Responsible Innovation with Conscience and Agility (FY2020-)

Goal of the R&D Program

The Program aims to realize a society in which science and technology (S&T) in a harmonious relationship with humans and societies can create new value in a sustainable manner, by promoting the development of practical collaborative models to carry out responsible research and innovation while identifying and anticipating ethical, legal and social implications/issues.

R&D Focus

The Program supports R&D of ELSI, which aims to create practical collaborative models that contribute to the dissemination and establishment of responsible research and innovation. Specifically, it promotes R&D that engages in "exploration and forecasting" of the society S&T should seek to achieve, and of the new values and changes it brings to people and society, "analysis and evaluation" of the risks/benefits and impacts that arise from this, "design and governance" of R&D from a human, social and ethical perspective, and "advancement of science and technology communication" that contributes to the promotion of responsible research and innovation.

The Program regards the issues facing Japanese society or specific emerging technologies as the base of R&D, but the emphasis should be placed on addressing them from a global perspective with international deployment and outreach in mind. It seeks to go beyond importing overseas research and case studies or theories.

We envisage that the Projects will produce outputs such as the following. These outputs can be produced individually or in combination, and there would be plenty of proposals for outputs not listed here.

a. Creation of tangible measures that take into account the nature of S&T and related ELSI

  • The development of tangible solutions that take into account the nature of S&T and related ELSI
    • Analysis and evaluation of risks/benefits and impacts from the perspective of ELSI
    • Implementation of business design that offers new value, and proposals for strategies for intellectual property and standardization
    • Recommendations for the rule-making, including regulations such as laws and ordinances, standards such as certification and regularization and economic measures such as insurance and compensation
    • Proposals for design guidelines, boundary conditions and codes of conduct (CoC) for R&D under various social and environmental conditions
    • Proposals for evaluation indicators and principles for risk governance, and guidelines which can serves as a shared understanding

b. Development of co-creative mechanisms and methodologies that take into account the nature of S&T and related ELSI

  • Development of mechanisms and methodologies for dynamic/organic feedback to the sites of research regarding the impact of S&T on people and society, as well as ethical and legal issues, from the upstream stage of R&D
    • Exploration/forecast/analysis of the vision of society that S&T should aim, the structure of problems, issues to be dealt with and stakeholders involved
    • Designing of dialogue and coordination methods for co-creative science, technology and innovation
    • Methods of upstream engagement of stakeholders including the connection to decision-making and governance, and the function of technology assessment
  • Empirical verification and development for the advancement of function and design in science and technology communication
    • Methodology of translation of knowledge regarding S&T and associated risks among stakeholders in various positions
    • Methodology of dialogue and coordination for establishing constructive discussions and convergence, while taking into account the presence of diverse perspectives
  • Development of systems, tools, evaluation methods and indicators that contribute to the advancement of science and technology communication, with the application of new S&T, such as information and communication technology

c. Case analysis of trans-science issues and recommendations based on archive for the future society

  • Extracting and archiving science and technology communication issues relating to typical trans-science issues faced by Japanese society in the past and the present, analyzing problems arising from predicting the future and constructing countermeasures based solely on past experience, making recommendations for the future based on these analyses and communicating them to the rest of the world
    * Even if they do not stem from S&T itself, the Program covers issues considered important in terms of the relationship between S&T and humans/societies, especially issues with significant social impacts, such as those relating to human life (e.g, vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD) and vaccines or the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power stations resulting from the Great East Japan Earthquake).

Engagement in ELSI are not limited to responses and adaptations to S&T issues in the here and now. In addition to examining influences that transcend generations and space, they inevitably encompass "fundamental questions" (e.g., governance, risk and safety/security, the relationships between public and personal/government and private/group and individual, autonomy, trust and responsibility, competition and harmony, efficiency and equity, social justice, intergenerational differences and fairness, material and spiritual, perspective on nature, dignity/independence of human rights/identity, etc.) relating to the universally recognized values and improvement of life, people and society.

In the Program, all projects must include exploration and consideration of these kinds of "fundamental questions," while presenting a vision of society that looks ahead to the future of R&D. We expect that through R&D, consideration will be given to the universally recognized values, while also taking the characteristics of Japanese society into account.

Call for R&D Proposals FY2022

Application Deadline June 8 (Wed.), 2022 at 12:00 noon, Japan time
* Deadline for submitting applications through the e-Rad system
Interview Selection August 4 (Thu.) and 5 (Fri.), 2022
R&D Project begins After Early-October, 2022
R&D Period R&D Project: 1 to 3.5 years
*In case that the dissemination and establishment of the R&D results are expected to be further developed, following the evaluation, the R&D period can be extended for up to 2 years.
Feasibility Study: Approximately 6 months (in one fiscal year)
R&D Budgets R&D Project: approximately 12 million JPY/fiscal year, maximum of 36 million JPY in total (direct costs)
Feasibility Study: Approximately 3 million JPY/fiscal year (direct costs)
Application Guideline & Proposal Forms (TBA)

R&D Projects


Autonomy and Affinity in AI Development and Use
USAMI Makoto
(Professor, Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University)
Comprehensive Research of the Ethical, Legal and Social Issues as Prerequisites for the Social Acceptance of Urban Air Mobility
(Professor, Faculty of Law, Kyushu University)
Archiving the Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in Pandemic Responses towards Building an Infectious-Disease-Resilient Society
KODAMA Satoshi
(Associate Professor, Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University)
Development of an RRI Practice Model for Molecular Robotics Premised on Researchers Autonomy
(Researcher, Institute for Extra-cutting-edge Science and Technology Avant-garde Research (X-star), Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Scence and Technology (JAMSTEC))
Examination of ELSI/RRI in relation to Cellular Agriculture Technologies for Sustainability Transitions
(Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Hirosaki University)


