS)


The Japanese National Innovation Survey (J-NIS) is an official statistical survey on innovation and innovation activities in enterprises. The survey results are used as basic information for analysis, planning, execution, and monitoring of STI policies. The J-NIS follows the Oslo Manual, which contains guidelines for collecting and interpreting innovation data developed jointly by OECD and Eurostat, and uses survey methodology, including questionnaires, that ensures international comparability of results. The survey data are also used for indicators and reports published by the OECD and other international organizations, and for empirical analyses.

International Seminar “A New Development in Innovation Surveys: Measurement to Inform Policy Making”

On 27 February 2017, NISTEP held an international seminar entitled “A New Development in Innovation Surveys: Measurement to Inform Policy Making” in Tokyo. Prof. John Walsh (Georgia Institute of Technology) and Dr. Christian Rammer (ZEW), leading scholars in the field of innovation studies, were invited as speakers. This seminar aimed to learn from new experiences in innovation surveys in different countries with a view to making wider use of new developments.

  • How Innovative Are Innovators?: A Multidimensional Perspective, presented by John Walsh, Professor, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, the United States
  • Innovation Surveys and their Policy Implications in Germany and Europe: Measurement of Innovation Outputs and Outcomes, presented by Christian Rammer, Deputy, Department of Economics of Innovation and Industrial Dynamics, Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Germany
  • Innovation Survey in Japan:Implications from Country Specific Questions and Results, presented by Tomohiro Ijichi, Director of Research, First Theory-Oriented Research Group, NISTEP, Japan; Professor, Faculty of Innovation Studies, Seijo University, Japan

Full summary of the seminar


Full summary of the seminar

Full summary of the seminar

Measuring and Analyzing R&D Management

The process of innovation consists of interaction between private companies (who are the central actors in the process), the government, universities, and public research institutions. Thus, when formulating and implementing S&T policy from the standpoint of creating innovation, it is important to appropriately ascertain the R&D activities and management trends of not only the government, universities, and public research institutions but also private companies, which account for approximately 70% of Japan’s total R&D expenditure.

In FY1968, the predecessor of the Japan Science and Technology Agency began conducting the “Survey on Research Activities of Private Corporations” as a statistical survey approved by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications to gain an understanding of research trends in private companies. The survey has been conducted almost every year subsequently. NISTEP took over the responsibility for its implementation from the FY2008 survey. It is currently the only survey of R&D activity in private companies that is conducted regularly on a large-scale basis.

NISTEP also conducts surveys on international R&D activities by private companies, surveys and research that focus on industry-academia collaboration and intellectual property management, and surveys on research management by universities and public research institutions.

Surveys and research

Surveys on R&D activities by private companies

NISTEP conducts the general statistical survey “Survey on Research Activities of Private Corporations” each year. The survey targets approximately 3,500 companies that engage in R&D activities and have at least 100 million yen in capital.

Surveys on industry-academia collaboration

NISTEP manages a database on industry-academia collaboration and analyzes industry-academia collaborative activities using this database in order to monitor such collaboration. This is the result of measures by central government and other entities beginning in the mid-1990s.

Surveys on intellectual property rights and innovation

NISTEP surveys intellectual property rights as indicators of R&D achievement, and also studies the ideal forms of intellectual property systems and management for encouraging innovation.

Surveys on corporate internationalization

Given advancing internationalization in private-sector R&D, NISTEP conducts surveys on R&D internationalization, specific initiatives taken by local subsidiaries, and R&D cooperation with overseas interests in order to gain an understanding of the situation.

Surveys on management of universities and public research institutions

NISTEP conducts surveys and research that focus on management of universities and public research institutions, which are the main actors in the national innovation system. NISTEP implements surveys and research on laboratory management at public testing institutes and surveys of management systems at universities that are among the world’s leading centers of research.

Other surveys concerning private companies

NISTEP studies and analyzes the influences that private companies’ non-R&D activities have on innovation.

To Library (List of Survey/Research Achievements)


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