• The 8th Hyper Interdisciplinary Conference

Digest of the 8th Annual Meeting] Exploring the Origins of Knowledge


From left: Kiminori Imamura, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University; Masako Ohira, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Shiga University / Director, Evecare,
Kazunari Minami, Specially Appointed Associate Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University / MyOridge Technical Advisor, Shuichiro Takahashi, President and COO, Liverness (Organizer)

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Exploring the Sources of Knowledge

~ Can crossing disciplinary barriers generate valuable ideas? ~Can transcending disciplinary barriers generate valuable ideas?



The way of collaboration between industry and academia is diversifying these days. Instead of just the traditional approach from the business side, a two-way mixture of knowledge is emerging, with researchers pitching approaches from their specialized viewpoints, or researchers themselves starting their own businesses and proposing collaboration to the business side.
In this session, the participants discussed the origins of the research that leads to new technologies and knowledge that will bring about future change.


The 9th Annual Hyperdisciplinarity Conference will be held online on April 23, 2020.



The researcher's "hypothesis" is the source of knowledge.


Shuichiro Takahashi, Liberace

First, I would like to share with you the thoughts that led me to conduct this session, turning it into a self-introduction. My name is Shuichiro Takahashi. I am the president of Liverness, but I was originally a researcher at a university. I studied the infectivity of plant diseases using molecular biology methods in the field of plant pathology. After I got my doctorate, I stayed on at the university to work on a project to build a plant hospital, and in my second year of my master's degree, I started RIVANES with my colleagues. So, in a sense, I was going back and forth between industry and the university. However, my base was still at the university doing research, so I was thinking about how to apply the "knowledge" at the university to society.


I personally feel that academia still has tremendous potential. And I would like to expand that potential beyond the framework of intellectual property and existing industry-academia collaboration. I think the value of researchers is not only intellectual property. There must be great results, considerations, and experiments before that, and surely there must be a great "hypothesis" even before that. That hypothesis is the value of the researcher. And I believe that the value of academia is the function of testing various hypotheses in a roundabout way, mainly using taxpayer funds and through industry-academia collaboration. Right now, you can find out about intellectual property and papers by searching databases, but there is no way to find out what hypotheses are working. That is why I opened a database called "Japanese-research.com" and a website of the same name a few years ago. This is a database that shows what kind of money went to what kind of professors, whether it be JSPS, JST, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the National Agricultural Research Organization, and so on. We have collected all the budgets from these organizations and created a system that allows you to search for research themes, or in other words, what kind of hypotheses are being pursued in Japan. This is free of charge, so please take a look. I collected all of the hypotheses worth 700 billion yen, and at first I thought, "Now I understand the power of universities.


But in fact, the ideas for the actual work being done within the university are still in their infancy. For example, in the case of experimental work, it is often master's and doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers who are running the lab right now. But they don't have a researcher number, so there is no way to reach them. So we started the LIBERNESS Research Fund, which is a research fund that anyone under 40 years of age, even master's students, can apply for. 500,000 yen is a small amount, but it is a framework that allows young graduate students and others to propose more and more ideas by working together with industry to establish a research fund.
I also noticed one more thing: the grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research has an acceptance rate of 25%. Don't you think the yield rate is too low? So now, at RIVANES, we have created a new name, Elrad, by taking the letter "Elrad" and adding the "L" of RIVANES, which would probably make you laugh if you were a researcher. I have received nearly 1,000 ideas from various professors. In other words, we now have a mechanism to collect hypotheses that could not be sent for validation.


There has been a pleasant change in the way we do these things: 10 years ago, companies were interested in the good results, intellectual property, ventures, and in short, the tasty profits generated by researchers. However, I feel that now they are more interested in upstream, high-quality hypotheses, and want to approach the research together with us. I think the center of gravity in the context of so-called "open innovation" is more and more upstream. As someone who came out of a university, this is already an opportunity for me. If more and more people in industry become interested in the source of knowledge, which is also the subject of today's talk, I think we can do something new.
If this happens, I think the role, the nature, and the shape of universities will change as well. That is why today we have invited professors who have been active in academia, such as by conducting research at universities, starting companies, or being selected for the "LIBERNESS Research Fund" that I mentioned earlier. We would like to think about how academia and industry can work together to create business, or if not business, how new hypotheses, such as the source of knowledge, can increase and expand. Now, I would like to start the discussion by having the three professors introduce themselves. First, I would like to start with Dr. Minami of Osaka University, who is sitting next to me. I look forward to working with you.


