The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has conducted the first and second terms of the National BioResource Project (NBRP) from FY 2002 to FY 2011 to comprehensively promote life sciences. In the project, the systems of collection, preservation, and provision were established for bioresources, such as experimental animals, plants, and microbes (systems, groups, tissues, cells, and genetic materials of animals, plants, and microbes and their information as research and development materials) that are important for the nation to organize strategically.
In the Fourth Science and Technology Basic Plan, the government mentioned promoting further the establishment of intellectual infrastructures implemented so far, and it intends to do so in future from the perspective of improving the quality of resources in response to diversified needs.
Under these circumstances, MEXT is conducting the third term of the NBRP from FY 2012 to FY 2016 to continue to strategically organize bioresources.
The major purpose of this project is to collect, preserve, and provide bioresources (such as experimental animals and plants) that are essential experimental materials for life sciences research. The project also aims to improve the bioresources by increasing the value of bioresources through enriching genome information and developing fundamental technologies for preservation and other necessary procedures, in order to meet to the current scientific demands. In addition, reinforcement of functions of the information center is included in the project to enhance dissemination of the information regarding the whereabouts and biological characteristics of bioresources.
The National BioResource Project implements the following four programs to facilitate the collection, preservation, and provision of bioresources and the development of related technologies; (1) core facility upgrading program, (2) genome information upgrading program, (3) fundamental technology upgrading program, and (4) information center upgrading program. These programs will accomplish the purpose of the project described above and will be coordinated to produce synergistic effects.
The core facilities will be established to carry out collection, preservation, and provision of bioresources. The bioresources selected for the NBRP are of fundamental importance in life sciences research and must be excellent and originally produced in Japan.
The aim of this program is to improve quality and increase the value of bioresources, as well as to reinforce the uniqueness and leading position of Japanese bioresources by enriching and expanding strain and characteristics information, genetic information, such as genome sequences of cDNA, and genome resources, including genome libraries of bioresources that are collected, preserved, and provided by the NBRP.
Development of technologies relating to collection, proliferation, quality management, preservation and provision of bioresources which are the subjects of the core facilities promotion program is conducted.
Construction of databases of whereabouts information, genetic information, and biological characteristics of bioresourcesthat are gathered at the core facilities, and public relations of the NBRP through its home page is upgraded.