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JST Press Release #1300

January 5, 2018
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
5-3, Yonbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8666

JST is to fund 3 research projects coordinated by Japan and UK within the framework of the Strategic International Collaborative Research Program (SICORP)

The Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)announced that they would commence support for three collaborative research projects in cooperation with the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)*1)on the topic of “Marine Sensors Proof of Concept”. This support will be provided as an activity of JST’s FY2017 Strategic International Collaborative Research Program (SICORP)*2). The selected projects are as follows:

(1) “Development of in situ particulate radioactivity sensor”

Kiminori Shitashima, Professor, Department of Marine Resources and Energy, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT)
Matthew Mowlem, Professor, Ocean Technology and Engineering, National Oceanography Centre (NOC, Southampton)
The proposal aims to develop in situ particulate radioactivity sensor for elucidation of the oceanic material removal process by settling particle. The development work will include the beta detection method and module, signal processing and the filtration device.

(2) “RamaCam - In situ holographic imaging and chemical spectroscopy for long term scalable analysis of marine particles in deep-sea environments”

Dhugal John Lindsay, Senior Staff Scientist, Research and Development Center for Submarine Resources, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)
Blair Thornton, Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering and Environment, University of Southampton
The project will demonstrate at laboratory scale, a novel method to combine large volume holographic imaging with integrated Laser Raman spectroscopy in a compact and low power setup. The technology will demonstrate the key concepts necessary to survey the distribution of a diverse range of marine particles.

(3) “Alleviating the ‘Sample to Sequence’ Bottleneck Using Novel Microfluidic Lab-on-a-Chip Nucleic Acid Extraction Technologies”

Tatsuhiro Fukuba, Research Scientist, Marine Technology and Engineering Center, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)
Julie Robidart, Senior Scientist, Ocean Technology and Engineering, National Oceanography Centre (NOC, Southampton)
A goal of the project is to develop novel nucleic acid extraction technology to break through the “sample to analysis” bottleneck using microfluidic technology. The developed technology and devices will contribute to complete in situ gene analysis systems for molecular biological study on marine microbes.

A total of three proposals were submitted in response to the call, which was jointly conducted by NERC and JST. The proposals were peer-reviewed by experts and evaluated by a Moderating Panel. Based on the funding recommendations made by the Moderating Panel, NERC and JST jointly decided on the three successful projects to select for funding.

Support to the projects will continue for about three years.

NERC is the UK's leading public funder of environmental science.
NERCís homepage: http://www.nerc.ac.uk/
*2) Strategic International Collaborative Research Program(SICORP):
SICORP is a “top-down type” program that provides support to international research projects with countries and regions in fields of cooperation designated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)on the basis of intergovernmental agreements.
SICORP homepage: http://www.jst.go.jp/inter/english/sicorp/index.html


Appendix 1: UK-Japan Collaborative Research Projects

Appendix 2: Marine Sensors Proof of Concept Moderating Panel

Reference: Overview of the Evaluation


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