Osaka University / Mr. Kazunari Minami, Maioridge

I have been doing research and development at Kyoto University for a long time, and have been studying induction of cardiomyocyte differentiation since about 12 years ago. 3 years ago, with the help of Liverness, I established a venture company, "BioRidge Inc. I have also been involved in cardiac regenerative medicine at Osaka University for the past two years.


First of all, I would like to introduce the amazing iPS cells. These cells are pluripotent and proliferate very rapidly, and after 3 months of culture, they can be increased to the equivalent of 100 earth masses. In other words, in principle, organs such as the heart, liver, brain, and kidneys can be created that are equivalent to the mass of 100 Earth molecules.


I mentioned that I am involved in cardiac regenerative medicine because cardiac disease is the leading cause of death in the world and there is a great need for it, and because there is no other way to create regenerative medicine for the heart than from iPS cells. However, in the course of our research, we were confronted with a certain problem: It has been possible to produce cardiomyocytes from iPS cells for 10 years, but at a very high cost. However, the cost is very high. The commercially available cardiomyocytes cost about 10 million yen per gram at the retail price. Therefore, to create a whole heart weighing 300 grams, it would cost 3 billion yen. No matter how much the number of iPS cells could be increased infinitely, cost would be a major issue. Therefore, we developed a technology to replace cytokines and proteins necessary for culture with low molecular weight compounds and amino acids, and created a system that can stably induce cardiomyocytes at a very low cost. Since the cost of culture medium can be reduced to a maximum of one-hundredth, we were able to reduce the cost of materials alone from 3 billion yen to 30 million yen for a single heart. We think this is a realistic figure. Moreover, when we examined the properties of the cells, we found that they were relatively more mature than conventional cardiomyocytes.


A venture launched three years ago based on intellectual property from Kyoto University is developing a compound screening system using iPS cardiomyocytes to support drug discovery, which can monitor the pulsation of iPS cardiomyocytes and detect side effects of drug biogenesis. Meanwhile, Osaka University is using a protein-free differentiation method to automatically produce and organize cardiomyocytes in bioreactors. We are also engaged in research and development, such as using our collaborator's nanofiber technology to create thick cardiomyocyte tissue, which can then be transferred to myocardial infarction for treatment. That is all.


Masako Ohira, Shiga University/EveCare

I was in the agriculture department doing genetic research with Drosophila. I wanted to do something closer to people, so I went to medical school and spent my entire career until I became a doctor. I was in a field close to public health, but I began to wonder why the number of healthy people has not increased at all, despite the fact that the world is full of information about how to make people healthier if they follow this kind of lifestyle. I thought, "I want to create something that makes people healthy," and chose the engineering department as my postdoctoral fellowship. But then I went to the Faculty of Education. I chose the Faculty of Education because I felt the importance of communicating this issue. When I thought about who it was important to communicate to, I thought it was children rather than the elderly who are getting sick. But I do not have a teaching license. Therefore, I thought that by communicating the importance of health to students who are going to become teachers, they would be able to spread the message to many more generations to come.


I call myself an applied health science specialist, but since my background is quite diverse, I would like to integrate disciplines such as biology, medicine, psychology, engineering, and education to create a single specialty.


There is one thing I always try to keep in mind when setting up a research agenda. That is to use different approaches and methodologies from others as much as possible. To illustrate this, let me compare research to digging a hole. Everyone is digging a hole for the treasure. To reach the treasure as quickly as possible, you need to dig a different hole with a different tool. The "different hole" here is the "newness of the cut" and the "different tool" is the "newness of the methodology. What we have done with this approach is research on sleep quality. Recently, many companies and researchers have been trying to develop devices that can easily measure sleep quality, but they have not been very successful. So I began to think that I wanted to establish an index that could properly evaluate sleep itself. In fact, I have created a device that can continuously collect body fluids while you sleep. As a result, I found a substance that is secreted immediately after waking up. By measuring this substance, it would be possible to easily determine the quality of sleep, and regardless of age. Although it is an advantage to be able to do something different from others by utilizing my diverse background, I have received various comments such as "I don't really understand what you want to do," "You don't have any expertise," and "You are doing too many things. However, for myself, I have a consistent worldview. That is, I want to create a world where people can be healthy without having to work hard.


