RIKEN has become a member of the Leap Health Breakthrough Network, a global group of academic and research institutions around the world working to tackle the world’s most serious health challenges at record speed, based on the idea of “leaps ahead.” RIKEN is the first Japanese institute to join this network, whose goal is to build and execute bold, unconventional programs that aim to deliver breakthroughs in human health over five to 10 years, demonstrating “seemingly impossible results on seemingly impossible timelines.” A key feature of the system is that Program Directors are given significant leeway in the direction of projects.
The Master Academic Research Funding Agreement (MARFA), which sets the terms and conditions of the partnership between RIKEN and Wellcome Leap, was signed on September 15. Based on this, RIKEN researchers have become eligible to apply for funding as part of the network, which also includes major global institutes in human health research such as Harvard University, MIT, the Francis Crick Institute, Karolinska Institute, and A*STAR. The MARFA allows projects to be started rapidly, without going through a long process of negotiation over intellectual property and the publication of research results.
“As a member of the Wellcome Leap global network, we are looking forward to contributing to bringing breakthroughs in human health,” says Yuko Harayama, RIKEN’s executive director in charge of international affairs.
For more information on the members of the network, see this article on the Wellcome Leap website.