In August 2017, Kumamoto University and Kumamoto Prefecture were chosen for the Local Innovation Ecosystem Creation Program of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (grant amount: about 140 million yen/year (100% from national government), 5 years).
The title of the program is "Useful and Unique Natural Products for Drug Discovery and Development". Based on the Useful Natural Product Library in Kumamoto University, we establish cultivation systems that provide steady supplies of high quality useful natural products with local businesses. We also establish an evaluation system for innovative medical products by systematic serial-operation of extractions, analyses, and evaluations of the useful natural products in the library, leading to innovation in drug discovery.
To encourage creative reconstruction in the region while the local industry was struggling due to the Kumamoto Earthquakes, resources from industry, academia and government together with regional promotion grants were devoted to environmental symbiotic industry, which is the strength of Kumamoto Pref, in accordance with the Recovery and Reconstruction Plan by the prefectural government.
Additionally, Kumamoto University, an institute with strength in medical and pharmaceuticals, gathered personnel, information and know-how relating to useful natural products for the development of innovative drug products, which is a research area that is less developed around the world.
In order to achieve steady supply of high quality useful natural products by fully utilizing the Useful Natural Product Library, and to smoothly analyze/assess beneficial compounds that can lead to innovative drug discovery, we are running a Business development that (1) builds a new system for production of useful natural products and (2) builds a system line for assessment of useful natural products.
We explore new fields that lead to discovery of innovative drugs, such as marine life (Fundamental development).