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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Susanne Brucksch

Principal Researcher
Social Science, Innovation Studies, Science & Technology Studies
Since June 2016


Please find a detailed list of publication here:

Although Japan has been one of the leading markets for medical products, most medical devices are imported to the country. Addressing this circumstance, the Japanese government launched a national STI strategy mentioning biomedical engineering as one focus area to achieve a “healthy and active ageing society as a top-runner in the world” through “reinforcing industrial competitiveness in the areas of pharmaceuticals and medical devices”. Despite the decline in innovation activities since the 1990s, Japan currently experiences a rise of ikō renkei (med-tech partnerships) at the interface between academia, industry and hospitals. This development is strongly supported by the newly established Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) and various prefectural governments. By employing a multiple-actor research perspective on (biomedical) research collaborations and regional clusters in Japan, this research aims at exploring the organisation of med-tech partnerships and content of innovation activities as well as their institutional and socioeconomic context. This research is divided into two sub-projects:

  • Biomedical Engineering in Japan: Innovation Governance and the institutional embeddedness of research collaborations
  • Innovation activities in regional med-tech clusters / partnerships: Between demographic change and economic revitalisation

Research Interest

  • Innovation Studies (esp. the Field of Biomedical Engineering / Medical Technologies)
  • Science & Technology Studies (STS)
  • STI (Science, Technology & Innovation) Governance (see Technikstudien: Research Initiative Regarding Intersections between Technology and Society in Japan)
  • Inter-organisational Collaboration
  • Institutional Design, Change and Boundaries
  • Technology, Energy and Environmental Policy

DIJ Projects

Technical Innovation and Research Collaboration / Clusters: Biomedical Engineering in Japan

The Future of Local Communities in Japan - Risks and Opportunities in the Face of Multiple Challenges

Completed DIJ Projects

Aging in Japan: Domestic Healthcare Technologies in Place

Selected Publications

Curriculum Vitae

Susanne Brucksch is Senior Researcher at German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ) Tokyo, member of the Social Science Section and Coorganiser of the Social Science Study Group. From 2009-2016, she has been working as senior research fellow at Freie Universität Berlin and was visiting researcher at Waseda University in 2016 collecting data for her current research on «Technical Innovation and Research Collaboration in Japan: The Biomedical Engineering Sector». Before, she spent two years in Japan with a MEXT and DIJ scholarship conducting research for her dissertation on «Environmental Collaboration between Business Companies and Civil Society Organisations in Japan ». She also holds post as Technik-STS Section leader of the German Association for Social Science Research on Japan (VSJF).