Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), in collaboration with three Nepalese governmental institutions(*1), shall initiate support to 5 projects related to the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015, within the framework of the J-RAPID Program which supports urgent international collaborative research. JST is planning to also support several more projects as a part of this collaboration, and the selection process is underway.
JST began preparations for the launch of the J-RAPID Program soon after the earthquake hit Nepal and cooperated closely with the Nepalese governmental institutions in its promotion. The call for proposals was opened on 5th June and closed on 18th June 2015. 32 proposals were submitted. In order to enable rapid initiation of support to the awarded projects, applications were evaluated as and when they were received to shorten the selection period. Project duration is about 6-12 months and the level of funding is 3M-5M yen/project provided by JST to the Japanese team members.
JST implements the J-RAPID Program in cases of natural or anthropogenic disasters worldwide which have great social and economic impact, and which require emergency action. J-RAPID aims to play an initial response role by supporting research/survey activities more rapidly than ordinary programs can be implemented. The framework of the J-RAPID Program is designed for support of international collaborative projects with funding agencies and research institutes outside of Japan, and candidate projects for J-RAPID funding should demonstrate urgency of research/investigation in one or both of the following ways:
- Urgency in the need to collect data that will soon disappear and is unobtainable at any other time (e.g. survey of tsunami damage, measurement of initial distribution of pollutants following a leak, etc.)
- Urgency in the need to solve immediate problems (e.g. assessment of earthquake-damaged structures, investigation of urgent seismic retrofitting technologies, etc.)
JST has so far launched J-RAPID 3 times: following the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, the Thai flooding in 2011 and Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines in 2013, and has supported 33, 2, and 11 projects respectively. As a part of the J-RAPID implementation in relation to Typhoon Yolanda, JST co-hosted a workshop in Manila with DOST(*2), in order to disseminate the outcomes of the projects to Philippine governmental institutions, research institutions and mass media. Thus, J-RAPID awarded projects have contributed to disaster risk management and rehabilitation of disaster-affected countries.
JST will continue to implement the J-RAPID Program in response to emergencies and to support research/investigation that contributes to the collection of scientifically important but short-lived data, speedy restoration after disasters and improvement of disaster preparedness in the future.
- (*1) Nepalese governmental institutions
- DMG: Department of Mines and Geology, Ministry of Industry
- DHM: Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment
- DUDBC: Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, Ministry of Urban Development
- (*2) DOST
- Philippine Department of Science and Technology
Department of International Affairs, JST
7, Gobancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0076
Tel: +81-3-5214-7375 Fax: +81-3-5214-7379
J-RAPID URL: http://www.jst.go.jp/inter/english/sicp/country/j-rapid.html