Calling All Industry Scientists

NSF has selected 47 scientists to spend several months doing research in Japan under three new fellowship programs designed to even out the flow of knowledge between the two countries. But while the Japanese-funded programs are open to any qualified scientist, everyone in the first batch hails from either a university or government laboratory. “The lack of participation by industry has been a real disappointment,” admits NSF,s Charles (“Tom”) Owen. “About 6% of the 5,000 inquiries we received came from industry, but none of them actually applied.” Likewise, none of the U.S. scientists has been placed in Japanese industrial labs. NSF officials aren’t sure why the participation skewed toward academia. But they admit that participation requires U.S. scientists to become more flexible. “The point of the program is to make opportunities available, as painlessly as possible, for Americans to live and work in Japan,” Owen says....

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