The University of Tokyo Foundation > Striving to Create a "Global Base for Knowledge Collaboration" > Marine Frontier Science Project

Marine Frontier Science Project

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A research facility created in an area with the richest variety of species in the world

 Misaki Marine Biological Station , Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo was established in the modern-day town of Misaki in 1886, the first facility of its kind in Japan, and one of the oldest marine biological stations in the world. In 1897 the station moved to Aburatsubo, at a location with access to richer fauna, where it still stands today. In 2012 the station marked its 126th anniversary . Since its establishment the station has been used by many researchers and students from Japan and overseas, with an annual total of users amounting to 30,000. The station has made a major contribution to the development of biological science in Japan, and in global terms too, the station has left its mark in the history of marine zoology, in collaboration with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (US), Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Naples (Italy), and Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK).

Reasons why Misaki is ideal for research purposes

 The seas around Misaki are full with some of the richest life on the planet. Many organisms live in these seas, including deep-sea organisms in Sagami Bay and organisms that have drifted up on the Kuroshio oceanic current. The environment is also one in to which sea water flows from Tokyo Bay, rich with plankton. All these factors make the seas around Misaki an optimal environment for marine organisms. Professor E. Morse, the first professor of zoology of the University of Tokyo, also noted this tremendous biological richness, which prompted him to propose the establishment of a marine biological station at the University.

 - Phase 2 Plan (April 2017 – March 2022, Target: 150 million yen)
This project aims to contribute to Japan and the world from Misaki by gathering together marine biologists and assimilating information and research outcomes to create new business and industry.

  1. A hub for supporting the activities of young researchers and international exchange
    We seek to invite young researchers in various fields not only from Japan but from around the world. This is because gathering together a diverse team of experts will help to diversify and further enhance research outcomes. To this end we hope to build a dormitory and facility for exchange and interaction.
  2. Acquisition of patents from research outcomes and application in business and industry
    Research conducted at the station has implications for medical science. We believe that such research outcomes could be easily translated into the acquisition of patents, leading to business opportunities and sources of revenue. The model that we envisage is one that would see a portion of all income cycled back into further research.
  3. Creation of industry from Misaki to Japan and the world
    There are many examples overseas of universities and research institutions partnering with corporations and government administrations to create industrial applications from research outcomes. Based on the marine biology research conducted at Misaki we aim to create new industries that can return benefits to the local community.
  4. Creation of a hub for marine education, seeking to nurture researchers of the next generation
    We will conduct marine education through shore-based lessons and practical experiences targeted mainly at the elementary and junior high schools in Miura City. By creating a facility for this purpose and expanding the number of personnel, we seek to create a hub for marine education for children and young adults, who will be responsible for the next generation.

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