The government will start providing support to companies in Japan and Southeast Asia, aiming to commercialize the results of joint research projects with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the fields of agriculture and the environment, among others.
From next fiscal year, the government will provide research results to companies, and assemble manufacturers participating in projects and investors to promote commercial applications.
The policy of aiming to achieve economic development in Southeast Asia through commercial application of research results is expected to be included in the chairman’s statement of the Japan-ASEAN Summit meeting to be held in November in Singapore.
The research projects have been conducted jointly by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry and the Foreign Ministry since fiscal 2008.
Japan has subsidized about 60 joint research projects conducted by universities, research institutes and others in Japan and ASEAN member countries. These research projects cover such issues as the environment, energy, biological resources and disaster management.
Various achievements have been made from the research in the past 10 years. In Thailand, for example, high-quality bioenergy was successfully produced from oil contained in tropical and subtropical trees.
In Indonesia, technology was developed to bury carbon dioxide underground. In Vietnam, a new rice variety that grows more quickly was developed. In Thailand and Indonesia, pilot projects have been under way to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The other ASEAN members are Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and the Philippines.
From next fiscal year, the government will share the results of several research projects that could be industrialized in such fields as the environment and agriculture, and seek business plans from Japanese companies.
Meetings will be held in ASEAN nations on a regular basis for manufacturers, financial institutions, private-sector organizations, researchers and others hoping to invest or participate in joint businesses. The first meeting will be held in Thailand.
The science ministry has included related expenses totaling about ¥400 million in its budget request for the next fiscal year.
The government aims to use Japan’s science technologies to increase its presence in ASEAN. It also hopes to promote the sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations to pursue environmentally conscious economic development.
“We would like to increase Japan’s presence by successfully achieving practical applications based on the research results and the relationship of trust accumulated over the past decade,” a ministry official said.