Element Strategy/CRDS-FY2007-SP-04
Executive Summary

The "Element Strategy" is a new strategy for constructing the base for the new materials science focusing on the "Element" based on the "Science", and is composed of following four strategies.
(1) "Reduction Strategy" that reduces the amount of use of rare elements and harmful elements to the utmost limit.
(2) "Substitution Strategy" that substitutes the function of rare elements by abundant harmless elements.
(3) "Recycling Strategy" that promotes cyclic use and reproduction of rare elements.
(4) "Regulatory Strategy" that pursues the innovation by clearing regulatory obstacles and making good use of these "reduction", "substituion", and "recycling"

The purpose of the Element Strategy is to realize various functions from various novel materials designed by deeply scientific understanding of the functions of elements under control of the concept described above without depending on particular elements. This strategy is effective as the generic policy for resourceless Japan and also plays the central role of the R&D relating to the design and exploration of the new materials and functions.

The term "Element Strategy", in general, probably means the political settlement of resource issues; for instance, by securing natural resources. This proposal provides an R&D strategy originated from Japan as one of quite effective scientific solutions against the global resources and environmental problems on the basis of materials science and technology that Japan proud of to the rest of the world. In orde to achieve these goals of the problem, it should be promoted in a large framework involving the inter-ministry collaboration and the participation of private sectors.

In the "Element Strategy" R&D, it is necessary to find a new approach for designing and exploring new materials scientifically instead of the conventional "trial and error" approach. In addition to the scientific knowledge based on the property of elements which give the basis for materials design, the scientific findings of cutting-edge nanotechnology, computing science, materials informatics and high throughput combinatorial technology we also useful for promoting the program, which will produce a new approach for materials R&D.