The complexity of the problems facing society, such as health care, mobility, or environment, call for solutions cutting across different disciplines. This lies at the heart of interdisciplinary research. Interdisciplinarity has been strongly promoted worldwide over the recent years. For the case of Japan, a prominent example is the WPI (World Premier International Research Center) initiative. The integration of unrelated or distant bodies of knowledge – also regarded as knowledge integration, fusion, confluence, or convergence – is an essential factor for interdisciplinary research. This study aims at quantitatively and visually capturing knowledge integration in a cutting edge WPI research institution in Japan. By combining different existing approaches into one integrated framework, fuller, more holistic, insights into the knowledge integration efforts can be gained. Three levels of analysis are proposed: macro, meso, and micro; each of them targeting knowledge integration at different granularities. For each of these levels, different bibliometric based and visualization approaches are used: global research maps, science overlays, and research landscapes, respectively. The results of these analyses will not only provide key insights into the way knowledge integration efforts can be assessed in cutting edge research institutions, but also they are expected to serve as a spearheading efforts for the conduction of further `technology intelligence’ studies.
Author(s): A. A. Robinson
Organization: Kyoto University
Source: 2015 Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET)