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Message from the President

This is the first New Year since JST started the “HAMAGUCHI Plan,”which outlined the necessary steps for the revolution of JST. JST will play its leading role in innovation more actively than ever before. For this purpose, JST shall find personnel with high motivation and performance in a wide variety of fields both in Japan and abroad based on the 3 keywords “state-of-the-art R&D project,” “network-based research institute” and “co-creation of innovation for future.”

Required qualities of innovation are changing in a turbulent world that pursues new values. In Japan where there have been a decrease of the S&T related budget, a rapidly declining birthrate and an aging population, JST’s conventional activities funding to excellent scientists are not enough to respond to the needs. It is necessary that JST take initiatives to clarify JST’s responsibilities and proactively organize the projects to solve these issues. JST will strengthen the researchers’ sense of belonging to our projects in order for them to reach their potential in the team.

JST will start the “Mirai Program (provisional name)” one of the main features in 2017 to concrete JST’s roles. This new implement will develop two types of projects in parallel: 1) large scale units for which JST sets themes in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and 2) small scale units for which JST initiates the theme searches and the studies of impact on society. JST takes direct responsibility of the management for both research projects, which makes them different from the existing projects of JST. JST will take on the challenge of high-risk high-impact R&D through this.

On the other hand, one of the critical goals of JST is taking initiatives on global challenges. The United Nations adopted “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and its action plan, “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” in September 2015, which provided an important view for the future of society. JST will share Japan’s recovery experiences from the major disasters and also from the environmental pollution during the high economic growth period, as well as the harmonization of technology and personal/regional philosophy.

JST will commit to its roles as a navigator of innovation by establishing its system based on the evidences through the pursuit of a system for innovation fitting of the times.

January 2017
President Michinari HAMAGUCHI, M.D., Ph.D.