Each year, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) awards the "Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology" to individuals who have made outstanding achievements in research and development and in promoting the understanding of science and technology.
On April 7, 2023, three staff members of the JIRCAS Tropical Agriculture Research Front (TARF) Technical Support Office, namely, SHIKINA Yasuteru, MAETSU Masahide, and HATERUMA Yuto, received the Award for Creativity for their achievement entitled "Invention of a low-cost observation system for solute dynamics in soil". The award is given to those who have contributed to the advancement of technology in their fields through outstanding originality and ingenuity.
The JIRCAS Yama-Sato-Umi agroecosystem connectivity project is conducting research on the movement of nitrogen in soil with the aim of reducing the environmental burden. Column tests (using cylinders) have been conducted to reproduce agricultural soils, but the conventional method does not allow reuse of cylinders, and retesting requires cost and preparation time. The newly developed system allows both reuse of cylinders and reduction of preparation time (8% of the conventional method), and also allows installation of sensors, which has been difficult in the past.
This achievement is expected to enable more accurate testing and accelerate technology development. JIRCAS will continue to use this system to develop technologies that reduce environmental load.