So here I am sitting in the "Research and Development Venture Project Team" worrying about my Foma card intefering with the microphone again... They call it a team since it probably seems more "venture-like" than a "committee" but it is in fact a government committee. I THINK that this committee was mostly initiated through meetings that I had with the Minister of Education, Science and Technology Koji Omi after I gave a talk at the committee on business, academic and government cooperation. It was a very "high level" committee and I thought that it wasn't practical enough. Minister Omi eventually dissolved the former committee and worked with us to set up a new one. This committee was set up to involve more people actually involved in trying to promote high tech ventures. Minister Omi is one of the smartest and most serious about learning of the senior politicians I know. He actually listens to people like me and acts on what he learns from such meetings. I was able to have some influence over the selection of the committee members and invited David Milstein of Fidelity Ventures and Date-san who is working on university incubation. I think we have a good group.
The committee is a 3rd tier committee which is above a "study group" but below an inquiry committee, so the output from this study group should have some teeth. (The consumer inquiry committee I am on is one tier above, but the police committee on malicious programs I am on is one tier below. This is the minimum level to get air conditioning in the government building. ;-p ) I think it was the most influential committee we could make and still include people like Date-san who are actually doing new stuff.