Overview of Activities
RISTEX aims to create innovative social/public values not limited to economic values, by solving specific social problems including SDGs and by responding to ethical, legal, and social issues that arise with the social implementation of emerging science and technology. In the pursuit of R&D in science and technology for society, it supports the collaborative networking of researchers and stakeholders who engage in the resolution of social problems, and carries out R&D that employs knowledge from natural sciences as well as humanities and social sciences (HSS).
What is "science and technology for society"? Based on the recommendation ("Promoting R&D of Science and Technology for Society") by the Study Group on R&D of Science and Technology for Society chaired by the then President of the Science Council of Japan, Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, organized by the former Science and Technology Agency, compiled in 2000, RISTEX defines science and technology for society as follows:
Definition of Science and Technology for Society
It is the "science and technology for the purpose of building new social systems that integrate the knowledge from multiple areas in natural sciences and humanities/social sciences"* and it regards the society as the object of R&D and seeks to resolve problems that either currently exist in society or that are anticipated to occur in the future.
* From "Regarding the Pursuit of R&D in Science and Technology for Society" (December 2000)
R&D Emphasized by RISTEX
- R&D aimed at solving specific social issues.
(e.g., the declining birthrate and the aging population, environment/energy, safety and security, healthcare and welfare)
- Transdisciplinary R&D that deals with problems which cannot be sufficiently addressed in conventional disciplines, and attempts to change the current situation by employing knowledge of humanities, social sciences and natural sciences to develop methodologies and implement solutions to the sites suffering from the problems.
(e.g., strategic downsizing of local communities corresponding to the declining birthrate and the aging population while sustaining the levels of economic/social/environmental states and energy provision)
- R&D based on collaboration not just among researchers but also with stakeholders from various backgrounds who are knowledgeable about on-site circumstances and/or problems, to carry out social experiments at the actual sites. By strictly following the PDCA cycle,* novel outputs useful in resolving social issues are created.
(e.g., participations by local governments, corporations, schools, NPOs and citizens as stakeholders)
- R&D that maintains a firm and conscious commitment to provide and implement specific outputs to society.
(e.g., adaptation of new solution models (social systems) to address social problems)
* PDCA cycle: a management tactic that involves carrying out the sequential process of Planning, Doing, Checking, and Acting while maintaining and improving quality of activities