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Promotion of joint research projects

 The main activity of the Research Center for Regional Economics is to organize and promote joint research projects for local policy studies which aim to resolve regional issues, identify vitalization measures for the region’s future and provide innovative informational feedback from local communities.

 A joint research project is initiated when a relevant organization commissions the center with a research project. Research activities are client funded. Projects for which the client provides both researchers and funding are termed "Joint Research", whereas projects where the client provides only funding are termed "Consignment Research." Detailed research procedures and expense quotas are determined for each research contract.

 For each joint research project, a research team is organized which consists of researchers who belong to the Research Center for Regional Economics as well as external associate researchers who actively take part in the research project.

 Associate researchers are selected not only from academic fields but also from administrative and private sectors. Residents from local communities are also recruited where possible.
 



Characteristics of the joint research project system

 The Research Center for Regional Economics has been trying to formulate new style research activities as a research institute within the public university of social science. In organizing and promoting a joint research project, a flexible system is adopted taking advantage of external specialists and funds and at the same time cooperating with local communities.

Research activities conducted by a wide range of external staff (Associate researcher system)
 The permanent research staff at the Research Center for Regional Economics consists simply of one professor and one secretariat staff member. Thus, additional researchers from both within the university as well as from outside sources are recruited for each joint research project. Most of the participants are from outside the institute and actively work on research activities as associate researchers. Fifty-nine researchers in total were involved in joint research projects up to fiscal 2002, among which six were from Kushiro Public University and the remaining fifty-three were external associate researchers. It is with such participation by a wide range of external research staff that the center’s joint research projects have been developed and is characteristic of the joint research projects carried out by the Research Center for Regional Economics.

Participation of local administrative staff members and private citizens
The Research Center for Regional Economics makes an effort to maintain a close association with local communities while conducting its research activities. With the active participation of local citizens, knowledge and experience obtained through joint research projects are collected and effectively become regional assets, from which local talents and resources can be further developed and improved.
Up to fiscal 2002, 19 people (nine administrative officers and ten private citizens) had participated in joint research projects from local communities as associate researchers.

Effective implementation of joint research projects with external funds
The joint research projects carried out by the Research Center for Regional Economics deal with a wide range of themes of local policy studies ranging from immediate solutions for regional issues to provision of innovative informational feedback from local communities. Each joint research project is commissioned and funded by an interested organization and is carried out on an individual research contract. In undertaking a project, a progressive research scheme is proposed to the client and every effort is made to carry out the task as an effective study for the enhancement of local policy, rather than as a mere entrusted assignment, in accordance with the concept of the research activities of the Research Center for Regional Economics (joint researches and consignment researches have been commissioned by a total of 12 organizations up to fiscal 2002).

 

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