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Introduction of GRENE

Background

 Cabinet of Japan decided a new national growth strategy "Blueprint for Revitalizing Japan" in June 2010. A scenario in the strategy suggested environment and energy as remarkable growth fields and also decided a "Strategy for becoming an environment and energy power through green innovation". After that, “Basic Policy on Science and Technology" reported by CSTP (Council for Science and Technology Policy) in December 2010 pointed out that “green innovation” is one of key issues. Therefore, CSTP discussed advancement and implementation plans for green innovation.

 In order to promote a growth through green innovation, it is necessary to collect knowledge resources in university or research institutes and to enhance structure and activity for research development and capacity building. Therefore, MEXT (the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology in Japan) starts a new action to build a network that totally promotes collaborating among influential universities, sharing research objectives and resources, achieving significant research outputs, and building capacity in each field on environment and energy.

 A project GRENE (GREen Network of Excellence) is established through such background. GRENE consists of 4 categories: developing environmental materials, environmental information, plant science, and environmental information, and north pole climate change.


GRENE-ei

 GRENE-ei is one of GRENE 4 categories, so “ei” means environmental information. It is established for universities and research institutes to study about issues such as climate change adaptation by using environmental information in DIAS (Data Integration and Analysis System). The aim of GRENE-ei is to enhance green innovation and networking in the fields of earth environmental science and information engineering.

 Data Integration and Analysis System (DIAS) is a centralized system containing big data obtained by observing atmosphere, land, ocean, or anthroposphere and also output by analyzing such data. In addition, DIAS has a role of information infrastructure that supplies scientifically significant knowledge and socially useful information converted by the data.


Focusing topics in GRENE-ei

 Generally speaking, it is very difficult for non-specialist citizen to directly understand Earth observation data or climate model outputs, because such data is reflections of quite complex earth Natural phenomenon. Therefore, it is important to extract useful information from such data, to classify resources into detailed topic, to examine concretely for solving issues with related scientific knowledge, to arrange the results as understandable notification, and to suggest to policy makers toward suitable policy making.

 Accordingly, GRENE-ei plans the following 6 research topics.


icon_triangle Integrating biodiversity and ecosystem information with environmental information and developing biodiversity assessment methods based on integrated information
icon_triangle Studies on GHG emissions from biomass burning and rice paddy in East-Asia using synergy of satellite data and ground based observations
icon_triangle Building River Basin Resilience by Introducing an Inter-disciplinary Workbench on Data Integration and Analysis System (DIAS)
icon_triangle GRENE-City: Designing Resilient Cities and National Land - An Application of Environment Information Technology –
icon_triangle Climatic changes and evaluation of their effects on agriculture in Asian monsoon region (CAAM)
icon_triangle Establishment of Research Platform for Developing Models to Predict Future Health Risks Posed by Changes in Climate, Land Use and Population (“Ecohealth”)

 Additionally, we must work sustainably for current global issues that are becoming complex and prolonged. So, it is indispensable not only to build capacity on each topic but also to organize interdisciplinary network.

 Then, EDITORIA (Earth observation data integration and fusion research initiative, at the University of Tokyo) was selected as a coordinator to support interdisciplinary research networking among universities and research institutes by MEXT.