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July 14, 2004
Waseda University
Olympus Corporation
Waseda University and Olympus Corporation
Establish Research Institute in Singapore
Waseda-Olympus Bioscience Research Institute
SINGAPORE, 14 July 2004 - Waseda University and Olympus Corporation have today officially opened the Waseda-Olympus Bioscience Research Institute, a joint research facility based in the Biopolis that will focus on the investigation of higher brain functions such as intellect and awareness.
The research conducted at the institute will integrate Olympus' strengths in the bioscience research area gained through its wealth of experience developing biological microscopes and genome analysis systems, together with the research expertise offered by Waseda.
The institute has its origins with Waseda University's Institute for Biomedical Science where for two years Olympus had been sending its researchers and participating in other exchange activities that deepened involvement between the two organizations
Situated at the information crossroads between the United States, Europe, China and India, Singapore provided the ideal location to establish the institute. The Singapore government has made efforts to forge the country into a bioscience research hub, boasting some 2,000 researchers. Biopolis is also home to Singapore government related research organizations and the R&D units of biotech related corporations. Given this favorable environment, the institute will work to take advantage of the world-class human network of researchers to foster the dissemination of knowledge.
"The Biomedical Sciences industry is a key driver for Singapore's economy, and several initiatives have been put in place to encourage and further develop the growth of this industry," said Philip Yeo, Chairman of the Agency for Science and Technology and Research and Co-Chairman of EDB, the Singapore government authority supporting the institute. "Substantial investments in infrastructure such as research laboratories and specialised workforce training have created the right, supportive environment for bioscience research projects such as the Waseda-Olympus Bioscience Research Institute."
The results of the research conducted at the institute will aid Olympus in the development of ubiquitous terminals, services, and other human-ware that utilize sensors to recognize expressions, emotions, and feedback from the brain activity of users. The institute's work will bring to fruition solutions that significantly enhance the quality of life and create the future value like a secure and safe society .
In order for Waseda-Olympus Bioscience Research Institute to deepen its roots and accelerate collaboration with local institutions, Waseda and Olympus plan to jointly fund the institute's incorporation sometime around October 2004. According to the mid-term plan, this change of status will mean the hiring of non-Japanese researchers and other activities.
About Waseda University
Established in 1882, Waseda University is a private university with 11 academic departments, 17 areas of graduate research, and approximately 50,000 students. Waseda also operates a number of businesses with the slogan, "Cooperating to expand human knowledge in the Asia-Pacific region."Waseda is aggressively moving forward with research activities in cooperation with private industry and government. The university has assembled a cross-section of researchers from both inside and outside of its halls for its research institutes and conducts research through obtaining competitive research funds from external sources.
About Olympus Corporation
Olympus launched its business in 1919 and today enjoys a reputation for excellence in digital cameras as well as endoscopes, microscopes, and other medical equipment developed under the concept of opto-digital technology, which is a fusion of traditional optical and advanced digital technologies. In recent years, Olympus has been channeling its energies into developing business operations for human genome analysis systems and regenerative medicine to develop operations in the medical life science business.
Institute Outline
Official Name Waseda-Olympus Bioscience Research Institute
Date Established July 14, 2004
Address 11 Biopolis Way, #05-01/02 Helios, Singapore 138667
Telephone +65-6771-8185 (Waseda University Singapore Office; Mr. Hirano)
Director Dr. Toru Yoshioka
Researchers* Principal Investigators: Total 5 (4 Japanese and 1 U.S. national)
Post-Doctoral Research Fellows: Total 3 (all Japanese nationals)
* As of July 14, 2004
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Institute Objectives
In Japan, efforts are now being undertaken to develop collaborative schemes such as the Waseda-Olympus Bioscience Research Institute that link academia and industry in scientific and technological areas. The establishment of this institute represents our dedication to achieve research results that contribute to society in totally new ways. The goal of the institute is to bring about tangible results from the research conducted in approximately five years.
Research Themes
 1)  Deepen Understanding of the Principles of brain function
The research will attempt to shed light on brain functions such as thoughts, emotions, and consciousness, through the perspective of the right/left division of the brain and gender differences. This area of study borders the disciplines of psychology and neurology, and as such each has been researched independently. The institute will conduct psychological research based upon stimuli confirmation, neurology based upon response, and physical science with data analysis.
 2)  Clarification of the suppression mechanism
In the central nervous system, stimulants and neurological inhibitors exist simultaneously, both contributing to the balance needed for proper brain activity. This research project will use multiple GBA receptors with different features to clarify the basic mechanisms that broaden the intellect.
 3)  Sleep Research
Basic research to understand how rest and sleep habits can effect overall quality of life will be conducted. By recording the brain function and neurological ignition pattern of mice, methods of analysis can be developed, while at the same time, the importance of different elements can be determined through immunohistochemical techniques. In this way, development of monoclonal antibodies in proteins that are thought to play an important role in the transaction of information can be achieved.
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