Currently, we are working on two axes: the first is to induce health in the surrounding environment, in other words, to create a space where people can become healthy without doing anything. To this end, we are investigating the effects of various environmental factors on people, but it is meaningless if we cannot accurately evaluate the state of a person in the first place. In this sense, we are putting considerable effort into research and development of new methods to evaluate the human condition, such as using saliva to evaluate sleep, in other words, the evaluation index itself.


The other thing, which also motivates me to come to the Faculty of Education, is the development of communication methods. I was an amateur in this field and had no idea how to do it, so I went to various academic conferences and suddenly contacted a professor who was doing something interesting and asked him to talk about it, but I hadn't found a method that seemed to fit. But actually, I am very glad that I attended this two-day conference, because I found a method that I thought would be good.


Last but not least, in conducting this kind of research, it is necessary to examine whether people are really changing over the long term. For this purpose, we have been conducting research to create an index that can evaluate the effects using hair and nails. Two months ago, I launched the first venture company at Shiga University, EveCare Co. I also want to implement this method in society, but in the end, the purpose of this kind of activity is to accelerate individual research necessary to create a "world of health without doing anything". Best regards.


ladder form of "high bridge" used in ancient Japan

Mr. Imamura, please.


Kiminori Imamura, Kyoto University

My name is Imamura from the Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University. I am sure that everyone has an image of Ai, the smart chimpanzee, or a trip to the Amazon, but my group is conducting research using iPS cells in order to understand human development and evolution. When the general public hears the word "iPS cell," they think of regenerative medicine or drug discovery, but this is just a technology. These cells are "a source of cells to obtain cells needed for a certain purpose. So, in fact, there are many possible uses.


What we want to know is an old, fundamental, and simple question: "What is a person? Clearly, there are significant differences between us, humans, Homo sapiens, and the so-called primates. Not only in language and intelligence, but also in medical characteristics. For example, chimpanzees, which are said to be the closest to humans, do not get cancer nearly as often as we do. It is also known that they do not show pathological symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. But on the contrary, they are known to be prone to cardiovascular diseases. In the same way, the susceptibility to disease varies from person to person. We would like to know what mechanism produces such peculiarities. But we cannot conduct human or genetic modification experiments on humans or chimpanzees to find out. However, it is possible to create human and chimpanzee iPS cells. For example, it is possible to create chimpanzee and human iPS cells, and then induce neural induction in the same way to examine the differences in development and gene function between the two species. In other words, these cells are actually a good tool for evolutionary research. With this in mind, we are trying to demonstrate the reason why we are human by using primate iPS cells.


Furthermore, I believe that iPS cell research and primatology are actually in very similar situations. These fields have advantages in that Japan has great strengths in these fields. However, they also have similar disadvantages. For example, as I mentioned earlier, the purpose of using this technology is too much focused on regenerative medicine and drug discovery. If this is the case, there will be situations in which the inherent potential of these cells cannot be utilized. This situation is similar to primatology. It has a long history in Japan, but because too much attention has been paid to ecological and behavioral research, it is difficult to conduct research using new approaches. I am trying to create a new academic system by combining the strengths of these two fields.


I moved from the School of Medicine to the Primate Research Institute in the winter of 2013 with this research theme in mind, I went through a dark period right away. I applied for research funding but could not get it. I had changed my research theme so drastically that I had no results or achievements. In the midst of all this, the first grant I received was the LIVERNESS Research Grant. From there, I received a research grant about once a year until the lab started to get on track. Of course we were grateful for the money, but we also received support for the start-up of the lab in various ways, such as the loan of a microscope for one year. I also needed to disseminate information in order for people to understand my research, and they invited me to various events, or conversely, they helped me organize events. As a result, my research got on track, and as data began to emerge, I was able to get funding from the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research and other research budgets. I have now received four "leave-a-liverness" research grants, and now I think I have received too many, so now I think I have received a "leave-a-liverness" research grant. Our goal is to create new fields, and we are working on various projects to expand the possibilities of iPS cells and primatology, so if any students or researchers are interested, please contact us.


