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JST Press Release #1310

April 9, 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 Switzerland within the framework of the Strategic International Collaborative Research Program (SICORP)

Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) announced that they would commence support for 3 collaborative research projects in cooperation with the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) *1) on the topic of “Research on Hydrogen as a renewable energy carrier”. 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) “Highly Efficient Solar H2 Production by Photo-Biocatalytic Water Splitting”

Tatsumi ISHIHARA, Professor, Kyushu University, International Institute for Carbon Neutral Energy Research
Thomas LIPPERT, Professor, Neutron and Muon Research Division, Paul Scherrer Institute

The proposal aims to develop highly efficient H2 production using novel concept photocatalyst using oxynitride semiconductor which can be excited by wide solar light combined with the biocatalyst such as Hydrogenase which is highly efficient for H2 formation from water by redox couple.

(2) “Development of new hydrogen storage alloys for utilization of renewable energy and construction of the design guidelines aimed at practical use”

Toyoto SATO, Assistant Professor, Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University
Andreas ZÜTTEL, Professor, Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering,
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL)

The goal of this project is to develop new magnesium (Mg) based hydrogen storage alloys, which are expected to be higher gravimetric and volumetric hydrogen densities and to exhibit hydrogen absorption desorption reaction, aiming for practical use.

(3) “Hydrogen fuel generation via photoelectrochemical and photovoltaic driven water splitting”

Masakazu SUGIYAMA, Professor, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo
Michael GRÄTZEL, Professor, Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL)

The project aims to achieve efficient hydrogen generation using solar energy using photo-electrochemical (PEC) water splitting and photovoltaic (PV) driven electrolysis, by developing the efficiency of the metal oxide photoelectrode, incorporating band engineering method in III-V semiconductors, as well as the perovskite and III-V semiconductor photovoltaics.

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

Support to the projects will continue for about three years.

*1) Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF):
SNSF is one of the leading funders of basic research of all research fields in Switzerland.
*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's homepage: https://www.jst.go.jp/inter/


Appendix 1: Switzerland-Japan Collaborative Research Projects

Appendix 2: Research on Hydrogen as a renewable energy carrier Moderating Panel

Reference : Overview of the Evaluation


Shinji Kanayama (Dr.)
Department of International Affairs, JST
K's Gobancho, 7 Gobancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0076 Japan
Tel: +81-3-5214-7375
Fax: +81-3-5214-7379


JST, an integrated organization of science and technology in Japan, establishes an infrastructure for the entire process from the creation of knowledge to the return to the society. For more information, visit https://www.jst.go.jp/EN/