Kick-Off Symposium (February 3,2014)

Representatives of the research organizations and companies participating in Shinshu University's Global Aqua Innovation Center for Improving Living Standards and Water-sustainability gathered on February 3, 2014 at the Hotel Metropolitan Nagano for a Global Aqua Innovation Center Inaugural Symposium. Leading representatives declared their commitment to the project to an audience of approximately 200 participants.

Messages

Kiyohito Yamasawa
President
Shinshu University

The Global Aqua Innovation Center has finally been launched in earnest. Under an all-Japan organization, we will conduct seminal research aimed at guaranteeing a sustainable future for humanity and the Earth, and will disseminate our findings throughout the world.

Shuichi Abe
Governor
Nagano Prefecture

We are very grateful for the opportunity to pursue this kind of national project in Nagano Prefecture together with leading Japanese companies and research institutions. I have great expectations that, if we all work as one, our efforts under this project will soon bear fruit.

What is the Global Aqua Innovation Center?

Project Leader
Shinjiro Ueda
Executive Technology Adviser
Infrastructure Systems Company,
Hitachi, Ltd.

Based on the vision of raising living standards around the world and contributing to environmental sustainability, Global Aqua Innovation Center will seek to build a society in which people in 10 or 20 years' time will be assured material comfort and adequate water at all times.

Seawater accounts for 98% of the world's water resources. Most of the remaining 2% exists in the form of Antarctic ice, and the river water, groundwater and other freshwater that is available to us actually makes up only 0.01% of the total. It is small wonder then that between a third and a half of the world's people do not have access to sufficient water supplies or to clean water.

Also, with continuing population growth, urban population concentration, and rising living standards, water is in increasingly short supply and water pollution has become a serious problem throughout the world. To resolve these issues, we have identified six areas, including three related specifically to water environment issues, in which we will focus our efforts, covering all stages from R&D to deployment of systems in society.

One of these areas is resource-related. Tapping oil and gas resources requires a great amount of water. We will look at ways of treating and reusing the produced water resulting from these extraction and production processes. Secondly, groundwater or water from lakes and ponds and other sources contains various substances, and so we will seek to develop technologies for enabling such water to be used, and for separating useful substances from these water sources. Thirdly, we will seek to drastically reduce the cost of seawater desalination.

Using water environment systems integrated with the natural environment and analytical simulations that also incorporate the groundwater of whole regions, we will make predictions and formulate proposals for the path that society should take. We will furthermore ensure that the water environment systems we develop are deployed in society.

To achieve these aims, Shinshu University will work with its partners in industry, academia, and government to develop nanocarbon technologies, desalination modules, production plant, and integrated system technologies, combining these with the modeling and simulation technologies of our COI satellite, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, to build desalination and water reclamation systems. These endeavors will hopefully contribute to the creation of a society in which sustainable water resources are available to all people.