Japan is one of the world’s elites in Research and Development (R&D). Well-known for its cutting-edge technology such as the bullet trains and robots; and international corporate conglomerates like Nintendo, Panasonic, Sony, and Toyota – it has proven superlative performance in dozens of advanced industries. Furthermore, the nation remains a major player in the world market supplying the most sophisticated and high-technology products and dominates in hosting of the crucial underlying technologies that have driven the information technology revolution.


However, over the past decade, it seems like Japan’s status in science and technology has been losing its steam and competitiveness and sinking at an alarming pace despite a bevy of Nobel Prizes awarded to its scientists over the past years.

As reported by the Asian Scientist, according to Nature Index – a database that provides absolute counts of publication productivity of high-quality researches globally – Japan has failed to keep pace with other leading nations in terms of scientific output.

Between 2012 and 2016, Japan’s share of high-quality researches that are included in the Nature Index has dropped by 6 percent; while, over the last five years, publications by its authors in high-quality natural science journals fell by 8.3 percent.

Also, data from the largest databases of peer-reviewed literature – such as Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science and Elsevier’s Scopus database – illustrated a downward trend of performance reporting that as compared in 2005, Japan has published fewer articles in 2015. Furthermore, a fall of 10 percent and 37.7 percent in publications were observed in the fields of material science and engineering and computer science, respectively.

This downturn has led to a very challenging situation for Japan whose rivals have significantly increased their research spending while Japan’s has remained flat since 2001 – most especially against China which keeps on ramping up efforts to dominate a wide range of fields.

In terms of the number of patents registered each year, China currently sits at the top (where Japan used to be) with a higher number of total patents (one million filed last year) as compared to Japan and the United States. Japan, however, has still a lot of patents (more than three hundred thousand last year). But examining closely, it actually decreased by 2.5 percent last year – still, an alarming rate.

And although experts claim that Japan still holds an advantage over China in terms of the quality of research publications, China has progressed rapidly in the most advanced areas of research while Japan’s performance remains stagnant.

In August, China became the first country to launch a satellite for research in quantum communications which is used for experiments for developing advanced technology based on quantum cryptography – an experiment which Europe has been working on for quite some time now.

In addition, China’s dominance in the science and technology field can be clearly seen and felt with its rise in the latest list of the fastest supercomputers in the world. In November, the Top500 Project – a detailed ranking of the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world – has shown China overtaking the U.S. and Japan, getting both the first and second spots.

China has been on a very aggressive drive toward technological innovation refocusing their goals on improving innovation capabilities rather than on production abilities. Aside from focusing on technology, software production, electronic components, and nuclear power plants – it is also planning to tap the medical science field in the treatment of AIDS and development of drugs. Moreover, China’s space exploration technology has been going on for almost a year.

China has indeed rocketed to the top of the line and is likely to take the leading role in the development of technological standards, as stated by Masahide Sasaki, a distinguished researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology.

Japan and China have been rivals for almost a century for a number of reasons, dated back to the ancient times which until today are still the primary sources of misunderstandings – such as the World War II,Nanking, and territorial issues. The battle to win the science crown which has been ongoing between the two countries might be a new addition to the growing tension – where seemingly, China will win in the years to come.

As Mr. David Swinbanks, Founder of Nature Index stated, “Japan has long been a world leader in scientific research. However, this supplement’s data, from the Nature Index and our partners, illustrate the scale of Japan’s challenge in the coming decade.”

The Bitcoin Wallet App and the Future of Bitcoin

More and more people are becoming aware of what bitcoin is, and how it can help them. This is also why it is now so easy to find a bitcoin wallet app. But the big question, for many, is how retailers can use them, trading them back and forth. Thankfully, a good bitcoin wallet, which is now mainly available on Android but not yet on iOS, should facilitated that.

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Important Things to Know about the Bitcoin Wallet App

  1. When you create a wallet, you will see that, for a fee, you can speed your transactions up. This money then goes to the miner who processes the information. The fee, in a sense, is to do their work properly. As standard, however, your wallet should have the fee set as 0, but you can change that yourself.
  2. If you go to the transaction page in your wallet, you should see information about “confirmations”. This means that the network confirms that particular bitcoin hasn’t been entered before yet. It is always a good idea to wait for confirmation so that you don’t get scammed.

Where to Buy Bitcoin

  1. Have a bitcoin meetup near you.
  2. Check out bitcoin websites to see if anyone near you wants to buy or sell.
  3. Look up for Buttonwoods, which are street exchanges of bitcoin. The first street exchange was established under a buttonwood tree in 1792 on Wall Street, which is where the name comes from. You can also start your own Buttonwood.
  4. Encourage friends to get into bitcoin, this will also help grow the network.

