Research Fields & Areas

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Research Fields & Areas

Research fields and areas eligible for SATREPS projects

1. Environment and Energy (Provisional Translation)

Environment and Energy (Provisional Translation)Applications are accepted for research projects covering topics in developing countries for which research and development to resolve an issue is particularly necessary, and for which capacity building of researchers in that country is required. Projects also ought to envisage their outcomes being applied to the benefit of broader society as well as in the developing country, and being used towards the resolution of global issues. A project is not eligible if it consists merely of transfer of Japanese technology without entailing any joint research, and of simple operations that do not make any contribution to the advancement of science and technology.

1 ) Research Area 1: Research contributing to the resolution of global-scale environmental issues

The development of technologies and dissemination of research results are extremely important in solving global environment and energy issues caused by factors such as climate change, population increase, population overconcentration in large cities, overproduction, and overconsumption. The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) points out that the climate change can cause the severe adverse effects on water cycle, ecosystem, food production, health, etc. It indicates that, in order to achieve adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, governments should each set policies relating to the improvement of energy supply, transportation, building construction, industry, and waste, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

It is not enough just to continue with current plans and efforts to mitigate climate change. In order to deal with climate change in the future, it is essential to take activities to a higher level. As it is predicted that the effects of climate change are likely to worsen over the long-term, it is clear from the situation now that mitigation measures will be insufficient in tackling climate change. It is necessary to implement a combination of adaptation and climate change mitigation plans in order to reduce climate change and the risks associated with it.

Based on these considerations, research proposals for FY2014 shall consider the social needs of developing countries, and include research that contributes to resolving global environmental issues, that links also to the advancement of science and technology in Japan. Several examples of research subjects are listed below, but other subjects are also acceptable if they meet the requirements mentioned above. For research proposals relating to energy systems for low carbon societies, including utilizing biomass and waste for energy, applications should be made under Research Area 2

  • Research on climate change adaptation or mitigation
  • Research on water processing and ensuring safe water supply
  • Research on safety controls for risks associated with chemical substances
  • Research on establishing a recycling society (including resource recovery and reuse)
  • Research on the preservation and restoration of ecosystems and biological diversity, including bioremediation
  • Research on reconstruction and restoration of environments damaged by large-scale natural disasters
  • Research on urban environmental conservation and environment creation

2 ) Research Area 2: Research contributing to advanced energy systems for low carbon society

At the G8 L’Aquila Summit in July 2009, G8 nations recognized that global warming should not exceed two degrees Celsius, and that to achieve that, they needed to undertake quantifiable actions to reach a global reduction of 50% in the greenhouse gas emissions, and leaders agreed on a long-term target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. Japan had already established its "Action Plan for Achieving a Low-Carbon Society" in July 2008 and is currently implementing measures toward building a Low-Carbon Society.

On June 7, 2013, Cabinet approved the "Comprehensive Strategy on Science, Technology and Innovation - A Challenge for Creating Japan in a New Dimension." This comprehensive STI strategy positions the realization of a clean and economic energy system as one of the challenges to be addressed by science, technology and innovation, and considers a stable and low-cost supply of clean energy to be a focused policy challenge. Japan is not rich in natural resources, and requires safe, stable and economical acquisition and efficient utilization of primary energy sources such as renewable energies and fossil resources. Based SATREPS Application Guideline (Provisional Translation by JST) on that awareness, the country is aiming to become a society that has achieved both a stable supply of energy and a reduction in environmental impact.

Achieving these objectives requires not only the involvement of advanced nations, but also that of developing countries. Promoting the utilization of renewable energies and new energies, and using energy, including fossil fuel energy, cleanly and efficiently leads to reduced CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the development of such technologies and the deployment of such outcomes is extremely beneficial for the whole world, not just for the countries concerned.

Based on these considerations, research proposals for FY2014 shall be based on the needs of developing countries, covering subjects that can potentially enhance science and technology in Japan and bring significant scientific and technological benefits. Several examples of such topics are listed below. The list is for reference and is not exhaustive.

  • Research relating to the utilization of renewable and sustainable energy such as biomass energy
  • Research on advanced energy-efficient utilization (including innovative clean and efficient energy utilization technology), energy conservation, carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS), energy systems, simulation technology, etc.
  • Research contributing to the optimization and efficiency improvement of energy systems (including smart communities) related to sectors such as industry, transportation, and residential/commercial in the developing country

2. Bioresources (Provisional Translation)

Research Area: Research contributing to sustainable utilization of bioresources

Bioresources UtilizationSince ancient times, human beings have utilized a diversity of bioresources for food, medicine, fodder, textiles, and energy. With global-level population increases and climate changes, agricultural systems need to be capable of dealing with issues such as desertification, salt accumulation in agricultural land, the spread of diseases and pests, less reliable temperature and rainfall levels, etc., all of which threaten the sustainable production of bioresources. Establishing foundations for sustainable agricultural production is considered important. At the 10th Conference of Parties (COP10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010, the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol was adopted. Through the Protocol, international rules were established on genetic engineering and overall rules set on access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing (ABS) based on the Nagoya Protocol. This is a step towards establishing an international framework for the increasingly diverse utilization of bioresources.

So that we can continue to enjoy the benefits of bioresources despite globally changing conditions, more research and development into the production, utilization, and management of bioresources is called for and it is hoped that the outcomes of such research will enable us to make a much greater contribution back to society.

