Ten years ago, for its third Science and Technology Basic Plan, Japan adopted science and technology (S&T) policies for opening up opportunities in innovation, which was a major shift from those regarding S&T alone. Consistent with the new policies, our role in rapidly and steadily creating new value from S&T that contributes to the countrys sustainable growth has become increasingly important. In this trend, Dr. Isamu Akasaki, Dr. Hiroshi Amano, and Dr. Shuji Nakamura were awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for their inventions of high-efficient blue LEDs. Their outstanding achievements have also allowed a great number of people to feel more familiar with innovation and recognize how important it is to promote innovation creation based on remarkable research results.
In recent years, JST has actually accomplished quite a number of achievements. We have made every effort to realize a low-carbon and cyclical society or a healthy society with longevity, and a safe society where people feel at ease and comfortable, in terms of producing innovative technology seeds through strategic basic research and serving as an intermediary between these seeds and industry. JST has also contributed to addressing social issues and Japans sustainable growth through its activities as an S&T policy think tank, S&T information business, development of science and mathematics personnel, and science communication activities, as an institute that comprehensively promotes the creation of S&T innovation. While enhancing these activities and business, JST will further strengthen our countrys capability to create innovation by nurturing new R&D cultures as follows:
- In order to address social issues, we have entered an era of new value that needs to be created through collaboration between science and society. JST will therefore set an agenda using the backcasting method based on a desirable future vision, and then establish environments in which we can promote integrated systems research, including development of new systems and services and research on enabling technologies. The integration of natural science and human and social sciences will also be encouraged there. Through these efforts, JST will steadily create innovation and contribute to the systematization of Japanese industry, the shift in industry towards a system and service industry.
- Along with recent progress in information and communications technology, modeling and simulation methods have been utilized for R&D on a wide scale. Data-driven science using big data has also become popular. JST will make the most use of these new R&D methodologies for our creative activities in order to foster intelligence.
- Japan has placed a top priority on the development of its next-generation of personnel in the field of S&T innovation. For this purpose, JST will review the role of the development of young and managerial personnel and the employment of female researchers, as an institute that allocates R&D funds, allied to the reform of universities, which is under consideration. We will also promote international research exchanges and develop personnel who are capable of becoming involved in the creation of new value on a global scale.
In order to realize a bright future, Japan needs to rebuild itself based on S&T innovation. I believe well be able to definitely accomplish this grand challenge based on our intelligence and continuous efforts. To this end, JST will establish creative R&D environments in which universities, research institutes, corporations and society can all work together while fulfilling each mission. We would truly appreciate your continued understanding and cooperation.