|JST > Basic Research Programs > ERATO|
What is ERATO?
The research funding program, Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology (ERATO) was founded in 1981, to promote basic researches in science and technology. Its mission was to make Japan a world leader in science and technology, bringing a brighter future for Japan as well as making significant contributions to international community.
In 2002, influenced by the government’s “Second-stage Basic Plan (Master Plan) for Science and Technology” (2001-2006) and by the strategies setup by the Council for Science and Technology Policy (CSTP), ERATO received a complete makeover, under the bigger umbrella of “Strategic Basic Research Programs” initiated by the government.
The goal of Strategic Basic Research Programs is to promote the problem-resolution oriented basic research, guided by strategies set by the government based on the social and economic needs of the society as well as the national policy on science and technology.
In ERATO, for the purpose of achieving national strategic sectors, JST establishes key research areas which offer high potentials for creating seeds for new technologies, then appoints a research director (from academia or industry) to be responsible for each of these strategic research area. The research director’s job is to draw up a detailed plan for his research, recruit researchers, and direct and manage the research which may also be performed in smaller sub-groups, to achieve his vision as well as national strategy.ERATO funding program has received a high acclaim from both within Japan as well as from overseas. With its 30 years contribution to research community and to the nation, it has earned the recognition among researchers as one of the most prestigious research funds in Japan. Still maintaining its original vision when it was established in 1981, the program will continue to promote creative and challenging research projects.
Where does "ERATO" come from?
Erato is a Greek Goddess of romantic poetry. It is also an (almost) acronym for Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology . When the major change in basic research strategy was incorporated in 2002, the name ERATO had already earned the recognition as one of the most prestigious research funds in the research community, and the decision was made to continue to use the name ERATO though how to manage the fund has changed since its original birth.