A Message from the Program Director Expectations for the Next Four Years of the Element Strategy Initiative: To Form Core Research Centers

With the original program directors of this ten-year project, Drs. Shinji Murai and Akira Sawaoka, stepping down in the fourth and sixth years, respectively, I have been appointed to take over the position. As the program director who will harvest the fruits of the final four years, I feel a heavy responsibility. I am determined to carry out my functions to the best of my ability and to lead this program while in close communication with each research center.

This national project for element strategy research is not merely a problem-solving project, but rather an approach aimed at formulating science-based theories that can lead to innovation creation and industrial applications. The speed of recent technological innovation in industry has at times been awe-inspiring. This national project must be one that industry can trust and respect. Accordingly, each center must closely share information with the industrial world even more so than they have to date. It is my hope that this collaboration will help us to construct high-level scientific theories serving as a foundation for industrial applications and social implementation and to create innovative materials based on those theories. Over the next four years, we must also work to strengthen the activity funding and administrative functions of each research center so that they can remain self-reliant after completion of the Initiative.

“Element strategy” is a concept proposed in Japan for using science in an effort to solve our resource problems. We hope that our communication of this message will lead to similar projects being launched in other parts of the world. Achievements in the Element Strategy Initiative are leading to resolutions for issues in sustainable development goals (SDGs) that have been adopted by consensus at the United Nations. As a leader of this element strategy, we will continue sharing our achievements with the rest of the world to accelerate our contributions to society.

Program Director, Element Strategy Initiative

Kohei Tamao

President, Toyota Physical and Chemical Research Institute