In my previous post I have introduced the International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF) which was announced by George Freeman, the UK’s Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, in December 2022, whilst he was visiting Japan. There was a clear message in Minister Freeman’s press release that Japan is going to be a favourite partner for the UK in addressing some of the major global challenges through collaborative R&I. We may ask ourselves: ‘why Japan, what are the benefits of collaborating with Japanese scientists and where are the funds coming from?’. 

Japan is one of the world leaders in science, technology and innovation and one of the most research-intensive countries in the world. During the past two decades, Japan has had the second most Nobel Prize winners and has continuously been spending more than 3% of its GDP in research and development. Japan’s research strengths include hydrogen technologies, AI, quantum technologies, cell biology and cancer research and its current priorities are industrial technologies & energy, life sciences & health, and digital & quantum technologies.

Japan’s current science policy is outlined in the Sixth Science and Technology Basic Plan, published in 2021, featuring a new vision for a super-smart and connected “Society 5.0” whereby prosperity will be measured not only in terms of economic growth but it will encompass diverse well-being for each individual as well as for the environment. Funding for UK – Japan R&I collaboration is available both from UK and Japanese agencies, such as The UK Space Agency (International Bilateral Fund), the Japanese Moonshot Research and Development Program and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). 

Continue reading about Japan’s R&I profile and funding opportunities on the RIS intranet page and find out about UoP’s researchers direct experience with JSPS funds by attending the R&I International Collaboration online event on the 24th of May 2023.