About our programs

What are "Strategic Basic Research Programs"?

The purpose of Strategic Basic Research Programs is to promote challenges to basic research to overcome the problems facing our country and to produce creative and innovative technology seeds (new technology seeds) based on new scientific knowledge that will lead to scientific and technological innovations to transform society and the economy. For this purpose, we establish virtual research institutes (set up for a limited period of time across several organizations) consisting of researchers from various universities, colleges, enterprises, public institutions, etc. The researchers construct networks with other researchers and relevant parties from industry and society in general—who will be among the beneficiaries of the results of the research—in order to advance research under the supervision of a program officer (e.g. Research Supervisor) who will head the institute.

System of the programs

For the efficient implementation of the programs in accordance with the program overview, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology defines Strategic Objectives based on research trends inside and outside of the country.
With these Strategic Objectives, JST designs Research Areas and to promote strategic basic research by combining the characteristics and functions of each program, such as CREST, PRESTO, ERATO, and ACT-X, in an appropriate manner. The Research Areas are the “research institutes” for the promotion of research to accomplish Strategic Objectives; the Research Supervisor, who is the head of the institute, is appointed by JST.

Research Supervisors are responsible for meeting the Strategic Objectives and for this purpose, they have the necessary discretion to oversee the formulation of the principles of their Research Areas, to define what research challenges should be addressed, and to adjust research plans of selected projects.
Depending on the Strategic Objective of each Research Area, the science and technology field, research phase, and paths to the future society that can be embodied based on the progress of research are all different. Therefore, we aim to maximize the results by adopting flexible designs and operations for each Research Area depending on each Strategic Objective.

Science and technology innovation and the Strategic Basic Research Programs

The 5th Science and Technology Basic Plan defines innovation in science and technology as “the creation of the intellectual and cultural values based on the new knowledge from scientific findings, inventions, and the like” and “the innovation that develops such knowledge to connect it to the creation of economic, social, and public values.” The Strategic Basic Research Programs are the programs that promote basic research. The achievements we want are “science,” the former; and such achievements must also lead to “the innovation in science and technology,” the latter. We use the expression “the seeds of innovative technology” to refer to research achievements that come with a story that leads to innovation in science and technology.

Innovation in science and technology can cover an extremely wide spectrum (extension), time, paths, etc., before realization. These can vary depending on the specific Strategic Objectives; the balance between “the science” and “the innovation in science and technology” we pursue somewhat differs depending on the Research Areas. Moreover, even in one Research Area, some research projects are expected to produce achievements in science, while others do the opposite.

Although there are some differences, we encourage basic research that goes beyond conventional concepts.

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For details, refer to each program’s site from here. icon

â—†Comparison of top-down and bottom-up research projects

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Feature of Strategic Basic Research Programs

In Strategic Basic Research Programs, the Research Area is designated together with a Research Supervisor.

To maximize the output of Strategic Basic Research Programs, in accordance with the characteristics of each Research Area, extensive management is implemented and organized, including outreach activities, Progress support, fusion of multidisciplinary fields, international collaboration, social implementation or practical development, and human resource development.

Program Directors

Kenjiro MIYANO Fellow, National Institute for Materials Science
Setsuo ARIKAWA Chairperson, Open University of Japan
Shigeo KOYASU Executive Director, RIKEN
Mitsuo SAWAMOTO Professor, Chubu University
Atsuko TSUJI Designated Professor, Nagoya University
Kazuhiko TOYAMA anaging Partner, Industrial Growth Platform, Inc.
Kazuo HOTATE President, TOYOTA Technological Institute

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Promoting Globalization on Strategic Basic Research Programs

Strategic Basic Research Programs aim to contribute creation of innovation by research achievement, and to maintain high level of research internationally. For this target, JST deems that it is necessary to enhance international activities, such as collaboration with foreign researchers and research presentations to the world in addition to activities of domestic research.

GLOBAL

Quick Access

Index

Program

  • CREST
  • PRESTO
  • ACT-I
  • ERATO
  • ACT-X
  • ACCEL
  • ALCA
  • RISTEX
  • AIP Network Lab
  • JST ProjectDB
  • Global Activities
  • Diversity
  • SDGs
  • OSpolicy
  • Yuugu
  • Questions