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About the Second Year of the Takeda Awards
September 17, 2002

From the 17th to the 19th of June of this year, the First Takeda Symposium was held in Helsinki, Finland, and Uppsala, Sweden, in close cooperation with the University of Helsinki and the Swedish Collegium for the Advanced Study for the Social Sciences. Dr. Youichiro Murakami, Professor at the International Christian University, organized the symposium and Dr. Hideto Nakajima, Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, acted as secretary for the symposium. The main theme of the symposium was "Engineering Intellect and Knowledge / the Wealth of Market / Public - Silicon Valley Model vs. Scandinavian Model." The participants included Professor Bjorn Wittrock of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, Dr. Helga Nowotny, former Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, the 2001 Takeda Awardee, Professor Friedrich Bio Schmidt-Bleek of the Factor 10 Institute, Dr. Ken-ichi Matsubara and Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa, Managing Directors of the Foundation. The total number of participants was about forty.

I am truly grateful to Professors Murakami and Wittrock who gave us a chance to hold the First Takeda Symposium in Scandinavia. We could experience the air of the birthplace of the Nobel Prize. We could also absorb the attitude of people who respect wisdom of human beings. Humans have been creating and developing wisdom, and establishing wealth. At the Symposium we discussed various ways of developing wisdom including regional differences of innovation systems, and paradigms of innovation, and so on. We are determined to nourish ourselves to deepen our mission and concepts, that is expanding the wealth, richness, and happiness of people, and promoting techno-entrepreneurship and engineering intellect and knowledge, by reflecting on the results of the Symposium.

Engineering intellect and knowledge, and techno-entrepreneurship create the value for people.

The Takeda Award was established to send our messages of wonder at newly established technologies and breakthroughs to people, and messages of our admiration of those who have created and developed innovative technologies to techno-entrepreneurs.

Since I have limited experience spending half my life developing semiconductor testers and managing my own company, I can not help but look at things from my own experience in semiconductor technologies. Since the student mobilization right after I entered college during World War II, I have been witnessing how much wealth semiconductor technologies have been creating for people. From my experience I also can imagine innovations in areas other than the semiconductor area. I have decided to give awards for technological innovations in three application fields: one is in my own field of experiences, information technology and electronics, and the others are in the currently heated areas of life sciences and world environment. It is not easy to see directly how much value these innovations have created for people. For instance, every cellular phone contains semiconductor chips, but people scarcely know that there is a technology to test the functions of semiconductors. Notwithstanding the ubiquitous presence of semiconductor chips, such as in radios, TVs, and personal computers, people do not notice the technology. Visible or not, I would like to award novel technologies and breakthroughs that expand the wealth, richness, and happiness of people.

We have not adopted the methods used to evaluate academic achievements. We stand not by the vender's side but by the customer's (people's) side to evaluate technologies when we select achievements for the Takeda Award. We would like to award achievements aimed at the creation of value for people, taking into consideration the efforts and enthusiasm embodied in breakthroughs and commercialization. Therefore these achievements should be cutting edge technologies that contribute directly to the expansion of value for people. I also would like to emphasize that we should not wait for these achievements to be completed before they are awarded. Awarding early achievements has the risk that these achievements might not reach the final stage that contributes to people's wealth. On the other hand, early achievements have huge potential of contributing to people's wealth in the future. If we seek established achievements following strict evaluation methods, such as academic methods, we will miss the chance to encourage researchers and entrepreneurs to realize the potential of these achievements.

The Takeda Award should nourish engineering intellect and knowledge that expand the wealth, richness, and happiness of people by absorbing the dreams of people all over the world. I think academic evaluation has almost nothing to do with contributing to the wealth, richness and happiness of people.

The wealth, richness and happiness of people can be created and accumulated by direct and indirect selections by each individual.

When we select achievements for the Takeda Award, we evaluate achievements that are nominated by designated nominators. The nationalities of the people recognized for their achievements do not count. Nationality has nothing to do with choices made by people. At present, most people enjoy selecting imported goods. People can do business crossing national borders by using the Internet. I adopt the stance that good products can be selected and survive, notwithstanding political intervention in the market. I am hoping that engineering intellect and knowledge will be based on choices made by people not based on national interests.

I would like to say a few words about national interests. When some leaders repeat the phrase "national interests," they mean protecting their own country's benefits and are very much self-centered. They do not much care about benefits for other countries. Furthermore, using military force to protect their country's benefits leads to wasting tax money and consequently destroying the wealth of people. I can not help recall myself the history that during World War I and World War II, government leaders drove young people to the war front for the sake of national interests. Once Japan invaded China and deprived the Chinese people of wealth. From this invasion, while Japan might have been being enriched, the wealth of all the people on the Earth must have been decreased. In fact, Japan was worn out after the defeat in World War II. Even if some country benefits from invading and depriving other countries, the wealth of the whole world decreases. This is the experience inscribed in the deepest part of hearts of our generation that spent their youth during World War II.

Selection by people and the market

The market is the place where people select goods. As for the stock markets, the Japanese stock price average as well as that of NASDAQ keep dropping. Since economic borders are disappearing between nations, simultaneous changes in stock markets are reasonable. In the 1990s Japan experienced the burst of the economic bubble that arose due to the inflated value of land. Prices had gone up without an increase in the substantial value and the economy fell from the burst of the bubble. In the 18th Century, the wealth of mankind was created by the efforts of people, namely the Industrial Revolution as described in "Managing the Next Society" by Peter F. Drucker. A rapid economic growth in the 18th Century Industrial Revolution was generated almost spontaneously, not like the Japanese artificial economic bubble in the 1990s. US economic growth in the 1990s was driven by the development of information technology and e-commerce. This was accompanied by an increase in substantial value and completely changed the American economy, markets, and industries.

In human history, the first Industrial Revolution was the invention of primers and printers by Gutenberg in 1455. In 1769, the steam engine was invented by James Watt, and the economic growth driven by the steam engine lasted for 100 years, which affected later society. At first, the steam engine was applied to the cotton spinning industry in 1785, and all spinning machines were mechanized. In 1829, steam locomotives were invented and the railway business started. It was a true revolution. The present economic growth (the third Industrial Revolution) has been driven by computers and IT technologies, and can not end with a burst of the economic bubble. I expect IT technologies and e-commerce, like steam engines, will continue to drive the present Industrial Revolution for more than 100 years, which will affect later society. I expect people will continue to select and enjoy benefits brought by computer and IT technologies. As a people, I would like to select by myself the wealth, richness and happiness for the future. And as the awarder of the Takeda Award, I would like to see the dreams of people in the Award.

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