In order to promote FOREST (Fusion Oriented REsearch for disruptive Science and Technology) program aiming to create seeds that lead to disruptive innovation through diversity and fusion without setting specific projects or short-term goals, this program provides long-term support for unrestricted, challenging and fusion-oriented diverse research not bound by the existing frameworks, for the period of seven years in principle (up to 10 years with an interim stage-gate review) while securing an environment in which researchers can devote themselves to their researches.
Specifically, the program calls for challenging and diverse research plans from mainly young independent, or prospective independent, researchers at universities and other research institutions. Although the eligible institutions for FOREST are limited to domestic research institutions, Japanese researchers who are not affiliated with domestic institutions at the time of the selection will be granted an eligibility to withhold the commencement of research for a certain period until they are transferred to the domestic institutions where the research will be conducted. Therefore, active applications from researchers who belong to foreign institutions are also welcome.
Upon selection, it is aimed to ensure maximizing the researcher's discretion and secure an appropriate research environment suitable for the execution of FOREST with the support of the university or other research institution with which the researcher is affiliated. In addition, in order to promote FOREST, a "Place of Fusion" to enable mashup of the abilities and ideas of individual researchers will be created under the guidance of a program officer (hereinafter referred to as "FOREST PO") who will mentor individual researchers to promote initiatives that lead to creative and integrated outcomes. Furthermore, it is separately planned to introduce new systems that will bring out the motivations and abilities of the researchers, such as a system that allows flexible research interruptions and subsequent extensions, and additional support for improving the research environment, aiming at creating the seeds for disruptive innovation by maximizing the motivation and the research time of the talented human resources.
The FOREST Program Director (PD) Committee (hereinafter referred to as the "FOREST PD Committee") is responsible for reviewing, planning, and selecting operational policies for the program as a whole. Based on the deliberation by the FOREST PD Committee, JST will determine a number of appropriate FOREST POs for the research fields targeted by this program. FOREST PO manages challenging researches from a long-term perspective, based on the unrestricted thinking of individual researchers not bound by existing frameworks with the aim of creating the seeds for disruptive innovation. During the process, FOREST Advisors (hereinafter referred to as "FOREST AD") will be assigned to assist the FOREST PO, and with their cooperation, guidance and progress management will be carried out for each individual researcher contributing to the maximization of outcomes.
The FOREST PO plays a central role in the selection and evaluation (stage-gate evaluation, ex-post evaluation, etc.), close examination and approval of the selected research plan (including the research expenses plan), and securing an appropriate research environment suitable for the execution of the FOREST under the support of the university or other institution with which each researcher is affiliated, with the cooperation of the FOREST AD, external evaluators, and others. The results of the selection and evaluation compiled by the FOREST PO will be deliberated by the FOREST PD Committee and finalized by JST.
PD Committee Members【Chair】
- Shojiro NISHIO, Osaka University, President.
- Midori ARAI, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University, Professor.
- Rikinari HANAYAMA, WPI Nano Life Science Institute, Kanazawa University, Professor.
- Naomi HARADA, Earth Surface System Research Center, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Director.
- Miki HASEYAMA, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Hokkaido University, Dean.
- Takaaki KAJITA, Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, The University of Tokyo, Director.
- Hiromichi SHINOHARA, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, Chairman of the Board.
- Masakazu TOKURA, Sumitomo Chemical Company, Chairman of the Board. (～2021.6)