The main feature of IPS is its capacity to perform cutting-edge collaborative research on topics such as global challenges that confront local communities and to formulate accurate policy recommendations. Amid declining population in certain regions as well as deepening globalization and economic integration particularly in Asia, modern society faces imminent challenges.

In particular, IPS designs flexible and accurate policy recommendations based on objective and collaborative research on how changes in communities occur; as well as the analysis of viable firm behavior mechanisms to promote revitalization and development of sustainable communities with dynamic firms and innovatively creative industries.

Perspectives on Research

Regions in decline: Design of the “future”

Due to the complex interrelationships of various problems involved in the agenda of regional revitalization in Japan, finding a single standardized measure of regenerating regions is difficult. We believe that safe and harmonious communities are: 1) sustained by identifying the complex challenges that confront modern society; and, 2) supported by implementing social experiments aimed at evaluating various issues and by formulating policy recommendations concerning regional revitalization.

As an illustration, revitalization efforts in rapidly aging new town communities are faced with many challenges. IPS, in collaboration with the University of Hyogo School of Economics and other departments, analyzes recent theories for community rebuilding and conducts workshops to implement policy studies with the cooperation of students and local residents to put into perspective the issues involved in regional revitalization and make policy recommendations thereof.

For example, the IPS analyzes the revitalization processes in Osaka Bay area which is an area that has started its decline; and studies community-based small and medium enterprises with a global perspective. Moreover, collaborative activities with universities in and outside of Japan enables comprehensive examination of the issues involved in the role of emerging social enterprises, and the implementation of international comparative research that measure the impacts on the community and the economy at large.

Changing map of global industry and local business-industry linkages: Design for “strength”

Regional industries are now facing challenges as globalization and regional integration in Asia influences structural change in the regional economy. Collocation trends are occurring rapidly on one hand and, the worldwide development of megalopolises has shifted the focus from a country’s competitive advantage to regional advantage. Industrial clusters having links with Asian production networks are vital in tapping the global knowledge-creating value chain.

In addition, establishing relations in the emerging market economies of Central and Eastern European countries should not be missed in forming network linkages to enhance the market access of local firms and industries. In the formation of these networks, the study of fundamental rules is needed to promote understanding across various cultures and societies. In view of the above, the IPS strives to provide support for local firms and industries by engaging in international collaborative research activities with universities deepening mutual relations and understanding in emerging market economies of East Asia and Europe.