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'Establishment of bioproduction research center for Southeast Asian bioresources(Project title)Southeast Asian region is rich in resources of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and also has vast bioresources which have been unexplored so far. However, it is the common problem in Southeast Asian countries that these abundant bioresources has not been utilized efficiently or has not resulted in creation of biotechnology industry. This proposal aims to establish core research station for total systemization of processes on actual bioproduction by the application of high Japanese technology to the bioresources of Southeast Asia through the international collaboration.(Leader:Nihira, Takuya)

Research methodology

The process starting from the survey of unexplored bioresources to the actual bioproduction in industrial scale far exceeds the scale of any one field of biotechnology. With the bioresources in Thailand as the model, with respect to the development of utilizable bioresources, international collaboration will be established to design and perform cycles starting from the collection and evaluation of data on bioresources → planning → implementation → evaluation, from the viewpoint of final industrial-scale bioproduction, which will connect efficiently basic research on known and/or novel bioresources to the actual industrial-scale bioproduction.
Implementation system
Japanese academic consortium will be formed from professional academic staffs belonging to top five Japanese universities (Osaka U., U. Tokyo, Hokkaido U., Kyushu U. and Toyama Prefectural U.) who are excellent in several steps of industrial biotechnology. Similarly, Thai academic consortium will be formed from representative young researchers in the field of biotechnology from Thai top 4 universities (Mahidol U., Chulalongkorn U., Kasetsert U., and KMUTT)and BIOTEC(National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology). The international collaboration will be performed between the Japanese consortium and the Thai consortium to design and establish efficient way in the utilization of bioresources.
Social and economical effects
In Southeast Asian countries, it is the common problem that the abundant bioresources mainly resulted in the production of primary raw materials, such as rice or sugar, but do not lead to the production of more value-added products. Implementation of bioproduction research center which aims to promote the production of more value-added bioproducts is highly beneficial for the society and the economy of Southeast Asian countries.
Ripple effects from the project towards other projects
This proposal is the first in the field of biotechnology which aims to design and implement the total processes of research and development into the industrial-scale production of bioproducts from unexplored bioresources of Southeast Asian countries.
Information of research partner
The counter part universities (Mahidol U., Chulalongkorn U., Kasetsert U. and King Mongkut's University Thonburi) are the top 4 universities of Thailand, and have sufficient capacity in human resources and scientific equipments.
Past achievements
International Center for Biotechnology, Osaka University, has been operating international exchange program for the past 27 years with Thailand under the frame of Core University Program of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) as the core university in Japan since 1978. With the 4 universities of Thailand participating in this proposal, International Center for Biotechnology has vast amount of achievements and records of collaboration. In addition, International Center for Biotechnology has been operating for the past 32 years the UNESCO Postgraduate University Course, from which 75 Thai researchers have graduated and actively engaged in Thailand in education and research. With those graduated from the UNESCO course and those participated in the JSPS program, very tight and friendly human network of researchers in the field of biotechnology has been created and maintained.
*This program is supported by Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology of MEXT.