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Leading Technology Development Due to Close Collaboration between Industrial, Academic, and Government organizations

The International Institute for Advanced Studies (IIAS)

■IT and Nanotechnology, etc.

 The Kansai Science City (also known as the Keihanna Science City) is located on a hill at the conjecture of three prefectures, Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka, and more than 100 universities and information-related enterprises, etc. have already established scientific and cultural research facilities at the complex. Including the International Institute for Advanced Studies (IIAS), the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE), the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR), and the Nara Institute of Science and Technology, these organizations are conducting research on vast number of subjects over a wide range of fields, such as data communications, the environment, biotechnology, matter and light quantum physics, and robotics. At the International Institute for Advanced Studies, prominent scholars and research scientists have gathered from all around the world to engage in thematic fundamental research based on the theme of "What research should be conducted for the future and happiness of mankind?" The Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International is promoting fundamental research on advanced data communications. The Japan Atomic Energy Agency Kansai Photon Science Institute is promoting research on the leading scientific knowledge and technology born in the 20th century related to lasers and light radiation. The Kansai Science City has also placed importance on culture, it opened the museum, the Kansai-kan of the National Diet Library and others cultural related facilities.

SPring-8, the synchrotron radiation facility

 Led by Himeji City in Hyogo Prefecture, the core of the regional development plan known as the "Nishi-Harima Technopolis" is the Harima Science Garden City. Located almost in the center of the development area, this urban base has a surface area of about 2,000 hectares and a design population of 25,000 people. After construction of the Harima Science Garden City was initiated in 1986, the Science Department of the University of Hyogo, the Center for Advanced Science and Technology HYOGO, and the Harima Heliport were established, and the international science garden city got underway in earnest with completion in 1997 of Spring 8 (Super Photon ring-8 GeV), the world's largest and most advanced third-generation synchrotron radiation facility.

Nuclear power plant

 There are other research complexes in Kansai, such as the 24hr-round-the-clock Kyoto Research Park Corp., located near the Tanbaguchi Station in Kyoto Prefecture. In addition, there is the Nanroku Science Park in Wakayama, an integrated location for leading enterprises and research and development facilities at the foot of the mountains close to the Kansai International Airport. Aiming for vitalization of the northern region of Mie Prefecture, Suzuka Foothills Research Park is in progress to gather more research and development and support facilities.
 In Tokushima Prefecture, plans for the LED Valley Project were drawn up in December of 2005, and the project is under promotion now, with close collaboration between industrial, academic, and government organizations, in order to provide a world-leading LED production base. Tokushima Prefecture accounts for about 60% of the worldwide white light LED production, and about 20% worldwide for overall LED production, making it the number one LED production area in the world. Aiming for environment-friendly district development and harmony with the rich natural environment, this project calls for the completion of the construction of a leading LED-related research and development region by 2015, the gathering of lighting- and illumination-related enterprises, and the construction of a distribution base for related products.
 There are nuclear power plants of various types located in Fukui Prefecture, an unprecedented characteristic, even from a global viewpoint, and construction of a general energy research and development base focusing on nuclear energy is underway to make the most of this unique resource. Other local autonomous bodies in Kansai are promoting the construction of research and development facilities for the local industries, and, in close collaboration with industrial, academic, and government organizations, participating in programs designed to promote local industries and provide technological support.

