SATREPS: Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development

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SATREPS is a Japanese government program that promotes international joint research. The program is structured as a collaboration between the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) , which provides competitive research funds for science and technology projects , and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development(AMED) , which provides competitive research funds for medical research and development , and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) , which provides development assistance (ODA). Based on the needs of developing countries, the program aims to address global issues*1 and lead to research outcomes of practical benefit to both local and global society*2

*1 Global issues: Issues that affect more than a single country or region, and cannot be resolved without international collaboration. Examples include energy/environment issues, disaster risk reduction, infectious disease control, and food security.

*2 Utilization of research outcomes: The research projects should lead to future social and economic benefits, achieved by using newly obtained knowledge and technology to enhance government services or to develop products that can be deployed in the market.

Background: Global issues need international collaboration

Many of the greatest threats that we face today—including global warming, infectious diseases, and natural disasters—are global issues that are intractable without further advances in science and technology. In order to resolve such issues it is essential to have an active commitment from the research community to develop and apply new technology, acquire new knowledge, and encourage innovation and economic development. Global issues affect more than a single country or region, and cannot be resolved without international collaboration. Developing countries tend to be hit particularly hard by such issues, and have a strong need for research and development based on local needs. Japan has strengths in science and technology, so partnering with Japan is an excellent way for a developing country to address these issues.

Many developing countries also have an urgent need to enhance their independent capacity to comprehensively handle global issues and train appropriate human resources. Japan is often approached by countries working towards sustainable development and hoping to boost their capacity for science and technology. They aim to do this by enhancing the self-reliant R&D capabilities of universities and other research institutes, and by constructing sustainable systems for problem solving. In order for human society to develop in a sustainable manner, and in order to make progress with research on the global issues that are increasingly important for the research community, Japan considers it essential to put more effort into collaborative research between researchers in Japan and in developing countries.

Addressing global issues, advancing science, developing capacity

SATREPS is a collaboration between JST and JICA with the following aims.

  • 1. International Cooperation
    Enhancing international cooperation in science and technology between Japan and developing countries
  • 2. Addressing Global Issues and Advancing Science
    Acquiring new knowledge and technology that lead to the resolution of global issues and the advance of science and technology, and through this process, creating innovations
  • 3. Capacity Development
    Boosting self-reliant research and development capacity in developing countries through international joint research, constructing sustainable research systems that can contribute to resolving issues, coordinating networking between researchers, and training future human resources in developing countries and in Japan.
Utilize Research Outcomes

SATREPS joins and coordinates functions, activities, and capabilities that were once separate, using scientific research potential as a mediator for developmental diplomacy.

Science and technology

  • Promoting science and technology, encouraging innovation

International cooperation

  • ODA, development assistance

Meeting global needs

  • Resolving global issues and contributing to the science and technology community

Meeting local needs

  • Capacity development to address issues emerging as local needs in developing countries

Japan's capabilities

  • World-leading technology, proven research capacity
  • Soft power

Developing countries' capabilities

  • Direct experience, knowledge, and data needed for research on global issues
  • Potential to contribute to the global economy through new markets and industries

Projects selected

SATREPS projects are selected each year from project proposals submitted by Japanese research institutions, in 15 years from April 2008, a total of 179 projects commenced in 53 countries. *Projects in the research area of Infectious Disease Control are included.

Area Number of eligible countries Number of projects
Asia 14 countries 97 projects
Africa 21 countries 44 projects
Latin America/Caribbean 9 countries 27 projects
Other regions 9 countries 11 projects

A total of 65 international joint research projects in 33 countries are currently in progress as SATREPS projects in Environment and Energy, Bioresources, and Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (as of May 19, 2022).
※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.)


JST and JICA work together to fund research projects

Overall research and development management of the international joint research is handled jointly by JST, which has expertise in funding research projects at research institutions in Japan, and JICA, which has expertise in technical cooperation in developing countries.

It is expected that the promotion of international joint research activities under this program will enable Japanese research institutions to conduct research more effectively in fields and targets where it is advantageous to implement the research in developing countries. Meanwhile, it is hoped that for research institutions in the developing countries (primarily universities and research institutions focusing on activities for public benefit, but excluding those related to military affairs), the establishment of research center facilities and the development of human resources through joint research activities will make it possible to develop self-reliant, sustainable research systems.

JST will provide financial support to the Japanese research institutions for the project activities in Japan and JICA will provide financial support to the research institutions in the ODA recipient countries within the framework of technical cooperation projects*.

*As JICA supports the partner country with ODA under the technical cooperation framework, the country is required to depend on its own efforts. Consequently, the local institution's costs incurred for the project (labor cost, office rent, consumables by local researchers, operation and maintenance of equipment provided, domestic transportation fees for local researchers, conference attendance allowances, and other miscellaneous costs) should in principle be covered by its own country.

Project budget

Approx. 100 million yen per project per year
Funding split: JST: Approx. 35 million yen
JICA: Approx. 60 million yen