R&D
Projects

01

Establishment of an environmental DNA observation system

Target 01

Target 02

Target 03

Tohoku University operates ANEMONE (All Nippon eDNA Monitoring Network), the globe’s leading environmental DNA monitoring network. ANEMONE’s comprehensive database, accessible to the public, is evolving into an unparalleled biodiversity information hub. The aspiration to establish this system as an international standard holds promise for creating a high-resolution nature information infrastructure. Such a framework would facilitate biodiversity impact assessments across entire supply chains on a global scale, while also informing the development of international biodiversity economic strategies.

R&D Project Leader

KONDOH Michio

Professor, Ecological Integration Lab., Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University

Participating Organisations

Universities, research institutions, etc. Universities, research institutions, etc. Tohoku University, Kazusa DNA Research Institute, University of Tokyo, University of Tsukuba, Hokkaido University, University of the Ryukyus
Companies, organisations, etc. NEC Solution Innovators, Ltd., Center for Sustainable Society, Japan Blue Economy [JBE] Association, NYK Line, Minami-Sanriku town, The Japanese Alpine Club

02

Development of biodiversity observation methods

Target 01

Biodiversity observation and monitoring is a fundamental infrastructure for advancing scientific understanding of ecosystems. Effectively harnessing nature’s resources based on scientific insights necessitates acquiring data of sufficient quality and quantity to match the intricate nature of ecosystems. To this end, our R&D(research and development) project endeavors to pioneer a highly efficient and precise biodiversity observation and monitoring methodology leveraging environmental omics, acoustics, image observation, and other cutting-edge technologies. Working closely with private sector partners, we aim to establish a robust observation and monitoring system that ensures the comprehensive capture of biodiversity dynamics.

R&D Project Leader

SUGA Toshio

Professor, Physical Oceanography Lab., Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University

Participating Organisations

Universities, research institutions, etc. Tohoku University, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology [JAMSTEC], University of Tsukuba, Toho University, Hokkaido University
Companies, organisations, etc. NYK Line, KDDI Research, Inc., The Japanese Alpine Club

03

Development of advanced environmental genomics analysis techniques

Target 01

Natural values stem not only from species diversity but also from genetic diversity within species. However, visualizing genetic diversity presents challenges, necessitating the development of technologies for easy visualization. Environmental genomics technology emerges as a solution, analyzing DNA and RNA in the environment and developing as a method for gathering comprehensive information on diverse species. In this R&D project, we prioritize the development of environmental genomics technology to provide ultra-large-scale information that is central to understanding the state of nature, particularly in terms of species and genetic diversity. By focusing on genome-wide DNA and environmental DNA analysis, this technology will contribute to understanding the state of nature and the efficient and sustainable use of natural resources.

R&D Project Leader

SUYAMA Yoshihisa

Professor, Lab. of Forest Ecology, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University

Participating Organisations

Universities, research institutions, etc. Tohoku University, Kazusa DNA Research Institute, Kyoto Univeristy
Companies, organisations, etc. NYK Line

04

Development of biodiversity modeling methods

Target 01

The analysis of extensive biodiversity data sourced from environmental DNA, acoustic recordings, and image observations enables the discovery and detection of novel biodiversity patterns and mechanisms, facilitating a deeper understanding of its current status. Moreover, this analysis provides crucial insights essential for distribution forecasting, future prediction, and effective management strategies. These ecosystem observation data analysis technologies, together with biodiversity data acquisition technologies, serve as the fundamental scientific framework that underpins all Nature-Positive technologies.

R&D Project Leader

KASS Jamie M.

Associate Professor, Macroecology Lab., Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University

Participating Organisations

Universities, research institutions, etc. Tohoku University, National Institute for Environmental Studies [NIES]
Companies, organisations, etc. NEC Solution Innovators, Ltd., NEC Corp.

05

Development of biodiversity assessment methods

Target 01

Target 02

To effectively channel resources towards nature positivity, it is essential to evaluate both the positive and negative impacts of public and corporate initiatives, products, and services on the natural world. Establishing a system to visualize these impacts is essential for informed decision-making. Additionally, conducting scientific assessments of nature’s value and the conservation, importance, and dependence of ecosystems becomes paramount in various contexts, such as green and blue finance, environmental value trading, and ecosystem assessment within the ‘Locate’ phase of the TNFD framework.

R&D Project Leader

YAMAKITA Takehisa

Senior Researcher, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology [JAMSTEC] / Research Institute for Global Change [RIGC]

Participating Organisations

Universities, research institutions, etc. Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology [JAMSTEC], National Institute for Environmental Studies [NIES], Tohoku University
Companies, organisations, etc. AMITA HOLDINGS CO., LTD., MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings, Inc., Kanagawa Environmental Research Center, The Conservation Alliance Japan [CAJ], Sakyu Co., Ltd., Center for Sustainable Society, Japan Blue Economy Association, Tohoku Ryokka Kankyo Hozen Co., Ltd., Nippon Life Insurance Company, NEC Corp., Minamisanriku Town

06

Development of human resources to support a Nature-Positive society

Target 03

In addition to ecological expertise, fostering human resources supportive of Nature Positive demands a comprehensive array of knowledge, applications, and practical skills spanning diverse domains such as agriculture, fisheries, engineering, economics and finance, sociology, human relations, international relations, management, and entrepreneurial practices. Ensuring the alignment of skilled individuals with specific target groups—be it companies, regions, universities, or developing nations—necessitates an effective educational system capable of delivering tailored programs. Moreover, establishing educational initiatives independent of university oversight or conventional education systems is imperative.

R&D Project Leader

DAZAI Akihiro

Representative Director, Center for Sustainable Society / Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University

Participating Organisations

Universities, research institutions, etc. Tohoku University, University of Tokyo, University of the Ryukyus
Companies, organisations, etc. Earthwatch Institute Japan [EWJ], AMITA HOLDINGS CO., LTD., Center for Sustainable Society, Patagonia International Inc. japan Branch Office