Since ERATO is intended to be a catalyst for change within the larger Japanese research system, it is fair to ask what changes have occurred as a result of ERATO.

In response to this question, JRDC provided the panel with a list of ERATO-inspired programs dedicated to promoting a new, more flexible and integrative style of basic research (see Table 3.3 below). While the panel did not seek to document ERATO's influence in each and every case, there is considerable anecdotal evidence suggesting that ERATO did indeed influence many of these important research projects.

The success of the ERATO program helped launch three important new programs within JRDC: the International Joint Research Program (IJRP) in 1989, the Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (PRESTO) in 1991, and the Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST) in 1996. PRESTO is aimed at young, individual researchers: it supports and stimulates their embryonic research for three-year periods. Eight new projects are added each year. CREST for the first time enables university researchers to hire staff and build research projects. The IJRP is an international version of the ERATO program which is conducting five-year co-sponsored joint research projects involving public organizations located in both Japan and abroad on a 50-50 cooperative basis. In this program, international borders do not separate the laboratories, and JRDC serves in both implementing and funding capacities.

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Published: September 1996; WTEC Hyper-Librarian