APPENDIX C. QUESTIONS POSED TO JAPANESE HOSTS
A. Questions on financial support for research and development and on policy matters:
- What are the sources of support from industry, government, university and /or institute?
- What is the duration of support -- are the funds given for long or short periods of time?
- Are there any restrictions on publications, and is the choice of research investigations and directions given to scientists in the use of the funds?
- Who owns the patents and how are royalties of licenses arranged?
- Do some of the funds given to universities or institutes go to the support of students or post-doctoral fellows?
- Is a distinction made between basic and applied research for project selection and financial purposes?
- What are the national priorities for short and long-term solutions to plastic waste disposal. What is the relative importance of recycling, incineration, landfills, ocean disposal, and biodegradation? Is plastic pollution on land (litter) and at sea given a high priority? How much effort is being placed on composting?
- Are there specific initiatives and funding programs for these subjects? If so, what is the percentage of distribution of effort in each? Are these programs coordinated by various agencies, i.e., by government, industry, and institutions?
- Do government, industry or academic programs and institutes set policies and control priorities for research? If so, at what level in these funding agencies are programs initiated? How does the coordination between these various levels and agencies work?
- Is there any possibility that legislation will be passed in Japan requiring the use of biodegradable polymers and/or plastics for specific applications? If so, will the government provide a tax incentive for that purpose?
B. Questions about research and development projects and programs:
- What polymers and related materials are being studied?
- What are the primary goals of the research?
- What polymer processing issues are being studied? Is recycling considered important?
- What types of products are being targeted?
- How is biodegradation assessed (including definitions, acceptability, and test methods)?
- Who funds the work and at what level of effort (number of research workers involved)?
- How long has it been funded?
- When do you expect to have a product for evaluation and for sale in quantity?
- What are the expected consumer and/or industrial markets for your product?
- What is the expected price of the materials; which raw materials will be used in its Production?
- How important is it to derive the technology from renewable resources rather than use petrochemicals as the raw materials?
- How does this effort fit within other approaches to the problem of waste disposal (e.g., recycling, incineration, etc.)?
- Does the research and development involve cooperation and exchanges between industry, universities, and government? If so, how is that arranged and funded?
C. We would be pleased to receive from each organization:
- Material that will help us write our report, including copies of publications, patents, and summaries of activities, and reference listings.
- Suggestions on how to foster the exchange of information and collaborations between the United States and Japan.
- Perceptions of strengths and weaknesses of the United States and of Japan in this field.
Published: March 1995; WTEC Hyper-Librarian