Overview of the Initiative

Overview of the Initiative

The MEXT Element Strategy Initiative: To Form Core Research Centers is a ten-year project initiated in April 2012. The goal of this initiative is to contribute to the creation of a sustainable society through science, with the primary strategy of pioneering fundamental technologies for discovering innovative materials. To this end, a new discipline called element science was born. Element science brings together materials science, metallography, physics, chemistry, and advanced equipment analysis to transcend traditional academic frameworks. In order to ensure the steady continuation of this advanced research, the Element Strategy Initiative has been adopted as a national strategy that is directly overseen by Japan’s government.

Our research is conducted primarily at four research centers. The centers are established in research institutes and universities and carry out studies on (1) magnetic materials, (2) electronic materials, (3) catalysts and batteries, and (4) structural materials that have a direct bearing on Japan’s industrial competitiveness. Each research center comprises three research groups (analysis and evaluation, electronic theory, and materials synthesis) that conduct research activities in collaboration with each other. This research framework enables young researchers specializing in different areas to tackle a variety of issues and encourages personnel interaction and development. Through the utilization of leading research institutes in Japan, including the world’s most advanced supercomputers, synchrotron radiation facilities, and neutron beam facilities, the initiative has produced major research results.

Discussions on the administration of the Element Strategy Initiative are undertaken at steering committees held by the program’s governing body, which includes the Program Director (PD), Program Officers (PO), and expert advisors. Committees for the promotion of research headed by each research center are held to discuss the direction of research among the center directors and the expert advisors in charge of each area.

Governing boards have been established within METI and the Cabinet Office. MEXT publicizes material prototypes and other achievements aimed at practical use. METI and the Cabinet Office propose studies aimed at solving problems, and both parties investigate the best ways to promote use of intellectual property and research facilities.

Program Director, Program Officer, Expert Advisor
Kohei Tamao
Toyota Physical and Chemical Research Institute (Toyota RIKEN)
Tomohiro Nakayama
Director, Fellow
Department of Planning and Management, Center for Research and Development Strategy, Japan Science and Technology Agency
Yoshio Hayashi
Creative Director, Kyoto University Open Innovation Organization
Masanori Murakami
Special Aide to the President/ Assistant Trustee
The Ritsumeikan University
Hideki Iba Project General Manager
Material Platform Engineering Division,
Advanced R&D and Engineering Company,
Toyota Motor Corporation
Kohei Uosaki Fellow
National Institute for Materials Science
Kohsaku Ushioda Senior Adviser
Nippon Steel & Sumikin Research Institute Corporation
Tohru Setoyama Executive Fellow, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation
General Manager, Setoyama Laboratory, Science & Innovation Center
Masatoshi Takao Former Professor of Osaka University
Former Research Director of Panasonic Corporation
Hirohisa Tanaka Professor
Kwansei Gakuin University
Masaaki Tokunaga General Manager (Retired)
Hitachi Metals, Ltd.
Hidetoshi Fukuyama Adviser to the Chair and the President
Tokyo University of Science
Akihiro Miyauchi Professor
Institute of Biomaterials and Bioengineering,
Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU)
Masanori Yuki Senior Partner
Business Development Division,
AGC Inc.