Message from Program Supervisor

As emerging technologies such as information technologies and biotechnology advance at an accelerating pace, we are faced with a reality in which the relationship between science and technology (S&T), society and people is changing drastically so much so that our way of seeing things is also changing. While S&T has been providing us with new knowledge and benefits that enrich our lives, it also has the potential to make irreversible changes to the history of human progress.

Against this background, "Responsible Innovation with Conscience and Agility (RinCA)" Program was launched in FY2020 in the Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society (RISTEX), Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). This is an innovation-orientated R&D program that aims to realize a society that is able to continuously create new values, with S&T harmonizing with humans and with society.

This program addresses ethical, legal, and social implications/issues (ELSI) associated with emerging technologies and attempts to engage in these from the early stages of R&D in prognostic and comprehensive manners. By feeding back knowledge gained from such pursuits promptly to where the emerging technologies are being developed, we aim to develop practical collaborative models of responsible research and innovation (RRI).

The title of this program, "Responsible Innovation with Conscience and Agility" represents our acknowledgment of the importance of being agile and conscientious when engaging in the practice related to ELSI/RRI.

The approaches to ELSI/RRI should not be bound to a way of thinking that presumes technological implementations, nor should it be used to put the brakes on R&D. We believe that ELSI/RRI should function as a navigator in generating innovation and co-creation of future society, and to serve as a driving force to provide a variety of options for the future of humanity. To enable this, we must ask fundamental questions such as why particular S&T is needed and what values it is expected to offer, and to verbalize what are contemplated from multiple perspectives (articulation of discourse). In the practice related to ELSI/RRI, it is essential to work towards co-creating knowledge and values with society as a whole or with diverse stakeholders, through the pursuit of fundamental questions and articulation of discourse.

This program places importance on the diversity of researchers and stakeholders in and outside of Japan, and their interactions. By a dynamic management which organically connect scientific knowledge from academic research, practical knowledge from the sites of social engagement and humanities knowledge about the relationship between humans and societies, we attempt to build a platform for the promotion of ELSI/RRI related to various S&T.

KARASAWA Kaori, Ph.D.

KARASAWA Kaori, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Social Psychology, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo

Research fields: Social psychology, Social cognition

Program overview

Program goals

The program promotes the development of practical collaborative models for identifying/ forecasting ethical, legal, and social implications/issues (ELSI) of emerging technologies and advancing responsible research and innovation (RRI), with the aim of realizing a society that is able to continuously create new values while achieving harmony between S&T and people/society.

Subjects of R&D

The program encourages R&D which engage in ELSI/RRI from the early stages of R&D of emerging S&T in prognostic and comprehensive manners, in order to achieve expansion and establishment of prompt response to ELSI of emerging S&T and RRI.
R&D projects are expected to start examining issues arising at the nexus between S&T and people/society that Japanese society is facing, or specific emerging technologies, and to engage in ELSI/RRI by organizing a research structure in which expertise of researchers and knowledge from stakeholders are brought together.

Expected outputs
▪Creation of tangible responses to ELSI that take into account the nature of S&T
▪Development of co-creation mechanisms and methodologies that are applicable to the sites of R&D
▪Case analysis of trans-science issues and archive-based recommendations for the future
▪Presentation of visions of society that are to be realized by the research/innovation, based on the exploration and consideration of fundamental questions

R&D period and expenses
▪R&D project: 1 to 3.5 years (up to approx. 12million yen/year [direct expenses])
▪Feasibility study: Approx. 6 months (approx. 3 million yen/6 months [direct expenses])

Engagement in ELSI/RRI is 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, such efforts inevitably encompass fundamental questions relating to the universally recognized values and improvement of life, people and society. The program challenges to present a vision of society that is to be realized by the research/innovation by incorporating consideration of such fundamental questions. While taking into account the local contexts and characteristics of Japanese society, it attempts to extract more universal values shareable with the global society, and challenges to verbalize/represent such values.

Management Team

Program Advisors

OHYA Takehiro

OHYA Takehiro

Professor, Faculty of Law, Keio University

SHINOMIYA Nariyoshi, M.D., Ph.D.

SHINOMIYA Nariyoshi, M.D., Ph.D.

Former President, National Defense Medical College / Visiting Scientist, National Institute of Infectious Diseases

NAKAGAWA Hiroshi

NAKAGAWA Hiroshi

Team leader, Artificial Intelligence in Society Research Group, Center for Advanced Intelligence Project, RIKEN

NISHIKAWA Shintaro

NISHIKAWA Shintaro

Member of the Board of Directors, GLOCALINK Inc. / Director, D-LAB, Japan Tobacco Inc.

NOTOMI Noburu

NOTOMI Noburu

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

NOGUCHI Kazuhiko

NOGUCHI Kazuhiko

Visiting Professor, IMS Center for Creation of Symbiosis Society with Risk, YOKOHAMA National University

HARAYAMA Yuko

HARAYAMA Yuko

Emeritus Professor, Tohoku University

MIZUNO Tasuku

MIZUNO Tasuku

Lawyer, CITY LIGHTS LAW / Visiting Professor, Global Innovation Center, Kyushu University

YAMAGUCHI Tomiko, Ph.D.

YAMAGUCHI Tomiko, Ph.D.

Professor, College of Liberal Arts, International Christian University

Promotion Advisors

FUJIYAMA Tomohiko

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

TODAYAMA Kazuhisa

Specially Appointed Professor, National Institution for Academic Degrees and Quality Enhancement of Higher Education

Call for R&D Proposals

Evaluation Reports

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