VisiON TRYZ

■Robotics

  There is a heavy concentration of world-class top-level universities and research organizations with research and development capabilities and many enterprises with superb technological development know-how in Kansai, providing one aspect of the vast hidden potential of the region, centered round the manufacturing industry. One of the leading industries in Japan with sufficient competitive capability on a global scale is the robotics industry. The Team Osaka’s "VisiON TRYZ" took the grand prize at the international robot contest "RoboCup 2006," and as seen in their autonomic two-leg robot technology, Kansai has taken a leading position in Japan in robot technology.
 Robots require a variety of essential technologies, and the robotic industry is a leading technology-intensive, next-generation industry requiring expertise in a wide range of fields, such as artificial intelligence, telecommunications, power, and nanotechnology. It can be expected that the effects of this research and development, as well as the application of the results of that research, will be felt in various fields, such as electrical appliances and data communications.
 It is expected that by 2025 the next-generation of robots will expand to an 8-trillion yen market scale, and in all probability robots will be employed, not only in manufacturing, which is a matter of course, but also in the medical and welfare fields.
 At present in Kansai, various industrial, academic, and government organizations are expanding their activities in this field, with the Kansai Next-Generation Robot Promotion Council playing a central role. The Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) is conducting fundamental research on the realization of the technology required for communications close to reality, not limited to robots, using various media such as images and sound, and the technology necessary to surpass the limits of our present communications capabilities, as well as the creation of the required environment and necessary methodology. Also, at the International Rescue System Institute is engaged in research and development in the field of robots for special environments, specifically the "RT System for Movement Within Disaster-Affected Buildings." This system is being designed for use in disaster response measures for disasters caused by accidents at manufacturing plants, nuclear, biological, or chemical terrorist attacks, or gas leaks, and the like, where humans cannot safely enter the disaster-affected building.

Institute of Biomedical Research and Innovation

■Biotechnology

 Located on Port Island in the waters off Kobe, the Kobe Life Science Cluster initiates to create a base for development and research in advanced medical technology, and through the accumulation of medical care-related industries, make the district ever the more healthy and easy to live in. Already, several public organizations, such as the Institute of Biomedical Research and Innovation (IBRI) and the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, and many medical care-related enterprises have facilities on the man-made island. Now installation of the next generation super computer is in progress to be completed in 2012,
 Forming the hub of the manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceuticals in Japan, the pharmaceutical companies located in the Doshomachi district of Osaka got their start in the Edo Period as dealers in Chinese herbal medicine and Western medicine, and developed into modern pharmaceutical manufacturers with the introduction of technology from overseas. In the biotechnology field, not only pharmaceutical companies, but also companies in the brewing and distilling industries, food product manufactures and even textile makers are engaged in development and production activities.

Saito

 In the hilly district north of Osaka, in Ibaraki and Mino cities, construction is proceeding on Saito (International Culture Park), which will provide a multitude of facilities for international exchange, scientific and technological culture, and research and development. Here, through close collaboration between industrial, academic, and government organizations and centered on the National Institute of Biomedical Innovation, efforts are being promoted to form an international research and development base in the field of life science.
 There are many international academic, cultural, and research and development organizations located in the Senri district in the northern part of Osaka, such as the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka University, and the National Cardiovascular Center. Especially, many of these organizations are engaged in life science research, making the area a base for this type of research. Including the Osaka Bioscience Institute, which is engaged in fundamental bioscience research, the Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, and the Institute for Protein Research and the Research Institute for Microbial Diseases are located in the area. In order to realize a new form of collaboration between industrial, academic, and government organizations in each field, the Senri Life Science Foundation is active in a variety of support functions, such as research assistance, support business activities and business incubation. It is also engaged in research related to the life science field, including data communications, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and the communications industry field in relation to human life, and aiming to contribute to society in the region, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) Kansai (Ikeda City, Osaka) has been active in drawing new enterprises to the Kansai economic zone. Kyoto University which leads research on tissue engineering at the top level worldwide, promotes the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application which was formed as a base for research on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells).

Advanced 3D vision technology

 Including these research institutions, there are many locations where you can find universities, research organizations, and enterprises related to life science, forming the core of Japan's research in the field of biotechnology. The Kansai Biotechnology Promotion Council was established to revitalize the economy of the region through the fulfillment of the potential of the biotechnological field in the Kansai region, the promotion of related business projects, the strengthening of mutual collaboration, the realization of research results valid on a global level, and the achievement of an increase in international competitive capability, all centered on life science research, and projects are being promoted in order to create an international bioscience base formed by industrial, academic, and government organizations.

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