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Greetings from the President

2018.01.29 Update
"PresidentKazuhito HASHIMOTO" Image


The National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) is one of the three organizations serving as Designated National Research and Development Institutes. To make Japan the most innovation-friendly country in the world, NIMS is expected to achieve the world's highest level of R&D results and popularize and utilize these results in accordance with Japan's national strategies. In addition, NIMS will provide strong leadership for Japan's innovation system by creating venues which bring together human resources from industry, academia and government, as well as knowledge and funding.

Japan's international competitiveness has been supported by its strength in materials R&D. Therefore, expectations from the industry, academia and government to NIMS as a materials R&D core institution are progressively increasing. To meet these expectations, NIMS is planning to reform itself to become the most innovation-friendly organization in the world and has formulated the following three reform visions.

First, we will strengthen the capability of NIMS to support both curiosity-driven and organizational mission-driven research by implementing the policy that individual NIMS researchers will allocate half of their efforts to the former and the other half to the latter. We have established a framework to support curiosity-driven research and incentive systems to support organizational mission-driven research aiming to strengthen industrial competitiveness and solve social issues. We will also identify priority research areas in which NIMS will pursue world-class achievements and formulate concrete plans concerning the allocation of research resources to these priority areas, thereby strengthening NIMS' research capabilities.

Second, we will strengthen our research capacities for material designs, syntheses and technologies. NIMS will build a world-class research infrastructure, including a topnotch materials data platforms and the most advanced measurement and characterization instruments. In addition, we will further enhance our world-leading facility to carry out frontier research in materials and take full advantage of the facility to support the industrial sector in materials development.

Third, we will promote open innovation. NIMS has been striving to support collaboration between industry and academia by encouraging research centers of various companies to participate in said collaboration. We will continue this effort. Last year, NIMS launched Materials Open Platforms (MOPs)—NIMS-led, industry-specific, multi-company collaboration frameworks—with the steel and chemical sectors by inviting some of the “basic research functions” of private companies to NIMS. Under the MOP frameworks, we will identify medium to long-term R&D projects leading to disruptive innovations and construct and demonstrate new collaboration models between industry, academia and government.

These reforms at NIMS require a research environment conducive to maximum R&D performance, appropriate resource allocation and heightened awareness among individual NIMS members so that they live up to their responsibilities. This is my third year as NIMS President. I intend to provide strong organizational management to accelerate these reforms.

Your support and cooperation will be appreciated.

Kazuhito Hashimoto

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National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)
1-2-1 Sengen, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0047, JAPAN