Strategic Basic Research Programs/ACCEL
On September 21, 2018, the 3rd ACCEL Symposium was held at SMBC Hall in Chiyoda City in Tokyo. The ACCEL is a program that aims to accelerate the world’s leading remarkable fundamental research toward the creation of innovation. About 160 participants mostly from industries, governmental bodies, and universities gathered for the symposium. There were presentations of the outcomes of research and the visions of the programs for turning top science into top innovation by collaboration between Program Managers (PMs) and Research Directors.
To begin, Yoshimasa Goto, Executive Director of JST, gave opening remarks. Next, Yoshiyuki Chihara, Deputy Director-General, Research Promotion Bureau of MEXT, talked about his expectations for the creation of innovation through the ACCEL program.
The symposium covered various fields: photonics, information engineering, electronics, material chemistry, and others, and broached the following five research themes. (Each affiliation below is as of September 21, 2018.)
Research Director: Toshihiko Baba (Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Yokohama National University)
Program Manager: Kohroh Kobayashi (JST)
Research Director: Masataka Goto (Prime Senior Researcher, Information Technology Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology)
Program Manager: Hiroyuki Itoh (JST)
Research Director: Masatoshi Ishikawa (Professor, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo)
Program Manager: Norimasa Kishi (JST)
Research Director: Tetsuo Endoh（Director of the Center for Innovative Integrated Electronic Systems & Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University）
Program Manager: Toru Masaoka（JST）
Research Director: Makoto Fujita（Professor, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo & Distinguished Professor, Institute for Molecular Science, National Institute of Natural Sciences）
Program Manager: Atsuo Ezaki（JST）
Firstly, as project lectures, each Research Director presented R&D visions and research outcomes. Then, PMs introduced their implementation activities and developments of the projects for the next steps. In the keynote speech, Shosuke Kiba, Partner and CIO of Universal Materials Incubator Co., Ltd., spoke on the importance of top science and new business creation in the material and chemical industries.
Next, a panel discussion was held titled “How can we connect top science to society?” featuring as panelists the five PMs who gave lectures as well as Hiroshi Okajima, a member of the ACCEL R&D Management Committee (Principal Fellow, BR-Management Planning Office, Toyota Central R&D Labs., Inc.). Active discussions took place covering various topics such as the importance of connecting research and society; what kind of research is in demand currently; and how to overcome the barriers to commercialize research outcomes.
At the end of the symposium, Michiharu Nakamura, Counselor to the President at JST, and Yoichiro Matsumoto, Chair of the ACCEL R&D Management Committee (President, Tokyo University of Science), gave the closing remarks, emphasizing the importance of paving ways for connecting top science to innovation, the issues concerning science and organizations in Japan, and the significance and prospects of ACCEL projects. The symposium then came to a close.