So what about physical bitcoins? Technically, they don’t exist as bitcoin is digital and not physical in nature. However, practically, you can actually hold a bitcoin. Examples include:

  1. Cascascius coins, which were created by Mike Caldwell, how has embedded private bitcoin keys inside physical coins. The hologram has to be peeled off in order to show the key.
  2. Paper wallets, which means that you move away from the digital wallet and have everything printed on paper. You can then keep this paper, which contains all your keys, wherever you like.

The big worry with both the physical options, however, is that they can both be stolen or destroyed, and you will then never be able to get them back. Some people now also look at opportunities to purchase bitcoins on eBay. It is possible to do this, but they are generally overpriced. This doesn’t mean that eBay is a no-go area, but rather that it is a better place to use for selling bitcoin, rather than buying them. After all, you can earn a lot more by selling them on this platform.

So is bitcoin the future of currency? Some people see it as everything we have been looking for: a decentralized form of money. Others feel it is far too volatile to ever really take off. The question will probably remain unanswered for quite some time yet.

Innovation Management Software, What Is It All About?

The idea of innovation, or idea management is not necessarily a new concept, but the way in which we can take an idea and see it through to its fruition has changed a great deal in recent years. Whilst the idea of idea management may seem like a large and confusing concept with wildly varying definitions of what it actually is, the new types of software which have come to the market that allow you to oversee this level of ingenuity, really condenses the who concept down to an easy to use tool. Innovation management software is used by multiple companies around the world who are seeking to ensure that they not only stay relevant through innovation, but also that they are able to do so in a simple and effective way, let’s delve a little deeper.

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What Is It?

The idea of innovation management software is to proved businesses with a digital platform whereby they can conceive, polish and discuss new ideas for the company. The way in which this software works is that it gives your company a portal, which can be accessed by as many people as the company wishes, that allows the users to throw ideas out there, discuss challenges and how they can be overcome and encourages colleagues to share best practices between offices.

What Are The Benefits?

There are numerous benefits to this kind of software and here are just a few ways in which you will improve the way in which you develop ideas if you invest in this software.

– Employees

This kind of software allows you to encourage your employees to use it and bring forward their ideas to you, something which could be difficult without the software if you have a large team. Equally, your employees will feel respected and listened to if they are able to have a platform where they can talk about ideas which they have for the company.

– Speed

This is one of the biggest benefits of using this kind of software, the speed with which it takes to take an idea from a concept to something real. Arranging calls, meetings and thinking sessions with all of the invested parties in innovation can be tough when it comes to time and organisation, but with this software, that all changes. In the space of just a few minutes all of the important people can see and contribute to the idea process, saving time and money.

– Instant Information

The software is about more than simply writing to people and a forum of ideas, much more in fact and you can add a huge range of documents which support ideas and problems and upload them to the software. What this means for managers is that they can see all of the information which they need, in an instant.

If your business is looking for ways in which it can innovate to stay relevant, this is the software which you need.

SEO Agency and How They Can Help Your Business

As a business, working out what areas you should be investing in can be tough and it is important that each cent which the company spends is heavily scrutinised. One area that I would always encourage that you do spend money however is in marketing and the help which your business can receive through enlisting the support of an SEO agency or a digital marketing company for example, can be huge.

Investing in areas such as this is about trying to get the very best return on your investment and if you invest in an SEO agency then you can reap the benefits financially. Let’s take a look at what SEO agencies do, and how they can help.

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What is an SEO Agency?

An SEO agency is a company which employs the use of many tactics and strategies to improve the SEO of your online presence. SEO stands for search engine optimisation and it is a way in which search engines are manipulated to help your company feature on the top pages of search engines like Google when people search for keywords that relate to your business. For example if you have a law firm in Philadelphia, an SEO agency can help you to feature on the top page of the search results when potential customers search for ‘law firm Philadelphia’.

How Can SEO Help Me?

The reason why SEO is so important is because it gives your company a huge amount of exposure , to the people who are already looking for the type of product or service which you are offering. The truth is that 90% of people never look beyond the first page of the search results and so if you are not up at the top for particular keywords, you may as well not even be on the list. SEO helps to grow your company’s  brand, it drives more sales to the business and it also helps you to stay one step ahead of your competition. The cost of SEO is relatively low in terms of what you will get back by way of brand growth and sales, so it is always worth investing in this aspect of marketing for your business.

I Don’t Have An Online Business

The fact of the matter is that even if you don’t have an online business, you should still be investing in the internet as a way to get your company out there. The internet is truly the new high street and just because you don’t necessarily operate online, does not mean that you can’t use the internet to solicit more business. In fact, recent consumer reports show that there are more people who use the internet to find products and services than those who actually go out and actively look and if you can tap into this market then there is a great deal of money to be made.