The Cabinet Office has decided to top up budget allocations for R&D projects of other ministries with practical applications in artificial intelligence (AI) and two other fields from the next fiscal year. It plans to accelerate technical innovation through intensive government funding of promising research projects. It is requesting 10 billion yen for this purpose in the FY18 budget.
Preferential funding will be provided for three fields in which the industrial sector has high hopes for technical innovation–namely: AI and big data, robotics and light quantum, and disaster prevention and reduction technology.
The Cabinet Office will accept the nomination of projects from the ministries and decide on specific projects to receive funding before the end of 2017. It will set R&D targets for the application of new technology and cooperate with universities, private companies, and other organizations. This initiative is called the “Public/Private R&D Investment Strategic Expansion Program (PRISM).”