AIST / JISC
Dr. Tamotsu Nomakuchi
President AIST (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology)
Chair of Council of JISC (Japanese Industrial Standards Committee)
Former CEO of Mitsubishi Electric
"Today standards are playing a
very important role to promote
Dr. Tamotsu Nomakuchi
Interview in Tokyo, June 2010
A key driver for innovation
When asked about the role of standards for global trade and innovation, Dr. Nomakuchi replied that his view regarding the relevance of international standards has considerably evolved over the last years: "Thirty years ago, I was working at a private company. If you had asked me what I thought about standardization at that time, I might have said that standardization is not necessary and that it hinders technological advancement. However, we now live in a time when speed is very important. Technology progresses very fast and there is also integration between different technologies and so you must move fast. So today standards are playing a very important role to promote innovation."
Level playing field for all
With regard to developing countries, technology transfer and the safety of populations, Dr. Nomakuchi explained: "The economy is becoming more and more global and there is more competition. It is important that all companies from various countries compete under the same conditions. Standards are important to achieve this, because standards are the only tools that can be used to judge the competition."
When asked what message he wants to convey to those who don’t yet understand the strategic importance of international standards, Dr. Nomakuchi replied: "I think that the importance of standards will be understood increasingly by companies. It’s the only way to make certain that a product will be used by more customers in confidence. In the past it was possible for Japanese companies to produce high quality products to obtain customer satisfaction. But now the economy is becoming more and more global and there is more competition. Japanese companies have to compete under the same conditions as competitors from other countries. So the attitude of Japanese companies will change and they will place more importance on standards because that is the only way that they can compete internationally.
Big issues need global solutions
"I believe that international standardization organizations like the IEC are playing an increasingly important role in the sustainable development of the world. We have many imminent global issues right in front of us, which cannot be solved by one region or country alone and their number is increasing.
Since the IEC is represented in both developing and developed nations, I believe that the IEC is able to promote standardization that will satisfy the needs of people from many countries."
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) is a non-governmental institution and Japan's largest public research organization, located in Tsukuba and Tokyo.
AIST was established in 2001, bringing together 15 individual research institutes under one organization. It includes today more than 2500 research scientists and well over 3000 visiting scientists, post-doctoral fellows and students who work in over 50 autonomous research units in various fields in several locations in Japan.
JISC (Japanese Industrial Standards Committee) is a national standardization body under the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. JISC has consistently engaged in activities designed to promote both international and domestic standardization, which enhance economic development and social welfare. Over 500 experts, representing product manufacturers, service providers, academia and consumer organizations participate in the development of consensus-based standards.