ladder form of "high bridge" used in ancient Japan

Thank you very much. It's kind of strange that the corporate side would support this kind of seemingly basic research.


village now

It's true. I am completely basic and have no achievements. I think that supporting the seed part is a good point of the Liberace Research Fund, which is not so visible, and is different from other types of support.


ladder form of "high bridge" used in ancient Japan

Yes, I think it is. I think it is very important to diversify the budget providers. While it is important to obtain a large national budget, it is difficult to challenge start-up research projects that require consensus from the taxpayers, such as the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, because the budget is derived from taxpayers' money. However, I think it would be very interesting if the industrial side could expand the diversity of academia through a system like the Liberal Arts Research Fund. Also, as Dr. Ohira mentioned, connecting with people in different fields is a great way to expand one's research. I believe that these three professors have developed their hypotheses through encounters with various things as they have been involved in such a variety of activities. So, I would like to ask the three of youI would like to hear what you are doing to create hypotheses, what you value, if you have such a thing.First of all, Dr. Minami, can you tell us?



A sense of challenge drives the hypothesis.



I have always simply loved cell culture. Cells are a world that can only be seen through a microscope, and when I was a student, I enjoyed just looking at extremely complex cells stained with synapses and the like, and moving cells such as the optic nerve were a rarity. But that alone was not enough to get a job. I had a dream to artificially create organs using nerve cells, which would inevitably require a large number of cells. In the end, my limited research funds were rapidly being used to pay for culture media. As a result, they started to devise ways to reduce the cost of the culture medium. Then we found a compound, which became intellectual property, and we were able to provide cardiomyocytes to meet the needs of the market even with limited research funds. I then decided to use this to create a venture company, and to also work in the field of regenerative medicine. When I was asked what was the driving force behind the creation of these ideas and hypotheses, I thought it was an awareness of the issues.


ladder form of "high bridge" used in ancient Japan

I see. Strategically speaking, research on needs, awareness of issues, and the like may be more easily funded or understood. In that respect, Dr. Imamura, you changed your theme drastically. Wasn't there a need for it?


village now

Yes, it was. The change of research theme was based on my personal career and research strategy. In terms of my personal career, at the time, I had been working for a long time in a laboratory aiming at the practical application of regenerative medicine, which is of course very important and meaningful, but many people around the world are working toward the same goal. I wondered if the world would be any different if I were to disappear at this very moment. Probably not so much. If I were here, I think it would be a little faster, but even if I were not here, someone else in the world would be doing something similar in a different way. When I thought about my career in this context, I wondered how much meaning there would be for me to continue working as a researcher if I were not there.


ladder form of "high bridge" used in ancient Japan

I think the premise is that they want to leave their mark.


village now

That's right. In terms of research, I also felt that there is a limit to what can be learned about people by looking only at them. For example, research on human diseases often compares healthy people with patients, but the causes of diseases are rarely found. In fact, as discussed in "Science" and "Nature" a few years ago, diseases can be caused by a small environmental effect rather than a few genes. In other words, the difference between patients and healthy people is actually not that big. I believe that this is not the difference between healthy people and patients, but the difference between those who develop the disease and those who do not develop the disease. Therefore, if there is a third axis, that of non-onset disease, I think the true nature of people's illnesses will become clearer. In order to understand people, something other than people, but close to people, is necessary.


ladder form of "high bridge" used in ancient Japan

I see. Thank you very much. It makes a lot of sense to hear this kind of talk, but it's hard to reach this kind of background. However, I think there are many people who would like to communicate in this way. You mentioned earlier that you run around a lot, but is there anything that you keep in mind when you formulate a theme or hypothesis, and when you communicate it?


