About SATREPS

JST HOMESATREPS HOMEAbout SATREPSResearch Fields and Areas

Research Fields and Areas

SATREPS projects typically share the following characteristics:

  • To envisage their outcomes being applied to the benefit of broader society as well as in the developing country
  • To cover topics in developing countries for which research and development to resolve an issue is particularly necessary, and for which capacity building of researchers is required
  • To contribute to the resolution of global issues and scientific and technological progress

※ A project is not eligible if it consists merely of transfer of Japanese technology without entailing any joint research, or solely of surveys and other simple operations that do not make any contribution to the advancement of science and technology, or if it produces outcomes that can only be of benefit to one particular country.

Research Fields Research Areas
Environment and Energy 1) Research contributing to the solution to global-scale environmental issues
(Contributing to SDGs - response to climate change, conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity, sustainable use of natural resources, and pollution prevention and control)
2) Research contributing to advanced energy systems for low carbon society
(Contributing to SDGs - clean energy and climate action)
Bioresources 3) Research contributing to sustainable production and utilization of bioresources
(Contributing to SDGs - food security, health promotion, nutrition improvement, and sustainable agriculture, forestry, and fisheries)
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation 4) Research on disaster prevention and mitigation towards social sustainability
(Contributing to SDGs - analysis of disaster mechanisms, prior countermeasures, and disaster occurrence to post-disaster recovery and reconstruction processes)
Infectious Diseases Control※ 5) Research on measures to address infectious diseases control attuned to the needs of developing countries

※SATREPS projects in the field of Infectious Diseases Control have been transferred to AMED - the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development. (The transfer took place on April 1, 2015. Projects that terminated before that date were not transferred.)

1. Environment and Energy

1 ) Research Area 1: Research contributing to the solution to global-scale environmental issues
(Contributing to SDGs - response to climate change, conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity, sustainable use of natural resources, and pollution prevention and control)

※ From FY2008. Research area: “Research contributing to adaptation to or mitigation of climate change” was incorporated into Global-scale Environmental Issues in FY2010.

Environment and Energy Development of new technologies and their practical application are urgently needed in order to tackle the many environmental issues facing humanity on a global scale, including climate change, the deterioration of ecosystems and biodiversity, the spread of pollution, the concentration of populations into urban centers, and rising production and consumption.

Many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations (UN) are deeply interlinked with the resolution of environmental problems. The development of measures to combat climate change, including those to counter related negative impact, is a critical global task, as stated in SDG 13: Take urgent action to counter climate change and its impacts. Meanwhile, conservation and restoration of ecosystems and biodiversity in environments such as forests, wetlands, grasslands, and oceans, as well as their sustainable utilization, are outlined in SDG 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss, and SDG14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Other pressing issues that must be tackled in order for humans to live healthy, fulfilling lives include prevention of environmental pollution by harmful substances, restoration of polluted environments, attainment of food and water security, maintenance and upkeep of key social infrastructure in urban areas, and management and prevention of waste. The basis of such efforts include the development of sustainable urban societies based on low- environmental impact production and consumption, and the creation of areas fit for human settlement, which interlink with the UN SDGs in multiple facets.

To solve these issues, it is important that we combine the respective knowledge of natural and social sciences to develop new technologies, apply these in a real-world setting to reduce the impact on the environment and construct sustainable economic and societal systems, work to inform and educate the public, continue to further refine and enhance the knowledge and experience gained through this research, and to communicate this information effectively throughout the world.

Several examples of the main research subjects are listed below, but other subjects are also acceptable if they meet the requirements mentioned above.

  • Research on climate change prediction, adaptation or mitigation
  • Research on chemical pollution, its risk reduction and remediation
  • Research on sustainable utilization of water resources along with water processing and ensuring safe water supply
  • Research on establishing a material-cycle society (including collection and reuse of waste and useful resources)
  • Research on the conservation and restoration of ecosystems and biological diversity
  • Research on urban environmental conservation (including greening) and environment creation
  • Research on mitigating environmental degradation caused by urbanization, constructing pleasant cities
  • Research on reconstruction and restoration of environments damaged by large-scale disasters
  • Research on sustainable use of natural resources

Research topics relating to systems and key technologies for energy systems for low carbon societies, including recyclable energy, new energy types, and energy saving, should be under Research Area 2, even if they also fit into this category.

