This program supports collaborative industry–academia R&D based on the results of high-quality basic research (research output, IP, etc.) to ensure that the benefits of research are passed onto Japanese society. Depending on the R&D phase and objectives of each particular project, A-STEP determines the optimal R&D funding and R&D period to enable the seamless pursuit of medium- to long-term R&D. Through this approach, the program aims to bridge the gaps between academic research results and industry to realize highly effective and efficient innovation.
Fields: All fields of natural science. A-STEP comprises 10 types of support at the feasibility study (FS) stage and the full-scale R&D stage.
|Feasibility Study (FS) Stage|
|Support Type||Exploratory Research||Seeds Validation||Start-up Validation|
|Support objective||Broad exploration of the potential for technology transfer of output from university research from a commercial perspective||The output from academic research is seen to hold potential technology seeds. The applicant pair, comprising the academic researcher and a company, verify the potential for future practical application.||Verification of the potential for a start-up venture based on the output of academic research|
|Applicant requirements||University or other research institute-based researcher||Joint application by university or other research institute-based researcher and a company||Joint application by university or other research institute-based researcher and an indirect support institution|
|Single fiscal year||Up to one year|
|Total R&D funding (including indirect expenses)||Standard amount: ¥1.3 million||Standard amount: ¥8 million|
|Full-scale R&D Stage|
|Support program type||Young Entrepreneur||Start-up Venture||High-risk Challenge||Promoting R&D||Practical Application|
|Program sub-type||Development by SME Start-up||Drug Development||Contract Development|
|Support objective||R&D support for young researchers who have a strong desire to start a business venture based on the practical application of their own research output||R&D support for the establishment of a high-growth start-up venture based on technology seeds from academic research||Support for high-risk R&D projects. Covers the R&D phase up to verification testing of technology seeds from academic research||Support for R&D that aims to establish a core technology. Covers the practicality verification phase for technology seeds from academic research||Support for practical application development relating to technology seeds from academic research. Covers R&D-focused small start-up ventures||Support for practical application development for novel drugs, etc., based on seeds from academic research||Support for largescale practical application development of seeds from academic research. Covers projects that carry significant development risk|
|Applicant requirements||A young researcher on a limited-period contract, etc., and a venture start-up support organization, such as a university||Three parties: Academic researcher, entrepreneur and indirect support institution||Company and academic researcher||Company and academic researcher||Company (paid-in capital of ¥1,000 million or less) and academic researcher||Company (paid-in capital of ¥30,000 million or less) and academic researcher||Company and academic researcher|
|R&D period (in principle)||Up to three years||Up to three years||Up to two years||Up to four years||Up to five years||Up to five years||Up to seven years|
|Total R&D funding (including indirect expenses) (in principle)||Up to ¥45 million. Separately, up to ¥3 million as venture start-up support expenses||Up to ¥150 million. Separately, up to ¥15 million as indirect support expenses||Up to ¥20 million||Up to ¥200 million (matching fund)||Up to ¥300 million||Up to ¥1,000 million||¥100 million to ¥2,000 million|
|Contract fund||Contract fund||Development success: R&D funding repaid in equal installments over 10 years (Unsuccessful: repayment of 10%)|
|Payment of royalties based on product sales|
Number of projects approved by support type
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