(former) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (now Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)

Yes, that's right. To be honest, there was quite a strategy to survive as a researcher. I got my doctorate in medicine, but I am not a doctor, so I couldn't do it in medical school as a researcher. And even when I was in the engineering department, I was a bit of a newcomer, so I had a lack of confidence. In that respect, the field of the Faculty of Education, where I am currently enrolled, is quite easy for people involved in health to enter. In that sense, I chose it strategically, considering my career. I have been doing sleep research for about seven years, and I originally specialized in evaluating stress. I wanted to create a space where people can be healthy, but it is very much influenced by the state of consciousness. For example, when we present a fragrance that activates the parasympathetic nervous system and relaxes us, if we dislike the fragrance, our sympathetic nervous system will be activated and we will not be able to relax at all. When I thought about this, I thought that unconsciousness would have the most direct effect, and that's when I actually started my sleep research. So I thought that if I only looked at what I wanted to see in sleep research, I should just quit. However, as I continued, I learned more and more things, and that is why I continue to do it.


As I do when I think about my theme, looking back in the past, I myself was a student, doing research in medical school, and I had never known the outside world for a long time. But, however, when I moved on to engineering and psychology, I realized that there were people doing the same kind of things. But all those people are doing it in their own way, not collaborating at all. As I ran around among them, I noticed that they were doing the same thing, but in slightly different ways and from different angles. If they are not doing it, I try to take the best of each and do something new. In this way, I am able to solve things that were thought to be impossible with surprising ease, or to do things that are considered commonplace in a certain field, but which, upon closer examination, have never been proven in a paper. I want to dig deeper into these areas as I create hypotheses.


ladder form of "high bridge" used in ancient Japan

I was reminded of something when I was listening to Ohira-sensei's talk. I will be releasing JapanResearch.com again, but actually, behind the scenes, you can see the human relationships. So, to put it another way, you can see the cliques of academics in one shot, but you can also get a timeline of how people were connected in 2010, 2011, 2012, etc. But if I made that public, I would really sink. But I think I'll be sunk if I make it public, so it's only visible from my computer. But there are interesting things that happen when I do that. For example, Mr. Ohira probably goes to various academic conferences. For example, Mr. Ohira probably goes to various academic societies and submits joint research projects with various people, saying, "Let's submit this kind of application. Each time you submit an application in this way, there are people who are from different academic cliques, or rather, people with different connections, who are able to come up with new themes. We can see such interesting people. Nowadays, when people in the industrial world try to collaborate with universities, they usually end up in trouble by searching for keywords on Google, and then going into the university with a question about the greatness of the professor. When you want to do something like industry-academia collaboration that takes a step forward into the beliefs and hypotheses of the professors, I wonder how the industrial world can approach such aspects as what type of person the professor is, what kind of thoughts he has, and what kind of habits of thought he has. Actually, I have an idea. Can I show it to you? Please comment.
What kind of idea is this? It's hard to go to a teacher to ask for confidential data or something, isn't it? You have to have a relationship of trust with the professor, and it is also difficult to sign a contract. But when you are in a laboratory, there are seminars or journal clubs where you can read the latest papers in a round-robin fashion, and there are opportunities for students to discuss what they are interested in in this field, or for the professors themselves to bring their own papers. The logic is that it is not confidential data, so it can be open, but it is done in seminar rooms at universities, so it is not accessible at all. However, the papers that are discussed in such a forum may be in the interests of the professor, and the discussion itself is not confidential information, so I think it is a fairly easy entry point to approach. Conversely, it is also an opportunity for teachers to explore the possibilities of working together with companies that come to such a meeting and see how they can work together. I think it would be great as a first screening before moving on to the next step, if the papers are read together with the public, or if they come in with some kind of contract or promise.
Is it okay for business people to go to the journal club? Or do you think it's pointless to do so, or that there will be problems like this, or that this kind of thing is necessary, or if you have any ideas like that, please let me know.But, Mr. Minami, do you have anything?



Making Journal Clubs a New University Value



Yes, I think so. Maybe you can or maybe you can't, but I'm sure you can participate at all.


ladder form of "high bridge" used in ancient Japan

It doesn't feel welcoming.



No, no. We welcome you, but we would like you to join us in the order in which we introduce the papers, not just participate and listen to the papers. For example, we would like to know which papers you find interesting, what kind of interest you have in them, and whether there is a significant difference between papers that we find interesting and those that people from companies find interesting.


ladder form of "high bridge" used in ancient Japan

So it is quite appreciated.



