As a part of adapting intellectual achievements to benefit society, universities promote Industry-Academic-Government Cooperation and other activities. Consequently, the possibility of Conflicts of Interest occurring may increase. Since Conflict of Interest may occur routinely in the course of Industry-Academic-Government Corporation activities, control based on concrete samples or criteria is not practical, unlike in the case of legal violations.
If a university fails to take measures to avoid situations that result inCconflicts of Interest as described above, negative effects may proliferate, causing society to lose confidence in the faculty and staff of the university, thereby actually interfering with the promotion of Industry-Academic-Government Cooperation and other activities. Especially when the negative effects resulting from Conflicts of Interest concern “publicly-funded research,” society will hold the university accountable.
To avoid such problems, it is important to conduct organizational management of Conflict of Interest involving faculty and staff so as to prevent negative effects before they happen, and to promote healthy Industry-Academic-Government Cooperation activities so that faculty and staff can engage in such collaborative activities with peace of mind.
Specifically, faculty and staff must first share with the university any information concerning their financial interests in any corporations/organizations related to their research activities. If such information is shared, if later there are suggestions from society of Conflicts of Interest concerning faculty or staff, the university will be in a position to assume its share of the responsibility for explaining the situation to external parties and reduce the accountability of the individual involved.
Regarding Health and Labour Sciences Research, there is an obligation to report the implementation status of Conflict of Interest management to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.