Memorandum of Understanding Concluded for The Nippon Foundation – DeepStar Joint Research & Development ProgramCollaboration with oil companies around the world to promote a decarbonized society

The Nippon Foundation today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the international offshore technology development consortium DeepStar*1 for the establishment of a joint research and development program. Under this agreement, DeepStar and The Nippon Foundation will jointly work to promote decarbonization in the field of offshore oil and natural gas, with a focus on renewable energy and the environment.
The program is being launched with a budget of up to $10 million (roughly 1.1 billion yen) through 2026, to promote decarbonization in the field of offshore oil and natural gas.

From left: Yohei Sasakawa (Chairman, The Nippon Foundation) , Mitsuyuki Unno (Executive Director, The Nippon Foundation), Shakir Shamshy (Director, DeepStar), Pat Toomey(Manager, DeepStar)


Beginning with the promotion of the shipbuilding business, The Nippon Foundation has been engaged in various projects in the field of offshore development, and in recent years has focused on training engineers specializing in offshore development and technological innovation (The Nippon Foundation Ocean Innovation Consortium).*2 The Foundation has been cooperating with DeepStar for research and development in the field of offshore oil and gas since 2018, when the two parties launched a joint research and development program. With the signing of this MoU, the two parties aim to strengthen their collaboration by consolidating industry, technology, and expertise, with a focus on improving the environment, renewable energy, and safety, in response to heightened global awareness of carbon neutrality and other environmental issues. Building on the 2018 MoU, the Foundation and DeepStar have signed this new MoU to enhance their cooperation in the promotion of decarbonization in the field of offshore oil and natural gas.


Diagram showing structure of the MoU. Japanese companies, universities, and other organizations, supported by The Nippon Foundation, will apply their advanced technologies in collaboration with members of the DeepStar consortium, whose strengths include experience, knowledge, and fields, in a research and development program.
Diagram showing structure of the MoU
  1. Research and development will be carried out through collaboration between Japanese companies and major global energy (oil) companies (supermajors, etc.)
  2. The Nippon Foundation will support the activities of Japanese companies, and DeepStar will provide Japanese companies with expertise and testing fields for offshore development
  3. The collaborative research and development will be carried out as per one of the following seven development themes:
    • Geothermal generation by using high temperature in preserver (renewable energy)
    • Wind power/Ocean current power generation to supply offshore oil& gas production facilities (renewable energy)
    • Cost reduction technology for flammable gas removal and re injection at production facilities (global warming)
    • Establishment of oil spill drift forecast simulation method by using local ocean current monitoring by aerial drone (marine environment)
    • Hydrogen related technologies (global warming)
    • Safety related techs including NUF (normally unattended facilities) and robotics (the safety of the working environment )
    • Water treatment related technologies (marine environment)

Mr. Sasakawa said: I am very pleased that we have been able to conclude this new memorandum of understanding. The global movement toward decarbonization has been accelerating day by day, and in offshore development, I believe it is vital to promote new developments, such as reducing environmental impact. I suggest we become leaders in the future Japanese and the global offshore development market focusing on the environment by creating new innovations with DeepStar.

Mr. Toomey said: This partnership between the Nippon Foundation and DeepStar will address many of the technology needs currently be faced by offshore operators. Through the partnership, Japanese companies will help develop new technologies and capabilities to improve offshore safety, environmental performance, reliability, and efficiency. Thank you to Chairman Sasakawa and Executive Director Mr. Unno of the Nippon Foundation for your leadership and for your partnership.

Future plans

Through collaboration extending as long as through 2026, the overall program aims to develop technologies related to the promotion of decarbonization in the field of offshore oil and natural gas as per the seven themes, and for commercialization based on the results obtained.

  1. DeepStar is an international offshore technology development consortium comprising “upstream” companies including Chevron (U.S.), Shell (U.K., Netherlands), and Equinor (Norway) that are engaged in the exploration, development, and production of offshore oil and natural gas around the world, and companies, universities, research institutes, and other organizations that provide products and services to these upstream companies.
The DeepStar logo
  1. The Nippon Foundation Ocean Innovation Consortium was established in 2016 with the aim of increasing the number of offshore development engineers to 10,000 by 2030. The Consortium is engaged in both the training of engineers and technological innovation, and in recent years has been focusing on training engineers in the area of offshore wind power generation, which is expected to become a major source of electric power in the future.
The Nippon Foundation Ocean Innovation Consortium logo

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