2 ) Research Area 2: Research contributing to advanced energy systems for low carbon society
(Contributing to SDGs - clean energy and climate action)

※ From FY2010

One of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), SDG-7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, is an important global issue evident in the SDGs, which aim to leave no one behind. Meanwhile, in order to achieve the mitigation of climate change (SDG-13), curbing our dependence on fossil fuels is essential. To this end, the whole world must realize a low-carbon society. In this research area, invitations are being extended to research proposals that will contribute to the realization of a low-carbon society through the research and development of innovative energy systems.

The Paris Agreement, which was adopted at the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) held in November 2015, set the target of restricting the increase in the global average temperature to below 2 °C. In order to achieve this, greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced to the level of approximately 24 billion tons by the year 2050, requiring more than 30 billion tons of additional reductions. In addition, Japan’s Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures approved by cabinet decision in May 2016 sets a target to reduce GHG emissions by 26.0% (relative to FY2013) by FY2030 (a 25.4% reduction relative to FY2005). In the long term, Japan also aims to reduce GHG emissions by 80% by 2050.

Achieving the above objectives will require collaboration between advanced nations and developing countries in order to generae the innovations needed to achieve a low-carbon society.

Moreover, Japan’s Assistance Initiatives to Address Climate Change 2017 also promotes “co-innovation,” which generates innovation through collaboration—while specifically keeping the issues and the needs of the developing nations in mind—and emphasizes the reduction of GHG emissions on a global basis. Additionally, Japan’s contribution to the reduction of GHG emissions in developing nations is expected to play a role in achieving Japan’s reduction targets through the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM).

Several examples of the main research subjects are listed below, but other subjects are also acceptable if they meet the requirements mentioned above.

  • Research relating to the utilization of renewable and new energies (solar and solar thermal, wind, ocean energy, geothermal, biomass, etc.) (In terms of biomass, please keep in mind sustainability factors such as raw-material sourcing and non-competition with food sources.)
  • Research on advanced energy-efficient utilization (including innovative clean and efficient energy utilization technology, energy saving technology utilizing strategies such as high-efficiency equipment or energy recycling, key technologies for Carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS), and energy system for implementing low carbon approaches, etc.
  • Research relating to the sustainable use of natural resources such as fossil fuels and minerals (resource recycle, urban mining development, resource recovery systems expected to contribute to reducing LCA-CO2 emissions)
  • Research contributing to the creation of low carbon, resource recycling cities and regions (including IoT-implemented smart cities, smart communities, transportation networks, and next generation infrastructure)

2. Bioresources

3 ) Research Area: Research contributing to sustainable production and utilization of bioresources
(Contributing to SDGs - food security, health promotion, nutrition improvement, and sustainable agriculture, forestry, and fisheries)

※ From FY2009

Bioresources Utilization Since ancient times, human beings have utilized a diversity of bioresources for energy and to provide the necessities for healthy lives, such as food and fodder, medicine, and textiles. With recent global-level population increases and climate change, there is a need to develop radical, fundamental technology to deal with desertification; drying, salt accumulation and spread of insect pests and viral diseases in agricultural land; less reliable temperature and rainfall levels, etc., all of which threaten the sustainable production of bioresources. In addition, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth objectives for the utilization of bioresources in Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture and Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

The Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity recognizes that biodiversity supports the existence of humans and provides a variety of benefits to humans. The Convention on Biological Diversity, Nagoya Protocol, and International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture were established by international agreement, with their objectives being the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components, and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources. The countries that are the parties to the convention are now putting into place the legislative framework to achieve these objectives. Japan ratified the Nagoya Protocol in August 2017, and will henceforth be required to adhere to further international treaties.

In order that we can continue to enjoy the benefits of bioresources in the context of such global change, the importance of research and development into the production, utilization, and management of bioresources, particularly in developing countries, has been identified, and there is growing demand for the rapid deployment of the outcomes of such research to benefit society.

Several examples of the main research subjects are listed below, but other subjects are also acceptable if they meet the requirements mentioned above.

  • Research and development contributing to the sustainable production and utilization of bioresources (including resource management, breeding, cultivation, propagation and culturing technology for plant, animal, marine and microbial resources, production systems)
  • Research contributing to the evaluation and effective utilization of bioresources (including using biodiversity for discovery and production of useful substances from bioresources, but excluding human drug development)

Projects focusing on the following topics should be under the field of Environment and Energy.

