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Research promotion section(Department of Reserch and Development Promotion)

It is common desire for human beings to overcome obstinate diseases such as cancer and HIV, and to reduce their burdens. Development of innovative medicines and medical devices can contribute to medications for those who are suffering from these diseases. There is a good reason for governmental and public organizations to support such research projects.

Research Promotion Section has encouraged innovative medical research projects in universities and research organizations by providing competitive research funds to develop novel medicines and medical devices for the purpose of promotion of health for nationals since 1996.

Remarkable features of Research Promotion Program

Research Promotion Program has two remarkable features in terms of selection of qualified new research projects and detailed check and support of ongoing research projects. A program director and full-time program officers with deep knowledge and experience of medical research play a major role in the program. They investigate progression of each research projects and give good advices for researchers in detail as a secretariat of Research Promotion Program as follows:

Selection of new research projects

Research Promotion Program has two-stage external committees to select new applications: evaluation of written applications (1st selection) and presentations (2nd selection). Applications are critically reviewed by these two committees with the help of the secretariat. Between the 2nd review committee and final decision, program officers investigate feasibility of each project by on-site visits and, if necessary, make discussions with researchers to deepen mutual understandings and give advices seeking for further improvement. These actions contribute to reward promising and qualified medical research projects.

Investigation of ongoing research projects

Research Promotion Section holds an annual report meeting in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th year of five-year medical research projects in summer, and check their progress by site-visits and close communication/discussion such as e-mail, phone etc. Each research project is also annually evaluated in the external committee based on annual research reports and presentations (3rd year) in autumn. The committee may put some conditions to ensure continuity of a project and, sometimes, even make a recommendation to discontinue a project if it is evaluated as little progressed. These efforts contribute to effective use of research funds.

Whole picture of Research Promotion Section is here

Distinct outcomes of Research Promotion Section

We have already obtained several distinct outcomes such as an establishment of human iPS cells (*) (Dr. Yamanaka, Professor of Kyoto University) and productization of an innovative artificial heart-lung apparatus (Dr. Taenaka, Director of Research and Development Initiative Center of National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center).

(*)NOTE: NIBIO was an only funding agency to provide research funds to support Human iPS cells when they were established in November 2007.

Further information is here

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