On 19th October 2012, Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) *1 and the Thai National Science, Technology and Development Agency (NSTDA) *2 announced that they would commence support for 3 jointly selected projects within the framework of the “East Asia Science and Innovation Area” *3 Joint Research Program (e-ASIA JRP).
The selected projects are as follows:
1. “Corrosion Mapping of Structural Materials in Asian Area with Understanding Effects of Environmental Factors” to be conducted by Tadashi Shinohara, Group Leader of the Materials Reliability Unit at the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) in Japan, Hong Lien Le, Director of the Center of Materials and Failure Analysis at the Institute of Materials Science, Academy of Science and Technology in Vietnam and Amnuaysak Chianpairot, Researcher in the Materials Reliability Research Unit at the National Metals and Materials Technology Center (MTEC), NSTDA in Thailand.
This collaborative research aims to create corrosion maps for structural metallic materials in Asian countries based on a database of environmental and corrosion factors, and to make suggestions for the standardization of classification methods suited to corrosive environments in the Asian region.
2. “Plasmonic Bio-Sensor for Detecting Serious Diseases in Southeast Asia” to be conducted by Kazushi Miki, Group Leader of the Polymer Materials Unit at the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) in Japan, Quang Liem Nguyen, Director General of the Institute of Materials Science, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology in Vietnam and Tararaj Dharakul, Senior Advisor and Lab Head of the Nanomolecular Target Discovery Laboratory at the National Nanotechnology Centre, NSTDA in Thailand.
This cooperative research project aims to develop bio-sensors capable of detecting two serious diseases in Southeast Asia, namely cervical cancer and malaria, using synthesis technology of metal nanoparticles, biomarkers and sensing technology.
3. “Advancement of Asian Cassava Molecular Breeding by Cutting-edge Technologies” to be conducted by Motoaki Seki, Team Leader of the Plant Genomic Network Research Team at the RIKEN Plant Science Centre in Japan, Ham Huy Le, Director of the Institute of Agricultural Genetics in Vietnam and Jarunya Narangajavana, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Science at Mahidol University.
This collaborative research project aims to identify useful cassava genes and to advance molecular breeding of useful cassava plants, such as those with high-yield and high added value in Southeast Asia, by applying leading-edge science and technology to useful genetic resources of cassava, an important tropical crop.
There were 11 proposals submitted for “Nanotechnology and Materials” and 3 for “Biomass and Plant Science” in response to the joint call for proposals conducted by JST, MOST and NSTDA, closed in May, 2012. The three parties had the proposals evaluated by experts (evaluation committee meeting held in June, 2012), and based on that evaluation with regard to quality of research plan and expected effectiveness of exchange plans, agreed on the three successful projects.
JST and NSTDA will start supporting the joint projects in November this year and MOST in January next year. The support will continue for three years.
*1 Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST):
MOST is a governmental agency which performs the function of state management of science and technology, covering: scientific and technological activities; development of scientific and technological potential; intellectual property; standardization, measurement and quality control; atomic energy, radiation and nuclear safety; and state management of public services in the domains under its management in accordance with law.
URL of MOST’s homepage: http://www.most.gov.vn/Desktop.aspx/Home-EN/
*2 Thai National Science, Technology and Development Agency (NSTDA)
NSTDA is a governmental agency which was founded in 1991 and reports to the Ministry of Science and Technology in Thailand. NSTDA plans and executes four important missions; Research and Development, Technology Transfer, Human Resources Development and Infrastructure Development.
It is a key partner for researchers in Thailand working towards a Knowledge-based Society through Science and Technology.
URL of NSTDA’s homepage: http://www.nstda.or.th/eng/
*3 The “East Asia Science and Innovation Area”
The “East Asia Science and Innovation Area”, through acceleration of research exchange in the fields of science and technology, is intended for the purpose of strengthening research and development capabilities in the East Asian region, together with the resolution of challenges shared among East Asian countries in areas such as the environment, natural disaster prevention and infectious disease.
As a part of this objective, the goal of the Joint Research Program is to support collaborative research implemented among 3 or more ofthe member countries. Through the implementation of joint research among participating countries in agreed areas, the e-ASIA JRP is intended to contribute to economic development, development of human resources as well as the resolution of various challenges in the region.
Japan Science and Technology Agency, Department of International Affairs
K’s Gobancho, 7, Gobancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0076
Yumiko MIYASHITA (Ms.), Emi KANEKO (Ms.), Dr. Takeshi USAMI, Martin Gadsden (Mr.)