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ECONOMY > Energy

Gov’t, industry, academia join hands to train marine development experts

  • October 5, 2016
  • , Yomiuri , p. 28
  • JMH Translation

An industry-academia-government consortium to nurture experts on ocean development was officially launched on Oct. 4. The organization will lead efforts to train personnel knowledgeable about the development of methane hydrate and underwater resources, which are untapped in the waters surrounding Japan and drawing much attention as next-generation sources of energy.

 

The entity is named “The Nippon Foundation Ocean Innovation Consortium” and consists of 12 businesses, such as Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kajima, Taisei, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, and Nippon Yusen, and 12 universities, such as the University of Tokyo, Osaka University, Kyushu University, and Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology. Four public institutes, such as Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), also take part in the group.

 

There is expected to be a shortage of personnel in the areas of seabed exploration, drilling, shipping, and shipbuilding if methane hydrate and other underwater resources become commercially available and the market expands. The Nippon Foundation will act as a conduit between universities and businesses to build its own personnel development program by fiscal 2020. It aims to increase the number of experts fivefold to 10,000 by 2030.

 

The training program targets mainly undergraduate and graduate students majoring in science fields. The consortium will also solicit participation from young engineers who are eager to broaden their knowledge and expertise. It will send private-sector experts to universities to hold seminars and carry out on-site training using “Chikyu,” JAMSTEC’s deep-sea drilling vessel. It also plans to send students to pioneering companies and universities in the U.S. and Europe. (Abridged)

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