Yes, that's right. I feel like I'm missing out if I just come to listen.


ladder form of "high bridge" used in ancient Japan

That's certainly true. But that's what we want, isn't it, you industrialists? I think this is interesting, and I think it could be born from that kind of thing. I don't think that is possible in an academic society, though.



Yes, that's right. So, even if a company from a completely different field comes to us with an introduction to a paper that is quite out of place, we think it is fresh and interesting. So, I think this kind of relationship is mutually beneficial and win-win.


ladder form of "high bridge" used in ancient Japan

How about Ohira Sensei?


(former) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (now Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)

Yes, I think it would be great. I think there is no problem at all to have them come to our company, and in terms of matching them with people from companies, I think it would certainly be a good idea. I myself have been doing joint research with companies for seven years now, and I have made many mistakes during that time, so I think it would be a good way to get to know each other better. I think it might be a good way to get to know each other. I look forward to meeting you.


ladder form of "high bridge" used in ancient Japan

How about you, Dr. Imamura?


village now

I personally can answer that such a thing can be done, whether it is actually possible or not. I think it is important to create not only journal clubs, but also other low threshold opportunities for exchange. I am often asked by corporate clients if I can consult with them on projects that are at the stage where they are not sure whether or not they will be able to get a budget for them. I think that creating a place and a person with whom we can consult on a regular basis at such an undecided stage is a good way to stimulate exchanges and explore possibilities.



Also, my personal hope is that there would be some reading of patent specifications and the like, not just papers, as part of the roundtable reading.


ladder form of "high bridge" used in ancient Japan

The company could play the role of teacher, for example.



That's right. To be honest, from our side in academia, we cannot understand at all when we take a quick look at a company's or university's patent application, what their intentions are in writing such a claim or filing such an application. If we are to work together, we must understand their feelings, and it would be nice to have a place where we can share our awareness of these issues and what we feel is important.


ladder form of "high bridge" used in ancient Japan

That's nice. I'd like to do that. I'd like to talk about intellectual property, and I'd like to talk about the papers I've chosen and what I'm interested in. But I can do that, can't I? You don't have to bring data from your own company. You could bring a paper saying that you are interested in this kind of thing as well. Also, since the budget has not yet been finalized, we can't say that we will do it just because we have it together, but it would be a good opportunity to talk about how we would like to work together in this field. For example, it was interesting to see statistics from the Ministry of Education that the number of doctoral students has been decreasing over the past 10 years. The number of doctoral students has decreased by 40%. Isn't that amazing? However, what appears to be a slight decrease in the number of doctoral students is that the number of doctoral students who are working is increasing. These people are starting to collaborate on joint research projects. Of course, there are many good aspects to this, because it moves things forward at once. However, on the other hand, there is also a certain percentage of mismatches. Once the industrial side gets burned, they become a bit afraid of academia. Therefore, I would like to create a place where the hurdle can be lowered as much as possible, while at the same time presenting one's area of interest and creating a hypothesis, a kind of "origin" as we call it today, or a place where the personality and behavioral traits of the professor can be shared. You can't do that in a lecture, can you?


May I say something that just came to my mind? I was thinking that when companies hire a doctor or master's degree candidate, it would be surprisingly revealing to know who they are if they brought their seminar materials instead of their resumes. I think it would show a great sense of what kind of things they are interested in and what kind of materials they have created. I feel that if we maximize the value of seminars, such as thinking habits and hobbies, they could be a great asset to the university. If the seminar was to go to a nearby university professor's office once a month for a journal club, don't you think you could go there? Not really? Some people nodded their heads vigorously, while others said it would be a bad idea, but I think it's a very interesting idea. If you have a place you want to go, please let me know. I'll go find a teacher for you. I can find a teacher in this field and in this area. But why don't you try it? As I said, university professors, including those who teach students, want to learn, and they say that such a place is not bad, so I would like to update the format a little. If you go to a professor and a company comes, they will ask you to do joint research, but it would be good to formalize the first step before that.


I would like to close with a few words from each of the three professors. I would like to close with a few words from each of the three professors.


village now

I have not answered this question, so I would like to say one last thing about my thoughts on this question. I think it is important to be neutral. I believe that all ideas are taken for granted. No matter how great an idea is, once you hear it, you take it for granted. If you think it is natural, then everyone should be able to come up with an idea. If you can understand it when you hear it, then.... The difference between those who can come up with ideas and those who can't is the difference in whether or not they can generate hypotheses.