  • Research contributing to the conservation and restoration of ecosystems and biodiversity (Environment and Energy, Research Area 1)
  • Research contributing to the utilization of biomass energy (Environment and Energy, Research Area 2)
  • Research activities that primarily address environment and energy issues (Environment and Energy, Research Areas 1 and 2)

3. Disaster Prevention and Mitigation

4 ) Research Area: Research on disaster prevention and mitigation towards social sustainability
(Contributing to SDGs - analysis of disaster mechanisms, prior countermeasures, and disaster occurrence to post-disaster recovery and reconstruction processes)

※ From FY2008

Disaster Prevention and Mitigation As outlined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, and Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, disaster prevention and mitigation is a key issue facing humanity on a worldwide scale. In order to work toward the realization of safe, resilient, and sustainable cities and societies, it is necessary to conduct research that is founded soundly on local needs, and whose findings can be applied back to society. When addressing this need, in addition to utilizing Japan’s knowledge and experience it is important that research and development is conducted not only in Japan but as part of a worldwide framework, in a comprehensive and systematic manner. Plans such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and the Sendai Cooperation Initiative for Disaster Risk Reduction, which were established at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015 call for collaboration between disaster prevention policy and scientific research as well as support for developing countries, including technology transfer. In addition, the Paris Agreement finalized at COP21 in December 2015 outlines international targets and contribution in the DRR field, and research toward disaster risk prevention and mitigation is widely recognized as a key task both in Japan and overseas.

Amidst these circumstances, in addition to addressing natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, storms, storm surges, inundation, drought, heat waves, and landslides, this research area also includes research on preventing and mitigating disasters that urbanization may exacerbate (including research on post-disaster recovery and reconstruction). Examples include large fires in densely populated urban areas, flood damage, traffic and transportation accidents, damage to social infrastructure, and large-scale accidents at industrial complexes. It is important to adopt an integrated approach spanning disaster occurrence, forecasting, countermeasures, and a road map to practical application while also seeking interdisciplinary collaboration with various fields beyond one’s field of expertise. This includes analysis and explication of disaster mechanisms, validation of existing disaster risk reduction measures, and verification of risk communication strategies. When studying post-disaster recovery and reconstruction it is particularly important that those vulnerable to damage, such as women, children, and persons with disabilities, are taken into consideration. In this regard, research topics which incorporate the perspective of SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls are particularly welcome.

Several examples of the main research subjects are listed below, but other subjects are also acceptable if they meet the requirements mentioned above.

  • Research on clarifying the mechanisms of disasters associated with natural phenomena such as earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, storms, storm surges, inundation, drought, heat waves, and landslides, together with measures to mitigate such disasters and risks, as well as measures for restoration and reconstruction
  • Research and development of measures to mitigate the damage from major disasters that have become more serious with urbanization (fires, flooding, damage to lifelines/transportation networks, etc.)
  • Research relating to the construction and maintenance of cities with resilient social infrastructure that can withstand natural and man-made disasters
  • Research contributing to the prevention and mitigation of regional and urban disasters through the prompt collection and effective utilization of disaster information (including development of technology to utilize disaster observation satellites, remote sensing, GIS, GNSS, ICT, IoT, UAV, etc.)
  • Research for the prevention of, mitigation of, and recovery from disasters that combines approaches across the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences to help establish precise and practical disaster forecasting and enable effective recovery

4. Infectious Diseases Control
※SATREPS projects in the field of Infectious Diseases Control have been transferred to AMED - the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development. (The transfer took place on April 1, 2015. Projects that terminated before that date were not transferred.)

5 ) Research Area: Research on measures to address infectious diseases control attuned to the needs of developing countries

※ From FY2008

Infectious Diseases ControlHIV/AIDS, malaria, dengue fever, tuberculosis, highly-pathogenic avian influenza, bacteria resistant to antibiotics like carbapenem and colistin, and other emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases not only pose a threat to health in developing countries, but act as a major impediment to social and economic development. The frequency with which people and goods are now moving across national borders means that these problems are not confined to developing countries. Japan is consequently keen to boost international cooperation regarding infectious diseases that spread quickly and widely across the border. Several examples are given below of potential research and development projects that target solutions for global issues in the area of infectious diseases control.

  • Research and development on Zoonosis such as avian influenza, rabies and others
  • Research and development for technology related to epidemiology, diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics for the detection and control of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, malaria, Dengue fever, tuberculosis and bacteria resistant to antibiotics like carbapenem and colistin.

※ One restriction applied to all research areas is that clinical trials and medical practice are not eligible for the SATREPS program. Note also that there for some research topics, there may be a requirement to take specific ethical perspectives into account.