Message from the DIRECTOR
Based on the most important mission “Food Valley Concept”, Hokkaido University has begun studying the creation of an organization to “Robust” the food value chain by incorporating the concept of production engineering into the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industry. Then, in 2017, we established the “Science and Technology Leadership Seminar for Robust Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Industries” to develop agriculture, forestry and fisheries engineering technology that meets the needs of the field. Furthermore, in April 2018, the organization was reorganized into Hokkaido University Research and Education Center for Robust Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Industry “hereinafter referred to as Hokudai Robust Center “. Hokudai Robust Center is mainly aimed at practical studies that contribute to the robustness of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in close cooperation with the Research Faculty of Agriculture, the Faculty of Fisheries Sciences, and the Faculty of Engineering. A total of 456 people from 139 organizations (97 private companies, 19 research institutes and related organizations, 11 government agencies, and 12 universities) have registered.
In order to survive in the 21st century under the constraints of resources and the environment, we need to create an ambitious vision with our friends to open up a new era for the next generation, and move forward with wisdom and courage to take on the challenge. In order to do this, we need to promote “collaboration and cooperation” among people from different countries, regions, industries, and positions, while respecting each other’s past history and culture, in order to transform “Robust” society. Hokkaido, in particular, is a major food-producing region that supports Japan’s food supply, and has developed advanced agriculture, forestry, and fishery industries. Hokkaido is also rich in renewable energy potential and is making advanced efforts to become an energy base. I understand that this project was launched in the midst of a declining population and the need for a major structural transformation of society.
I am Kazuei Ishii, who took over the position of president from the previous president, Dr. Takao Masuda (currently Director and Vice President), in October 2020. I would like to think and move forward together with all of you who support our activities. I would like to ask for your continued support and cooperation.
Hokudai Robust Center was registered as a research and development platform for the accumulation and utilization of “Field for Knowledge Integration and Innovation”, and this activity was introduced in FY2018 Annual Report on Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas in Japan.
Since the fields covered by the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industry are wide, Hokudai Robust Center has set up the following seven subcommittees and is proceeding with activities to achieve the desired objectives:
SIG 1: Technology for efficiency improvement of production field
SIG 2: Commodity processing technology
SIG 3: Technology for long-term preservation of freshness
SIG 4: Production technology to match with consumer taste, Research and development of food functionality
SIG 5: Biomass resource utilization and energy utilization technology
SIG 6: Disaster prevention （Robustness of production areas)
SIG 7: International collaboration
In addition to this, as a common facility for Hokudai Robust Center, we have set up two greenhouses on the farm of Hokkaido University to verify the research results. The energy supply uses biogas generated in the digestive tank of the adjacent barn. Furthermore, in order to promote budding research, we are soliciting research from members of Hokudai Robust Center. From fiscal 2020, we are working on the next step, consortium-forming research.
Through these activities, we aim to contribute to the creation of academic fields in related industries and the robustness and attractiveness of the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industry by planning, formulating and implementing research projects that will lead to on-site problem solving and technological innovation in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industry.
We believe that a series of activities will be a source of survival for a resource-constrained society in the 21st century.
Finally, we hope that many people from industry, government and academia, including those working in the field, will participate.