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JST Press Release

16th July 2013

Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
5-3, Yonbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8666
Tel: +81-3-5214-8404 (Public Relations Department)
URL http://www.jst.go.jp/EN

JST to fund 3 New Japanese-Swiss Research Exchange Projects
within "FY2013 Strategic International Research Cooperative Program (SICP)"

On the 16th July 2013, Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich(ETHZ)*1 announced that they would commence support for 3 jointly selected projects on "Medicine for an Aging Society" within the framework of the FY2013 Strategic International Research Cooperative Program (SICP)*2 Japanese-Swiss Research Cooperative Program*3. The selected projects are as follows:

1."Cortically-triggered robotic hand orthosis for home-based therapy and assistance in activities of daily living" to be conducted jointly by Arata, Jumpei, Associate Professor at the Center for Advanced Medical Innovation at Kyushu University in Japan, and Gassert, Roger, Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zurich in Switzerland.

This project aims to develop a brain-triggered robotic hand orthosis to provide assistance and therapy in activities of daily living (ADL) for neurological patients and elderly persons with impaired hand function.

2."Development of A Comprehensive System for Assessment of Sarcopenia, Osteoporosis and Joint Dysfunction" to be conducted jointly by Takao, Masaki, Associate Professor at Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, and Zheng, Guoyan, Group Head at the Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics at the University of Bern in Switzerland.

This project aims to develop a comprehensive system to assess musculoskeletal conditions of high-risk elderly patients of mobility loss, fall and hip fracture by considering osteoporosis, sarcopenia and joint dysfunction simultaneously.

3."Preemptive cancer treatments based on detection and elimination of precancerous cells using cell competition and supercompetition markers" to be conducted jointly by Fujita, Yasuyuki, Professor at the Institute for Genetic Medicine at Hokkaido University in Japan, and Moreno, Eduardo, Professor at the Institute of Cell Biology at the University of Bern in Switzerland.

This collaborative research project aims to establish an innovative way to prevent cancer using cell competition between normal and transformed epithelial cells.

There were 11 proposals submitted in response to the joint call for proposals conducted by JST and ETHZ, which ended in February, 2013. The two parties had the proposals evaluated by experts, and based on that evaluation with regard to quality of the research plan and expected effectiveness of exchange plans, agreed on the four successful projects.

JST will start supporting the research exchange projects after August 2013. The support will continue for three years.

*1Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ):
ETHZ was founded in 1855 as a Swiss institution for higher education and research, with the continuing aim to attract prominent researchers from all over the world. ETHZ launched this call as a representative Swiss research organization, having also been commissioned by the Swiss Government as a research funding institution.
URL of ETHZ's homepage: http://www.ethz.ch/index_EN/

*2Strategic International Research Cooperative Program (SICP):
SICP is a "top-down type" program that provides support to international research projects with countries and regions, in fields of cooperation designated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) on the basis of intergovernmental agreements.
URL of SICP's homepage: http://www.jst.go.jp/inter/english/project/purpose.html

*3Japanese-Swiss Research Cooperative Program:
Based on an agreement to mutually strive to strengthen science and technology capabilities in both countries, made at the meeting between the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Vice-President and Secretary of State for the Home Department of Switzerland in July 2007, MEXT decided on "Life Sciences" as the field of collaborative research between Japan and Switzerland. In line with that decision, JST and ETHZ chose "Medicine for an Aging Society" as a priority area in which to launch this call. This is the 4th joint call launched within the framework of Japan-Switzerland cooperation.


Attachment 1: "FY2013 Strategic International Research Cooperative Program (SICP)"Japanese-Swiss Research Exchange Projects

Attachment 2: Overview of JST-ETHZ Research Cooperative Program and Evaluation


Japan Science and Technology Agency, Department of International Affairs
K's Gobancho, 7, Gobancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0076
Asuka Ishibashi (Ms.), Yoshihide Kobayashi (Mr.)
Fax:+81-3-5214-7379 Tel:+81-3-5214-7375


JST, an integrated organization of science and technology in Japan, establishes an infrastructure for the entire process from the creation of knowledge to the return to the society. For more information, visit http://www.jst.go.jp/EN/