Establishing ELSI for strategies of developing and promoting decarbonization technologies in Japan
(Senior Principal Researcher, Earth System Division, National Institute for Environmental Studies / Professor, Institute for Future Initiatives, the University of Tokyo)
Implementation and systematization of RRI assessment model on emerging science and technology
(Associate Professor, Research Center on Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues (ELSI), Osaka University)
The construction of ELSI and intervention of expert knowledge in the contemporary media environment (R&D related to COVID-19)
TANAKA Mikihito
(Professor, Graduate School of Political Science, Waseda University)
Building the method for social implementation of automated driving technology complying with actual state based on ELSI
NAKANO Kimihiko
(Professor, Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo)
Overcoming Vulnerability and Restoring Social Justice in Community and Re-designing Cities by Introducing Social Distancing Principle (R&D related to COVID-19)
HAYASHI Yoshitsugu
(Distinguished Professor, Center for Sustainable Development and Global Smart Cities, Chubu University)
A Comprehensive Study of Infectious Disease Control Using Mobile Phone-Related Technologies (R&D related to COVID-19)
(Professor, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics,The University of Tokyo)

*In case that the dissemination and establishment of the R&D results are expected to be further developed, following the evaluation, the R&D period can be extended for up to 2 years.

Feasibility Study


Feasibility Study for SF Prototyping to Promote Responsible Research and Innovation
OSAWA Hirotaka
(Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering, Information and Systems, University of Tsukuba)
Ethical Issues of Novel Trans-boundary Cases in Neurotechnology: Exploring the Cognitive Dynamics
OTA Koji
(Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Niigata University)
ELSI of Educational Technology using Student Learning Data
(Professor, Graduate School of Education, Shiga University)
A Planning of Research for Holistic and Specific ELSI of 'Smart City'
(Professor, The Department of Philosophy, Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University)
Mapping field of Ethical, Legal and Social Implications in Technologies Manipulating Human Decision Making
(Lecturer, Department of Biomedical Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Tokyo)
Study on Social Acceptability of Polygenic Score
(Specially-Appointed Associate Professor, Institute for Datability Science, Osaka University)


Preliminary study for designing of system and outreach activities by research community for building trust in human derived data flow
(Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo)
Basic Research on Solving the Social Challenges in the Implementation of “Flying Cars”
(Professor, Graduate School of Law, Kyushu University)
Archiving the Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues in Pandemic Responses: An International and Historical Approach (R&D related to COVID-19)
KODAMA Satoshi
(Associate Professor, Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University)
Research of Policy History on Trans-Scientific Issues in Medicine and Guidelines for Medical Record Practice
GOTO Motoyuki
(Lecturer, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Ritsumeikan University)
Planning Research on the Practice of RRI Communication for implementation of Molecular Robotics to the Society
(Assistant Professor, School of Computing, Tokyo Institute of Technology)
Planning Survey for Building Age-Friendly Cities through the Region-Oriented Living Lab.
SHIMA Keisuke
(Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering, Yokohama National University )
Visualization of the social impacts of science and technology by using systems design approach for building co-creation systems
(Professor, Institute for Liberal Arts, Tokyo Institute of Technology )
Interdisciplinary Research on Present Legal Policies Against Genetic Discrimination to Establish Legislation
(Professor, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine)
Feasibility study toward establishing a platform for analyzing and debating the ethical implications of the creation of artificial agents
(Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Human Sciences / Director, Center for Human Nature, Artificial Intelligence, and Neuroscience, Hokkaido University)
Dynamism of social values, policies, and ethics concerning cell agriculture technology
(Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Hirosaki University)
Understanding the Methods and Impacts of Social Experimentalization in the “Experimental Society”
(Lecturer, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University)
Analysis of the Ethics of Life and Death based on the “Technological Contructionism”, and Promotion of Social Discussion
(Lecturer, School of Medicine, Jichi Medical University)

*Feasibility Studies is not independent investigation activities and the like, but it is expected to lead to the proposal and implementation of R&D projects under the Program in the future. The framework has been planned to address R&D design and serve as a complement to structures necessary to achieve this. Accordingly, in principle, submitting a proposal to the next call for proposals of the Program is a condition.

Management Group

Program Supervisor

KARASAWA Kaori Professor, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo


OHYA Takehiro Professor, Faculty of Law, Keio University
SHINOMIYA Nariyoshi President, National Defense Medical College
NAKAGAWA Hiroshi Team leader, Artificial Intelligence in Society Research Group, Center for Advanced Intelligence Project, RIKEN
NISHIKAWA Shintaro Member of the Board of Directors, GLOCALINK Inc. / Director, D-LAB, Japan Tobacco Inc.
NOTOMI Noburu Professor, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo
NOGUCHI Kazuhiko Visiting Professor, IAS Center for Creation of Symbiosis Society with Risk, YOKOHAMA National University
HARAYAMA Yuko Emeritus Professor, Tohoku University
MIZUNO Tasuku Lawyer, CITY LIGHTS LAW / Visiting Professor, Global Innovation Center, Kyushu University
YAMAGUCHI Tomiko Professor, College of Liberal Arts, International Christian University

Promotion Advisor

FUJIYAMA Tomohiko Principal Fellow, Center for Research and Development Strategy, JST / Former Senior Vice President, former director of Institute of international strategic studies, Mitsubishi Co. Ltd.
TODAYAMA Kazuhisa Professor, Graduate School of Infomation Science, Nagoya University
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