Promoting STEM is a Strategic Priority


Brendy Lange is Director of Strategy for Dow Japan as well as Commercial Leader for Dow’s Electronic Materials Business in Japan.

Brendy Lange isn't a scientist, but he knows that they are key to a prosperous future, so he's doing what he can to make sure there are enough of them.

Lange is Director of Strategy for Dow Japan as well as Commercial Leader for Dow's Electronic Materials Business in Japan, where he leads the company's participation in the semiconductor, printed circuit board and display markets.

"As someone who works in a very technical business without a science and technology background, I see the incredible power that a STEM education can have," Lange said. "I am continually amazed by the capabilities, the way of thinking, and the overall impact that our technical team has – no problem is too big to be solved."

Lange represented Dow at the Second Open Forum for Science, Technology, Innovation and Education Cooperation between Japan and the United States. The forum in Tokyo took place in July and was hosted by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology and the Japan Science & Technology Agency, with support from the U.S. Embassy. Lange was part of a panel discussion on the role of human resources development in fostering innovation.

"Although Japan is known globally as a technology leader, you may be surprised to know that Japan is seeing a trend of declining enthusiasm in STEM education -- despite the broad awareness that this background is mission-critical to the growth of the Japanese economy. In fact, the percentage of students pursuing STEM education has declined steadily since 1970," Lange said. "In many respects, Japan has many of the same challenges regarding STEM that the U.S. has. In a recent study by the National Institute for Youth Education in Japan, the percentage of students that were interested in nature and/or science was lower in Japan than in the U.S."


Brendy Lange speaks at the Second Open Forum for Science, Technology, Innovation and Education Cooperation between Japan and the United States, which took place in Tokyo.
Japan hopes to boost its economy by attracting more high-tech manufacturing operations. But that can only work if there are enough people with the skills required for modern operations.

"Dow Japan has done its part by participating in events like the Open Forum, taking a leadership role in promoting STEM via the partnership with the Tomodachi initiative, while also encouraging local governments and communities to support STEM education via our local community development activities," Lange said. "In Japan, just as it is everywhere Dow operates, our greatest asset is our people, and so it is our job to make sure the next generation of Dow Japan leaders and employees have the necessary education and skill set to lead us in the future."