National University Corporation University of Tsukuba (President: Kyosuke Nagata, hereafter, "University of Tsukuba") decided to establish the Tsukuba-Plant Innovation Research Center (T-PIRC), merging the Gene Research Center and the Agricultural and Forestry Research Center (University Farm).
Taking advantage of being located in the Tsukuba Science City with its concentration of industry and public R&D institutions, and the university, T-PIRC aims at developing highly functional and highly value-added plants and at accelerating the process of industrial applications. To achieve its goals, T-PIRC sets the following objectives: Promoting information sharing and gathering among industry and public R&D institutions, and universities and further developing cooperative research; putting research results to practical application in a seamless manner in cooperation with industry; and improving functions as an incubator to start a venture business.
T-PIRC aims at expanding its research capacity and at promoting industrial applications by forming a center, four divisions, and two units.
Gene Research Center: The center has developed “*Plant Transgenic Design Initiative” in order to conduct wide range of researches on the development of useful transgenic plants and the next-generation breeding techniques, targeting for commercial variety. It explores and fosters research seeds that would lead to develop highly functional and highly value-added plants.
*Plant Transgenic Design (PTraD) Initiative: PTraD Initiative is appointed by MEXT as a Joint Usage/Research Center for nation-wide support, and carries out translational research receiving cooperation from industry-government-university organizations at 2010. PTraD Initiative is composed of the following six research divisions from basic research on designing transgenic plants to transmission of information related to the technology: Basic Technology Research Division, Experimental Plant Bioresource Division, Transformation Technology Research Division, Transgenic Plant Cultivation Technology Research Division, Environmental Risk Assessment and Management Research Division, Information Transmission Technology Research Division.
Smart and Sustainable Agriculture Research Division (Former name: Agricultural and Forestry Research Center): It promotes research on the development, production, and distribution of agricultural products in a cutting-edge manner to fulfill sustainable agriculture. Implementing field practices, it provides education to nurture human resources for agricultural sciences.
Genetic Resources and International Collaborative Research Division: Receiving commissions both from inside and outside the country, it is engaged in conservation and analysis of plant genetic resources. Making use of the findings at T-PIRC, it facilitates international collaborative research in cooperation with other divisions and the partner organizations in Japan.
Informatics Division: Handling big data for integrative uses and Analyzing omics data offered by other divisions, it accumulates and fosters new knowledge in the field of plant sciences. It promotes research that would lead to innovate new research fields.
Collaborative Research Division: Working together with domestic and international private and public sector on R&D. This division will bring innovation in the plant and agricultural sciences for materializing industrial uses.
Corporate Social Partnership Unit: It carries out public awareness and social partnership linkage. It also supports human resources development programs in cooperation with other divisions. Its duties include the PR activities concerning the T-PIRC’s research progress, the promotion of regional cooperation, and the implementation of regional contribution activities.
Research and Education Support Unit: It handles maintenance on each research base and equipment, and performs every support for research and educational activities of T-PIRC. It coordinates technical staffs and allocate research tasks to them.
Director Hiroshi Ezura, Gene Research Center, University of Tsukuba
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