(former) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (now Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)

I myself am not only a hypothesis generator, but also a transcendentalist, and I often find that when I try things out, they turn out to be nothing at all. I have been there and done that, and when I venture out, new perspectives emerge. I myself feel that, in the case of this hypothesis, as well as in the case of research ideas, the hurdles and preconceptions that I create on my own are often in the way, making it difficult to come up with ideas freely. I think it is difficult to think freely because of these hurdles and preconceptions. I think it is important to be willing to change in order to generate hypotheses. That's all for now.



It is important to share the needs and challenges I mentioned earlier with each other, whether it is a company or an interdisciplinary group of people from different fields. I feel that this is a problem. I think that the key to success is to keep ideas to oneself and to communicate them in a way that enables ideas and R&D that can be implemented in society. That's all for now.


ladder form of "high bridge" used in ancient Japan

Thank you very much. I think that all of you, including myself, who come to this kind of interdisciplinary forum, are thinking about how to overcome the hurdles between fields and obtain new hypotheses. In that sense, I think we are a group of people who can work greedily together. I hope that we can exchange information and work together to dig for new hypotheses and new sources of knowledge that will give birth to the next different fields. That's all for now. Thank you very much.



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Assistant Professor, Department of Genome Evolution, Division of Genomic Cell Research, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University

Kiminori Imamura(Mr. Masanori Imamura
Born in Takaoka City, Toyama Prefecture. Doctor of Medicine. After spending time as a student at the Faculty of Science, Kanazawa University, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, and Mitsubishi Chemical Life Science Institute, he worked as a Project Assistant Professor at Shiga University of Medical Science, Project Assistant Professor at Keio University School of Medicine, and a Visiting Researcher at RIKEN before assuming his current position in 2013. He has been working on human evolution and postnatal development from a stem cell perspective. He has received Life Technologies Japan Award (18th), On-Chip Biotechnologies Award (24th), SCREEN Holdings Award (29th), and L-RAD Award (36th) as the LIVERNESS Research Fund.
Laboratory websitehttp://www.pri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/sections/molecular_biology/member/imamura.html


Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Shiga University / Director, Eve Care Co.

Masako Ohira(Mr. Masako Ohira
Completed the doctoral course at Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine in 2011. In the same year, he became a researcher at Nagaoka University of Technology's Center for the Development of Top Runners in the Fusion of Industry, Academia, and Government. He became a lecturer at the Faculty of Education, Shiga University in the same year and an associate professor at the same university in 2015. Since his graduate school days, he has been consistently engaged in research on stress evaluation using hormones in saliva. In recent years, he has been engaged in research and development of methodologies for stress assessment that do not use saliva, such as psychological stress assessment using biochemicals derived from body tissue fluid, nails, and hair. D. in Medicine.


Project Associate Professor, Department of Tissue and Cell Design, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine
Technical Advisor, MyOrridge, Inc.

(being unable to control) one's worldly desires and passions(Mr. Ittunari Minami
D. in March 2003 from the Department of Neurophysiology, Division of Biophysics, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Kyoto University. He has developed low-cost and stable cell differentiation culture media and cell culture methods using novel compounds, and is conducting research and development for the mass production and stable supply of high-quality cardiomyocytes from iPS cells. Using this novel culture technology, he aims to lay the foundation for practical use of higher-order cellular tissues. 2016, he became a technical advisor to MyOridge, Inc. a bio-venture for mass culture of iPS cell-derived cardiomyocytes. 2017, he became a Project Associate Professor at Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Collaborative Research in Tissue and Cell Design.


Representative Director, President and COO, Liverness, Inc.

Shuichiro Takahashi (Shuichiro Takahashi)
D. (Life Sciences), Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo. He has been involved in RIVANESS since its establishment. After completing his graduate studies, he continued his research activities as a faculty member at the University of Tokyo, while at the same time he established a research institute at RIVANESS and built the foundation of its research and development business. He devised the business model of "Liberness Research Grant," a unique research grant, and "L-RAD," a database of unutilized research ideas, and has initiated many open innovation projects involving industry, academia, and education.