1-1. Concept for establishing a scheme for joint research in East Asia (hereinafter referred to as the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program")
Objectives of the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program":
・The "e-ASIA Joint Research Program" pursues, in the prioritized fields for members, state-of-the-art technologies as well as solutions to common issues to realize innovative and robust economies and societies in the region.
Bring about the East Asia Science and Technology Community:
・To realize development of economies and societies in East Asia, it is necessary to raise the level of science and technology in the whole region and connect it to the performance of industrial activities and reforms of social systems.
・The "e-ASIA Joint Research Program" sets out to be a loose and flexible collaboration for opportunities in science and technology, which are indivisible from economic and social development. The "e-ASIA Joint Research Program" is a policy concept for promoting a science and technology community in the East Asian region and is in no way an organization for political or social integration.
・The "e-ASIA Joint Research Program" is a science and technology community where the best brains can get together to formulate the best research collaborations.
Bring about the e-ASIA Joint Research Program:
・Research collaboration will be made feasible by a "matching funds system," with no need for establishing a new foundation such as HFSP.
Raise the level of science and technology in the East Asian region and realize innovative economies and societies
・Make use of the abundant human resources in East Asia and generate "novel knowledge," "competitive technology," and "reforms of systems" which are the source of dynamic economies and societies.
Respect and utilize diversity in the East Asia region
・Diversity in the history, people and culture of the East Asian region in the source of creation, which will be respected and combined as competitiveness.
Pursue synergistic, supplemental, and leveraged effects by multilateral cooperation.
・Achieving these three effects is not possible through the efforts of a single nation, but rather by combination of best potential in East Asia.
Establish and amplify "equal partnerships"
・In the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program," genuine partnerships for mutual contribution and mutual allotment of interests are called for.
Establish and amplify "scientific management"
・Decisions will be made based on data and rational judgments supported by the experiences and wisdom of scientists. The "scientific management" approach will be embedded in East Asian research activities.
1-2. Japan's engagement in the East Asia Science and Innovation Area
Japan takes the initiative to promote the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program."
In this initiative, participating members formulate a mutually beneficial framework that is also open to countries outside the region. They jointly implement research and development to promote innovation in the region, overcoming common issues and facilitating capacity building and mobility of human resources.
For this purpose, each in accordance with their own roles, MEXT (Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) with the assistance of JST (which aims at comprehensive propulsion of basic research for creating scientific and technological knowledge as the source of innovation, and formulating infrastructure for promotion of science and technology) is preparing a scheme for the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program" in order to implement joint research for economic and social innovation, as well as overcoming common issues in the region.
Membership and roles of members:
・The initially assumed members are funding organizations, including governmental bodies and independent funding agencies, of the ten countries constituting ASEAN, plus eight additional countries: Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America (in alphabetical order). Hereinafter, these are collectively referred to as the "ASEAN+8" countries. The "e-ASIA Joint Research Program" will be inaugurated by declaration of participation by more than (5) funding organizations.
・Participating funding organizations (hereinafter referred to as 'members') will be the constituent members of Board Meetings and will be involved in fundamental decisions in managing the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program." Some examples to be included in fundamental decisions are 1) Revision of objectives and fundamental concepts in setting up the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program"; 2) Decisions on the basic mechanisms of managing the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program"; 3) Changes in the "initially assumed" participants in the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program" (accession, secession, etc.); 4) Decision on guest partners and observers; 5) Termination of collaboration by the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program"; and 6) Decision of collaborative fields.
・Decision-making by Board Meeting shall be made in principle by consensus. When necessary, votes will be taken. (Basically, this means simple majority rule, or on more important matters, majority by the 2/3 rule.)
Positioning of quasi-participating countries and guest partners:
・Within the "initially assumed" members, those who need to take time for official internal procedures will be quasi-members of the Board Meeting as quasi-participating members, and will be assured of opportunities and functions identical to those of participating members. However, they will not participate in decision-making at Board Meetings.
・Funding organizations of nations or regions other than the "ASEAN+8" may be guest partners of the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program" with the consent of the Board, and may be involved in "e-ASIA Joint Research Program" activities with the same capacity as members. However, they will not be constituent members of the Board Meeting.
・Funding organizations of nations or regions other than the "ASEAN+8" may be observers of the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program" with the consent of the Board and may gather information on the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program" activities.
3. Fundamental scheme
Board Meeting of members
・The Board Meeting consists of participating members. It decides on the fundamental issues regarding management of the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program." These fundamental issues are 1) Revision of objectives and fundamental concepts for setting up of the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program"; 2) Decisions on the fundamental mechanism for managing the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program"; 3) Changes in assumed participants in the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program" (accession, secession, etc); 4) Decision on guest partners and observers; 5) Termination of collaboration by the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program"; and 6) Decision of collaborative fields.
・The Advisory Council consists of senior researchers recommended by each member respectively. It is a body to give advice on fundamental issues for science and technology with regard to the activities of the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program." Its main function is to offer recommendations or advice to the Board Meeting relating to 1) deciding research areas; 2) choosing advisors in respective areas; and 3) appointing peer review panel members in respective areas. Recommendations or advice of the Advisory Council will be respected by the Board Meeting.
・Evaluates and selects projects in response to calls for proposals in determined collaborative areas, reviews progress of selected projects, and conducts post evaluation.
・The Peer-review Panel consists of experts who have expertise in the respective areas of collaboration and who are fully responsible for project evaluation. Project evaluation will be conducted from the viewpoints of 1) scientific and technological excellence; 2) scale of impact on economy and society; and 3) effects of research exchanges and contribution to intellectual circulation.
Management of research activities by scientists:
・Introduction of leading principal investigators: a research project will be conducted by a collective body of research teams, with a principal investigator (a research team leader) heading each team. A "leading principal investigator" selected from among principal investigators will manage the research project, demonstrating leadership to ensure integrity throughout the entire project, flexible implementation of research, timely decision making, and securing the best human resources, etc.
・Introduction of area advisors: Area advisors will be introduced to monitor the progress of projects supported in the respective collaborative areas, and to give advice to lead principal investigators. It is desirable that the chairperson of Peer-review Panel also be an area advisor.
4. Forms of collaboration
Joint Research by Matching Funds
・Funding organizations which wish to participate in particular projects provide the same amount of financial support per single research team leader (Principal Investigator: PI) from their respective countries. Each PI forms a research team with multiple researchers from his/her own country.
Information Exchange Regarding Best Practices:
・Each member presents successful cases which are beneficial to the "e-ASIA Joint Research Program" regarding support systems for research and development, social implementation of outcomes and international collaboration. A symposium open to the public is most desirable. Travel and accommodation costs will be borne by participating organizations while local costs will be borne by the host country.
Promotion of Research Exchange Among Young Researchers:
・In the course of the aforementioned collaborations, such as implementing joint research programs, young researchers will be given priority or special consideration in expenses.
Note: Workshops and networking are sometimes necessary for formulating international collaboration among researchers to develop joint proposals. Affiliated/interested countries can provide funds for preparatory activities to develop ideas to propose for international joint research.
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