Special Issue on Infrastructure Maintenance, Renovation and Management
Kazuo Kyuma,* Yozo Fujino,** and Kohei Nagai***
*Executive Member, Council for Science, Technology and Innovation, Cabinet Office Governing Board Chair, Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Program (SIP)
Program Director, Strategic Innovation Program, Distinguished Professor, Institute of Advanced Sciences, Yokohama National University, Yokohama, Japan
Associate Professor, Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Building a sustainable economy is one of Japan’s most pressing issues today, and the only path forward is through innovations in science and technology. Under the leadership of the Prime Minister and the Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy, the Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI) has taken a high-altitude look across Japan’s ministries, proposing a comprehensive policy for science, technology, and innovation. As part of this policy, the SIP program has been designed as a fast-track research and development project, encompassing basic research, practical adoption, and commercialization. This nationally-sponsored program for science and technology innovation crosses the traditional framework of Japan’s ministries and agencies, as well as the traditional boundaries of scientific disciplines. The SIP has identified 11 issues from the field of energy, next-generation infrastructure and regional resources in order to address social issues, revitalize the Japanese economy, and bolstering Japan’s industrial posture in the world. As one of eleven themes, a new R&D program named “Infrastructure maintenance, renovation and management” was launched in 2014. The new R&D program is a 5-years program covering various subjects with key technologies such as non-destructive testing, monitoring, robotics, long-term performance prediction, development of high-quality durable material for repair and replacement, and infrastructure management using advanced information and communication technologies (ICT). The program consists of 60 research projects involving universities, research institutes and industries. This initiative is expected to prevent further accidents and setting an example for efficient infrastructure maintenance by reducing the burden of maintenance works and costs. This special issue aims at introducing some of the activities of the ongoing SIP “Infrastructure maintenance, renovation and management.” We are delighted to see publication of twenty-one technical papers/reports on this theme. We hope that readers would find this special issue interesting and valuable; and we greatly appreciate the authors for their contributions.