OCU has three priority research fields for which it set up facilities to carry out world-leading research.
Published in April 2011 in the international scientific journal Nature, the results of photosynthesis/artificial photosynthesis research performed by the OCU Advanced Research Institute for Natural Science and Technology (OCARINA) have attracted worldwide attention. With that momentum, the institute has continued its research for so-called artificial photosynthesis modeled after natural photosynthesis and is currently working full tilt in conjunction with corporations on research aimed at developing technologies that can lead to fuel production using solar energy. Establishing mass production technology for new recycling-based energy for the next generation using artificial photosynthesis, commercially producing such technology, and then finally allowing for the creation of new business based on this technology is an important initiative directly linked to solving global environmental issues and energy problems.
To accelerate this joint research, the Research Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (ReCAP) was constructed using facility development grants received from Osaka City, opening in June 2013 as a base for industry-university-government collaboration. ReCAP's ultimate goal is the realization of technology that uses solar energy to convert carbon dioxide into methanol fuel. Once created, this technology would allow for a reduction in carbon dioxide while also providing a new source of fuel. The research process is also expected to influence technology for creating and using hydrogen energy, synthesis of energy carrier molecules, and production of new solar cells, to name a few anticipations. In short, ReCAP's goal is the establishment of extensive artificial photosynthesis technology in order to create a new source of energy for the next generation.
Related research centers:
|OCU Advanced Research Institute for Natural Science and Technology (OCARINA)
|Research Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (ReCAP)
Across the campus of OCU, researchers are engaged in a wide range of studies in the area of health science.
In July 2013, the Center for Health Science Innovation (CHSI), part of the Grand Front Osaka Knowledge Capital, was established and became heavily invested in research on the topic of health science for urban dwellers with a focus on scientific and medical findings regarding fatigue. While fatigue can be a sign of disease and can lead to various illnesses, it has never attracted much scientific or medical attention in terms of research. With the growing momentum to control this pre-disease condition and promote medicine for health maintenance, the study of fatigue is getting more attention along with the development of preventive medicine for chronic disorders, including lifestyle-related diseases. OCU, as one of the leading institutions for the study of fatigue, aims to develop wholesome products, services, and environments through collaboration with enterprises, government bodies, researchers, and the general public in keeping with its mission of providing the base camp for pioneering health science innovation.
In April 2014, the OCU Hospital opened MedCity21 on the 21st floor of Abeno Harukas, the first public university corporation facility in Japan to provide health checkups. Today, at a time when many are seeking ways to extend healthy life span, we need to promote preventive medicine through health screening programs and health checkups in order to detect diseases and halt their progression. Drawing on its highly specialized personnel from the university hospital and advanced, quality medical care, MedCity21 is dedicated to providing health checkups and medical examinations. With a focus on lifestyle-related diseases such as cancer, stroke, heart disease and diabetes, the clinic offers health screening programs and other services focused on early discovery and early treatment as part of its preventive medicine practice. The clinic also features a womens health clinic offering dermatology, breast surgery, and obstetrics and gynecology as well as other uniquely specialized outpatient medical care departments. If the health screening reveals any disease, the clinic follows up with the patient for early treatment in cooperation with the university hospital and regional healthcare institutions as part of its contribution to public health.
OCU has also founded the Premier Preventive Medicine Research Center within the Graduate School of Medicine. This facility is focused on exploring the causal relationship between the transition from a healthy (pre-diseased) state to a diseased state by using the Graduate School's research and analytical expertise, and developing new diagnostic and therapeutic methods as well as biomarkers based on such exploration. This is its contribution to preventive medicine. The Center also functions as a biorepository (biobank) that stores and manages health checkup data, genes, and blood and urine samples as well as other biological samples and genetic information with the consent of the patients.
Related research centers:
|Center for Health Science Innovation (CHSI)
Immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake, OCU launched a cross-sectional urban disaster management research group comprising specialists from all its graduate schools. This group began studying ways to support the affected areas and offer future support for disaster management. As part of these initiatives, and to return the knowledge gained through research to society and local communities, the Life-Saving Urban Design project was started to study the functions of urban disaster management from a variety of perspectives in cooperation with local residents and the local government. In June 2013, OCU made a partnership agreement with the ward offices of Suminoe, Sumiyoshi, and Nishinari wards of Osaka City.
In order to further promote these activities, the Center for Education and Research for Disaster Management (CERD) was established in March 2015 to carry out activities focusing on two key themes "social implementation of disaster knowledge" and "community based disaster management" In light of the tremendous potential damage to the Osaka area from a Nankai trough large earthquake or Uemachi fault zone earthquake, CERD's objective is to devise ways to minimize damage and construct a city that supports a quick recovery with consideration for the disaster vulnerabilities of Osaka City. Toward this end, we must achieve social implementation of disaster knowledge; that is, we must share the most recent university research findings with local communities. In addition, CERD provides assistance in the development of disaster management plans, as well as disaster management classes and lectures.
Related research centers:
|Center of Education and Research for Disaster Management (CERD)