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Visualizing the Value of Nature: Industry-Government-Academia Co-Creation Project in Full Swing

Contributing to Seawater Sample Collection and Providing Knowledge for Social Implementation

In late February, the "Nature Positive Sustainable Development Hub" project, which aims to realize a new society while enriching nature through collaboration among industry, government, and academia, led by Tohoku University and involving 26 companies and organizations, including NYK, was selected as a full-fledged project by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) for the Program on Open Innovation Platform for Industry-Academia Co-Creation (COI-NEXT).

JST selected this project in October 2022 as a fostering project. So far, this project has been engaged in activities such as surveying biodiversity in oceans, watersheds, and mountains using environmental DNA** and developing evaluation methods. Recognizing these activities and achievements, the project will be eligible for long-term funding as a full-fledged project from fiscal 2024.

This project aims to transform society through the restoration of nature by visualizing the value of nature, integrating it into the economy, and fostering human resources. In the future, we will provide knowledge from a corporate perspective for social implementation of the results obtained from this project.

This initiative to protect the marine environment is the most important theme for the NYK Group, which desires to give back to the sea. In June 2010, we joined the ANEMONE consortium, a large-scale environmental DNA monitoring project headed by Tohoku University. By collecting seawater samples, we have been involved in expanding the ANEMONE DB, a dedicated database that anyone can access free of charge. This project also plans to utilize data from the ANEMONE DB to develop science and technology to visualize the value of nature.

* Environmental DNA
This method utilizes DNA in cell fragments and feces in soil and water to research organisms. This is a revolutionary biological survey method because only a "bucket of water" is needed to determine the type and distribution of organisms living there.

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