Applications are accepted for research projects covering topics in developing countries for which research is particularly necessary and for which capacity building of researchers is required. Project proposals shall cover issues common to both the developing country and Japan so that collaboration can further enhance the development of both countries. The envisaged outcome of proposed joint research projects must be to benefit society, by working to resolve issues on a global scale as well as in the developing country. Proposals for projects that consist merely of transferring technology and providing knowledge from Japan without any joint research, or that consist of simple joint operations that do not contribute to science & technology development shall not be accepted.

Based on these considerations, several examples are given below of the types of research project that may be accepted for FY2014. The list is for reference and is not exhaustive.

  • Research contributing to the sustainable production of bioresources (including resource management, breeding and cultivation technology for plant, animal and marine bioresources)
  • Research contributing to the utilization and evaluation of bioresources (including using biodiversity for developing drugs from natural substances, etc.)

Research topics focusing on the following issues are excluded:

  • Research contributing to the conservation and restoration of bio-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, 2)

3. Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (Provisional Translation)

Research Area: Research on disaster prevention and mitigation measures attuned to the needs of developing countries

Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (Provisional Translation)Natural disasters in developing countries have many aspects in common with those experienced in Japan in the past. Japan is a leader in the field of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, and there are many possibilities for application of the knowledge accumulated in Japan to date. For the purposes of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation in Japan, too, it is hoped that further advancements will be made in technology such as earthquake and tsunami early warning systems and high-precision weather forecasting. To achieve this, it will be important not only to gather observation data obtained in Japan and apply it to research and development here, but to also adopt an integrated and organized approach to advancing research and development within a broader global framework. The United Nations World Conference on Disaster Reduction held in January 2005 produced the "Hyogo Framework for Action", a world-wide strategy for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation for the next ten years. This framework underlines the need for each country to engage in focused efforts toward Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, and the importance of providing technical assistance to developing countries.

The Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011 caused extensive damage to Japan. In the “Basic Policy on Reconstruction Following the Great East Japan Earthquake" (first enacted in July 2011 by the Reconstruction Headquarters in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake), Japan states its intention to strongly promote international cooperation so that the knowledge it obtained and lessons it learned from the earthquake and restoration process can be used to international benefit. It also indicates that it will carry out detailed investigative research, including international joint research, on this major disaster, in order to help prevent the occurrence of natural disasters in the future. It is recommended that such research incorporate analyses to clarify the mechanisms of earthquakes and tsunami, a review of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation measures to date, and an investigation into risk communication processes, etc.

Applications are accepted for research projects covering topics in developing countries for which research is particularly necessary and for which capacity building of researchers is required. Project proposals shall cover issues common to both the developing country and Japan so that, through collaboration, further advancements can be hoped for in science and technologies for preventing natural disasters. Specifically, eligible proposals shall relate to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, and landslides, or to the prevention or reduction of disasters such as large-scale fires, chemical plant accidents, and water damage to underground space in highly populated cities.

The envisaged outcome of proposed research projects must benefit society through joint research, by working to resolve global issues in developing countries and elsewhere. Proposals for projects that consist merely of transferring technology and providing knowledge from Japan without any joint research, and whose contribution to Disaster Prevention and Mitigation is limited to only one of the countries involved shall not be accepted.

Based on these considerations, several examples are given below of the types of research project that may be accepted for FY2014. The list is for reference and is not exhaustive.

  • Research and development contributing to disaster prevention and mitigation by means such as clarifying natural disaster mechanisms through observation of natural phenomena associated with earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, landslides, etc.
  • Research and development for the collection, processing, effective provision and utilization of natural disaster related information (including research into IT utilization techniques)
  • Research and development relating to technology for measures to minimize damage caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, floods, drought, and landslides
  • Research and development relating to technology for measures to minimize damage caused by large-scale disasters (inundation, fires, earthquakes, chemical plant accidents, etc.) in cities

4. Infectious Diseases Control (Provisional Translation)

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

Infectious Diseases ControlHIV/AIDS, malaria, dengue fever, tuberculosis, highly-pathogenic avian influenza, 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 have the potential to enter Japan, in order to accumulate knowledge in advance of any actual outbreak. 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 diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics for the detection and control of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, malaria, Dengue fever and tuberculosis

Regarding research proposals containing drug development and development of new treatment methods, note that clinical trials and medical practice are not eligible for joint research. Details are given in the following JICA Policy.

a ) Clinical trials/clinical studies/clinical research
Clinical trials with the aim of development, manufacture, or sale of pharmaceuticals or medical devices, or clinical studies/clinical research that is invasive, or infringes privacy are not acceptable as JICA projects. It is however possible for JICA projects to include training, instruction, or counseling of workers (medical staff, etc.) involved in such activities.

b ) Handling of Medical practices*
Medical practices are not acceptable as JICA projects. (The reasons are that researchers are not sent abroad with the aim of conducting medical practices, are not licensed as clinicians in the host country, and it is not appropriate for JICA to take responsibility for medical practice.)

* What is considered medical practice differs according each country's circumstances. Even if something is considered to be medical practice, JICA will give approval (with conditions concerning safety and responsibility) if consulted in advance for practices such as blood sample collection, fecal examination, and measurement of body temperature or blood pressure that are not significantly risky. Ask JICA if clarification is required.

c ) Safety measures and ethical considerations for research projects
Research projects must comply with ethical guidelines in Japan and in the host country. They must be assessed by an ethics committee in the host country, and the safety of all persons directly or indirectly involved in the project, together with safety for the environment, must be secured before the project commences.

 FY2015 SATREPS Invitation for Research Proposals
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