Hiroyuki Noji
Artificial Cell Reactor Technology
for an Enriched and Secure Society
and New Bioengineering
Program Manager
Hiroyuki Noji
  • Program Offical HP
1997 Received Doctor of Science from Tokyo Institute of Technology
1998 JST CREST Doctoral Research Fellow
2000 JST PREST0 Researcher
2001 Assistant Professor, Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo
2005 Professor, Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research, University of Osaka
2010 ~ Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo
2015 ~ ImPACT Program Manager
- Management of large research projects (Scientific Research in Priority Areas, CREST, etc.)
- Cooperation with industry; ABBOTT, Toppan Printing, etc.
- Academic awards: JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) Award; Inoue Science Research Award; Nakatani foundation Incentive Prize; Yamazaki Teiichi Prize; Yomiuri Gold Medal Prize; etc.


The bio industry field is expected to see massive growth. However, today the field still requires fundamental technology innovation. For example, in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries are in need of simple, accurate genetic testing methods and supersensitive detection to prevent pandemic spread of infectious diseases. Preventative medicine is in need of supersensitive detection of disease markers to detect and monitor the progression of severe diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. And, bioengineering field requires technology for the rapid development of super enzymes that outperform natural enzymes and technology for synthesizing custom-designed artificial cells for industrial use. Through this project, we will achieve discontinuous innovation with an artificial cell reactor that enables new bioengineering. Specifically, we will advance development in three stages (Measure, Create, and Proliferate) based on the degree of molecular integration and purpose. We will create compact, supersensitive diagnosis systems, super enzymes capable of high-speed biomass processing, and bio technology based on artificial cells capable of auto-reproduction. We will then present society with practical applications for these technologies.

Disruptive Innovation

Artificial cell reactors leading innovation in all aspects of bioindustry industry

  • Advanced clinical tests only at major hospitals
       → Palm-top diagnostic devices with a million times the sensitivity
  • Low throughput in bio-molecular screening
       → Ultra high-throughput system for the development of super enzymes
  • Chemical constraints of natural cells
       → Artificial cell technology for designing of genome to expand chemical boundaries

The Challenges for the PM and the Impact of Success

Overview and background

  • Preventative medicine for societal safety, security and longevity, requires new highly sensitive diagnostic assays.
  • Innovation in biomolecule screening systems for the development of super enzyme is necessary to facilitate further advances in pharmaceutical, bio-energy and bio-refinery development.
  • Current biotechnology is limited by the chemical constraints of existing cells.

Impact on industry and society in the event of achievement

  • Artificial cell reactors to improve the sensitivity of diagnostic tests by 100,000 times and throughput efficiency of biomolecule screening, by 10,000 times.
  • Artificial cell technology enables the free “designing” of genomes and significantly expands the chemical variety of nucleic acids, amino acids and metabolism.

Scenario for Success and Achievement Targets

Methods of resolution leading to achievement (approach)

  • “Wild” ideas, intricate strategies; extending an idea from “an ultra-miniature solution chamber” to “an artificial cell reactor” and establishing of elaborate fundamental technologies together with management of intellectual property.
  • Seamless deployment of peripheral technologies
  • Close collaboration with truly interested global companies

Management strategies

  • Promotion of corporate collaboration; budgetary acceleration toward bold targets
  • Application of group wisdom to technological challenges
  • Setting of clear targets for each member; encouragement toward aggressive goals

Achievement Targets

  • Target 1. Commercialization of diagnostics system with an ultra high sensitivity
  • Target 2. Licensing of functionally enhanced bio-molecules to industries
  • Target 3. Creation of artificial cell industry


  • High hurdle of commercialization of diagnosis system and artificial cell “boot up”
  • Need to lower cost devices for mass production

Overall R&D Program Structure Created by the PM

  • Project: Measure
    Utilize the characteristics of digital measurement technologies toward the development and practical implementation of genetic diagnosis, clinical testing and other systems.
  • Project: Create
    Combine massively parallel screening technologies with directed evolution technology for the creation of industrial enzymes with drastically enhanced functions.
  • Project: Proliferate
    Establish artificial genome synthesis and “boot up” technologies for the creation of artificial cell industry.
  • Development of fundamental technologies
    Support projects by supporting analysis and development of artificial cell devices

Implementation Structure as Assembled by the PM

Keys of the Implementation Structure

  • Strategic implementation expertise: social implementation /technology assistants
  • Project 1: Corporate group truly interested in immediate practical application
    (Research activities close to the practical applications stage)
  • Project 2: Collaboration between industry and academia team aiming for entrepreneurial ventures
    (Expertise in enzyme evolution technologies, industrial applications)
  • Project 3: Ambitious academic team developing artificial cell technologies
    (Technologies necessary for artificial genome synthesis, replication and “boot up”)
  • Development of fundamental technologies: Technological core for the projects
    (Reduction of the technical burden on each project)

Approach to selection of institutions

  • Enthusiasm and proven track record, as necessary for a quick, short-term program
  • An institutional identity directed at some targeted industry
  • PM related personnel are only to be selected from entities that possess some indispensable technology


The Cabinet Office
ImPACT: Artificial Cell Reactor Technology for an Enriched and Secure Society and New Bioengineering
Hiroyuki Noji
Associate Program Manager
Kazuhito Tabata
Associate Program Manager
Etsuo Maeda
Associate Program Manager
Takeshi Touhara