Spring 2018 - 60615 - PA 682GB – Policy Research Project on Global Policy Issues
Technologies in Poor Rural Areas in Japan and Nepal
The purpose of this class is to provide ‘study and action’ opportunities for students in the challenge of commercialization of high-tech industries in poor rural areas (one in Japan and one in Nepal) that seek or create new businesses, employment and wealth. A student can participate in zero, one or two international experiences (one each in Japan and Nepal); the number of field experiences is up to each student, as no international travel is obligatory.
In Japan, the potential high-tech business is high-value organic chemicals, paints, lacquers and plastics derived from wood wastes harvested from a national forest (to protect against forest fires). The Japan case is sponsored by the governments of the Oki Islands and Shimane Prefecture. The class will be co-taught with faculty and students from Doshisha University of Kyoto, Japan and Hiroshima University of Hiroshima, Japan. Staff of the the Institute for Innovation, Creativity and Capital (IC2) at The University of Texas at Austin will participate in the research and teaching.
In Nepal, the potential high-tech business is utility micro-grids for electricity to provide villages far from the national Nepali electrical grid, with electricity from micro-hydro, solar, wind, or bio-fuels. The Nepal case is co-sponsored by the Nepali Government through its Alternative Energy Promotion Center. The class will be co-taught with faculty and students from Tribhuvan University of Kathmandu, Nepal and Hiroshima University of Hiroshima, Japan. Staff of the the Institute for Innovation, Creativity and Capital (IC2) at The University of Texas at Austin will participate in the research and teaching.
[Note: The Fall semester class has a voluntary option of an eleven-day field experience in Oki Islands, Japan, August 18-28, 2017. Two grants of 80,000 yen each are available from the Japanese government (JASSO Fellowships) for LBJ School students enrolled in the PRP who wish to travel to Japan in August 2017.]
The class will start with study of a ten-lesson Advanced Commercialization Training course offered for free (it normally costs thousands of dollars) by IC2. The course enables students to learn best practices for technology assessment, commercialization planning, market research, market need assessment, value-chain analysis and technology evaluation. IC2 is jointly sponsoring this course and their staff is co-teaching the class.
The class in Austin will prepare for field observations abroad, and for the issue of commercialization of potential high-tech businesses. The class will develop reports for each commercialization case. Class members also will develop a documentary video of the case for use by the sponsors.
The Japan organic chemicals/plastics case will be investigated initially in the field in August 18-28, 2017 on the Oki Islands and in Hiroshima, Japan. The class will write up the results of the field investigation and develop a documentary film during the Fall semester. There will be supplemental student travel to Oki Islands to discuss project implementation later in Fall/Winter 2017.
The Nepal micro-grid electricity case will be investigated in the field during Spring Break, March 9-18, 2018. The class will write up the results of the field investigation and develop a documentary film during the Spring semester. There will be supplemental travel to Nepal to discuss project implementation later in Spring/Summer 2017.
LBJ School students in this class will join students from Hiroshima University (Higashi-Hiroshima, Japan), Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan), and Tribhuvan University (Kathmandu, Nepal). The class will be taught at IC2 (2815 San Gabriel St.) and, whenever possible, simultaneously in Japan and Nepal, via compressed video over Skype (the three universities’ schedules do not overlap well).