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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
Japan's Stimulus Propels Science Spending to New Heights
18 January 2013 12:45 pm
TOKYO—The economic stimulus the Japanese government announced last week includes $11 billion for science and technology according to a preliminary analysis released by the Cabinet office yesterday. Combined with previously planned spending, total national and local government support for science for the fiscal year through March will reach $57 billion—a new record. Much of the new money will go to applied research.
The stimulus package includes $958 million to upgrade research infrastructure, $107 million for disaster prevention and mitigation studies, $359 million to promote innovative medical treatments and pharmaceuticals (including $238 million for research on induced pluripotent stem cells and other regenerative therapies), and $437 million for next-generation energy technologies. Another $666 million will go to Earth, marine, and polar observation programs.
The largest science-related line item in the package is $2 billion to promote university-industry collaboration. Though details are still being worked out, some of the spending will aim to equip universities for industrially relevant research, and some will support R&D, according to a spokesperson for the Japan Science and Technology Agency, which will disburse part of the funding. "Even though Japan is strong in basic research and funding is increasing, I think it's true that there is little connection to industry," says Kazuhito Hashimoto, a physical chemist at the University of Tokyo who helped take a self-cleaning photocatalytic material from lab discovery to commercial use in cladding products. He hopes to use his position on a new Industrial Competitiveness Council to boost ties between universities and industry. "Of course to guarantee long-term growth, there must be investment in basic research and human capital," adds Reiko Aoki, an economist at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo who serves on the Cabinet's Council for Science and Technology Policy. She expects those areas to get more attention in the regular budget for the next fiscal year.