Regional Innovation Strategy Support Program of The Ministry of Education,Culture,Sports,Science and Technology
(A region focused on strengthening international competitiveness)
文部科学省 地域イノベーション戦略プログラム(国際競争力強化地域)とくしま「健幸」イノベーション構想推進地域

In Tokushima area, to proceed with research and development for creating continuous innovation to overcome diabetes, the support is provided for the three targets.

Gathering researchers who play a center role for the regional innovation strategies

We will invite talented people who have skills required to strengthen and complement the local seeds of Tokushima from all over Japan and overseas to conduct research based on the following three themes.
Research to prevent the advancement of pathological conditions of diabetes
By developing epigenome analysis techniques, etc. to find damages of pancreatic beta-cells at early stages, we will realize early diagnosis of diabetes and quantification of a cellular damage after islet transplantation and promote technical development for pancreatic beta-cell treatment.
In addition, by applying a ‘super-high sensitive autoantibody measurement method’, which is one of our former achievements, we will diagnose the functional deterioration of pancreatic beta-cells earlier and more precisely, which leads to more appropriate treatment of diabetes.
Furthermore, paying attention to the fact that a fish-derived fatty acid has a function of improving insulin resistant, we aim to develop the first therapeutic drug in the world such as a treatment agent for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, which is a cause and complication of diabetes, and specially designated healthy foods.

Invited researchers
Fuminori Tanihara (Yamaguchi University), Yuki Fujimoto (Kumamoto University) Yuka Hiroshima (New South Wales University), Jiro Takeo (Nissui)
Research to prevent diabetes complications
We aim to contribute to the reduction of medical expenses as well as the promotion of workers’ health by creating epoch-making drugs to reduce stress on endoplasmic reticulum, which causes diabetes and its complications.
We aim to discover leading compounds to develop the first treatment drug of this kind in the world by applying a ‘drug discovery screening method, targeting stress on endoplasmic reticulum’, which is part of our research and development results in the past.
We will further develop this screening method horizontally to discover leading compounds for treatment of diabetes complications and speedily realize novel drugs available in the market. To promote and improve the research and development, we will apply ‘techniques to reproduce cellular functions in vitro’, which is also part of our research accomplishments in the past, and establish an iPS cell culture system using mesenchymal stem cells.

Invited researchers
Shunsuke Taniuchi (Hiroshima University), Tetsuo Yamakawa (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology), Cho Kun (Hiroshima University), Kaori Abe (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology)
Research to collect needs and make the best combination
We will develop effective diabetes treatment methods as well as new local healthcare cooperation models by utilizing ICT to realize organic cooperation of research and development on Theme 1 and Theme 2.
We will develop a diabetes regional health care partnership model, utilizing ICT, which is a combination of further advanced health check-up and daily life guidance services, local health care networks utilizing ICT, meal menu and exercise therapy based on the concept of energy density, and disease control by patients themselves based on effective intervention instructions and a diabetes electric notebook.
After such a model is developed, we will carry out technology transfer to local private healthcare institutions and cooperate with local healthy food and service industries to develop a wide-ranged diabetes check-up and treatment business model.

Invited researchers
Hiroyasu Mori (Hyogo University), Asako Sokabe (University of California)

Establishing knowledge networks including universities, etc.
(Implementation bodies: Tokushima Industrial Promotion Organization)
We will investigate and analyze local seeds and the needs of corporations and markets to feedback the result to the realization of regional innovation strategies and promote industrialization by matching the needs and the results in a best way.
In addition, human resources with practical expertise will be allocated as an advisor for establishing intellectual property strategies to gain global competitiveness, handling various regulations and supporting the set-up of venture companies.

Developing and implementing human resource development programs to realize the regional innovation strategies
(Implementation bodies: Tokushima University)
We will develop and implement three human resource development programs to nurture essential personnel resources in local communities in the future. We aim to create continuous innovation by nurturing personnel who can take leadership in the days ahead from a long-term perspective.

Project manager development program
To nurture project managers who can consider solutions for social needs as the first priority, collect research seeds and related technologies and promote product commercialization via a program consisting of the two courses of ‘Innovation basic Course’ and ‘Innovation Practice Course’, mainly targeting graduate students.
Locally certified diabetes educator (LCDE) development program
To nurture LCDEs who have knowledge and skills to educate and instruct patients under the supervision of diabetes specialist physicians via university educational programs and educational materials such as e-learning in corporation with trainings provided by Tokushima Medical Association, mainly targeting graduate students and health care workers.
ICT network operation and analysis leader development program
To nurture personnel who can operate and manage ICT networks to overcome diabetes and utilize the accumulated big data via trainings, E-learning and OJT to obtain needed knowledge and skills, mainly targeting graduate students and health care workers.

Industry and Academy Partnership Promotion Department
Tokushima Industrial Promotion Organization
11-2, Nishibari, Saika-cho, Tokushima 770-8021
TEL: 088-669-4757 FAX: 088-669-4759
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