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Research Grant Awarded to Study Enhancement of Tea Flavor through Genome Editing by "Tokai Industrial Technology Foundation"

Released: March 12, 2024   Updated: April 16, 2024

Green Insight Japan Inc., in collaboration with researchers at the University of Shizuoka, has been awarded the 36th General Development-Type Grant by Tokai Industrial Technology Foundation, the General Incorporated Foundation for the research project entitled "Cultivation of genome-edited tea plants as raw materials for aroma-enhanced tea for the global market." The grant amount for this project is 2 M yen, and its awarding ceremony was held on April 15th in Toyohashi City. We express our gratitude to the foundation and look forward to working with tea manufacturing companies to further promote research. The four prefectures in the Tokai region are responsible for about half of Japan's tea production, but the production value has fallen by nearly 40% in the past 10 years. Through new tea plants, we will contribute to the development of the tea industry from the Tokai region, aiming for a global market of 9 T Japaneses yen. Unlike genetic recombination, knockout genome editing which is equivalent to mutation that occurs in nature, can be cultivated and sold after notification to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. According to our survey, 54% of the 500 respondents expressed their interest in tea beverages derived from genome-edited tea plants, if they were made with a special flavor. That is, it can be said that the marketability of commercializing this research theme is high.

This Company Has Won the Prefectural Grant to Support University-Based Companies

Released: September 8, 2023


Green Insight Japan, Inc. was again chosen as a recipient of the Shizuoka Prefectural grant to support university-based companies this time for the 2023 fiscal year with the same subsidy amount. Its research subject is the improvement of tea plants by knockout-type genome editing. We are sincerely grateful to Shizuoka Prefecture for this opportunity, and we want to meet its expectations. There are 9 T Japanese yen (approx. 61 B US dollars) in the world market of tea consumption, and decaf tea with the same taste as non-decaf one is highly needed. The research will be done in collaboration with the Tea Science Center at the University of Shizuoka.

The Incubating and Promoting New Industry Organization, The Shizuoka Chamber of Commerce and Industry Supports This Company's Project

Released: July 24, 2023


Green Insight Japan, Inc. became a recipient of the grant to support the development of products on an experimental basis by Incubating and Promoting New Industry Organization of The Shizuoka Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The project is entitled “Utilization of ambient solution during plant culture” and will be done in collaboration with Sprout Club, Inc. We express our sincere thanks to this organization and will answer its expectations.

Hirokazu Kobayashi Has Left from the Office of Division for Research Strategy in Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST)

Released: April 1, 2023


He had been in charge as the director of the Division for Research Strategy in NAIST, and he left its office on March 31, 2023, when MEXT’s “Program for Promoting the Enhancement of Research Universities" terminated. He said that he assimilated a lot of leading knowledge of open science and business start-up through the Research University Consortium (RUC) and NAIST’s activity of innovation education, respectively.

He was pleased with the gift of tie with the characters of Sumikko-Gurashi by San-X at the retirement event.

Hirokazu Kobayashi Has Taken Office as Director of Division for Research Strategy at Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST)

Released: October 9, 2021


He has moved to Ikoma in Nara Prefecture, where he directs the Division for Research Strategy at Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) starting in October, 2021. According to him, he has returned to a location closer to his hometown, Fukuchiyama in Kyoto Prefecture, after leaving Shizuoka, similar to the homing ability of salmons with getting old. His parents live in Fukuchiyama, and this is the reason why he serves for NAIST. NAIST is also attractive for him in its higher research activity as judged from the facts that it launched a Nobel laureate such as Shinya Yamanaka and released publications in reputable journals by researchers there.

This Company Has Won the Prefectural Grant to Support University-Based Companies

Released: December 26, 2020   Updated: August 14, 2021


Green Insight Japan, Inc. was selected as a recipient of the prefectural grant to support university-based companies for the project entitled “Commercialization of vegetables enriched with sugar, nutraceuticals, and pharmaceuticals based on the enhanced photosynthetic activity.” This was governed by the Japan Advanced Science and Technology Organization for Education, Human Development and Research (JASTO) in the fiscal year 2020, and granted on December 7, 2020. This company was continuously chosen for this grant. This project is managed directly by Commerce and Industry Promotion Division, Shizuoka Prefectural Government in this fiscal year, and granted on June 30, 2021. The budget is 5 M yen in total over two years. This company is achieving the project in collaboration with the University of Shizuoka, Tokoha University, and several private companies.

This Company Has been Spotlighted by the AOI-PARC

Released: January 28, 2021


This company has been interviewed by the staff of the Agri Open Innovation Practical and Applied Research Center (AOI-PARC) of Shizuoka Prefecture and just shown on their webpage (see the below in Japanese).

The AOI-PARC was established to invent a new value by integrating technologies and idea in both industrial and academic fields on August 1, 2017 in Numazu in Shizuoka Prefecture. The AOI-PARC coordinator, Dr. Shinichiro Toki, mentions that this company is quite unique in wide aspects such as grappling with problems of the crop productivity using its own technology, developing strategies for biologics production in plants, and enlightening the attractiveness of culture and industry of Japan.

Hirokazu Kobayashi Received the Title of Emeritus Professor from the University of Shizuoka

Released: December 26, 2020


He served for this university after the establishment of the Graduate School of Nutritional and Environmental Sciences in April, 1991 until his retirement from this university in March, 2020, while he played roles as associate professor and professor, as well as department chair, dean, and vice-president. The university issued the title of emeritus professor to him in April, 2020, and its conferment ceremony was done on December 21.


Emeritus professor conferment ceremony on December 21, 2020

Kobayashi is third from the left in the first line.


Emeritus professor conferment ceremony on December 21, 2020: The version of coronavirus crisis

Kobayashi is third from the left in the first line.

Approval of This Company as a University of Shizuoka-Based Company Was Released on the University Webpage
: October 30, 2020

Green Insight Japan, Inc. was registered at the Legal Affairs Bureau on August 17, 2020, and approved as a University of Shizuoka-based company on August 28, 2020. This approval has been released on the university webpage. University-based companies are expected to promote innovation in the development of new markets with novel products derived from intellectual property with commercialization potential (translated from the website of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan).

Hirokazu Kobayashi’s Last Lecture on February 17, 2020
Released: February 24, 2020

Hirokazu Kobayashi started managing the Laboratory of Plant Molecular Improvement, formerly the Laboratory of Plant Cell Technology, in 1991 at the University of Shizuoka after working as an Assistant Professor at the Radioisotope Research Center, Nagoya University. Afterwards, he accomplished much in his research and worked for the development of the graduate schools and the university as Professor, Dean, and Vice-President during his 29 years at the university. He is going to retire in March, 2020. This lecture was organized by the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences and was held as follows.


Date: Monday February 17, 2020, 4:00 PM

Place: Lecture room 13411, University of Shizuoka

Talk title: Amazing plants! Young people, go out into the world! (in Japanese)

Flier (in Japanese): Click here

Handout (in Japanese): Click here

His biography: Click here

A shot: Click here

Video (in Japanese): Click here (4.6 GB)

Hirokazu Kobayashi's Plenary Lecture at the 70th Anniversary of Tottori University
: January 4, 2020

Hirokazu Kobayashi, the CEO, graduated from Tottori University in March, 1977. He gave a plenary lecture there at "The 70th Anniversary: Home Coming 2019" on October 12, 2019. His talk was entitled "Go out into the world! A curiosity about plants as cultured at Tottori University" (original title in Japanese). Information about this talk was displayed in Japanese on the official web page of Tottori University.

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