Fall 2018 - 60620 - PA 682GA - Policy Research Project on Global Policy Issues
Entrepreneurship in Asia: Enabling Autonomous Vehicles in Rural Japan
Students in this course will work with governments and residents of a rural area, in Akane, Shimane Prefecture in Japan to encourage small-to-medium size, for-profit or nonprofit firms to create employment and wealth. The class will produce a report and documentary video. In Shimane Prefecture in Japan the class’ focus is on the use of autonomous vehicles (trucks and automobiles without drivers) to deliver public and private services to a rural area that has lost population and business due to out-migration.
This course can be taken either as a one semester graduate course (for 3 credits) or as a two semester, six-credit, graduate Policy Research Project course at the LBJ School of UT-Austin. While travel is not a requirement for the course, field study in Japan is an option, during August 16 to 29, 2018. Travel to Japan is not required to enroll in the course. If a student wishes to travel to Japan, she/he will be expected to process UT travel authorization forms.
One element of the course will be advanced training in technology commercialization. Through cooperation with the Institute for Innovation, Creativity and Capital (IC2) at UT-Austin, class members will be able to take advantage of an IC2 course sequence called “Innovation Readiness.” These tutorials include a ten-module online series that covers challenges in commercialization or the facilitation of new small to medium for-profit or not-for-profit firms that are seeking to implement technology for creation of employment and wealth. At the end of the modules, an innovator can be prepared to “pitch” in a compelling and persuasive way to potential customers, partners or investors their ideas for investment in small to medium-scale businesses. Online tutorials for each module provide students an interface with in-depth content on each topic in the series. The ten training modules include: Introduction to Innovation Readiness; Technology Descriptions; Technology Benefits; Technology Development Status; Intellectual Property (part 1); Intellectual Property (part 2); Competition; Market Validation; Planning and Pitching; and Presentations.
This course combines in-class education with on-site field experience to provide an opportunity for graduate students to develop awareness of challenges faced in regional development in a poor rural area in Japan. This course asks students to develop technical and social solutions that address cultural attributes of a community. This course will include graduate students and faculty who have multidisciplinary academic backgrounds participating via compressed video from Japan and Texas. Project deliverables will provide guidance to the appropriate Japanese government. The final report and video are likely to contribute to development in the Japanese communities and improve lives of their citizens.