Kumamoto University is one of Japan's leading research universities that promote world-leading research. The International Research Organization for Advanced Science and Technology (IROAST) was established in April 2016 to strengthen the university's international research capabilities in science and engineering fields. In March 2022, IROAST celebrated six years after its establishment, marking the end of the program's first phase.
In the first phase, four priority research areas (Advanced Nanomaterials Science, Green Energy, Environmental Science, and Advanced Green Biotechnology), which are the strengths of the university's science and engineering fields, were selected to promote joint research with world-class universities and research institutions related to these research fields as well as foster talented young researchers who will lead the future of the university. We invited leading researchers from overseas universities and research institutions as distinguished professors and visiting professors to promote international joint research. In addition, we conducted a program to send young researchers to overseas universities and research institutes for long periods to establish an international network.
This report summarizes the activities of IROAST in FY2021. The activities of IROAST are mainly international collaborative research; however, for the past two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not been able to travel to and from abroad. As a result, in FY2021, we found ourselves in a temporary situation of stagnation as a research achievement, especially with regard to the publication of papers, many of which were based on research conducted in FY2020. However, by promoting international exchange online, international activities showed signs of recovery in FY2021, but have not yet recovered to the pre-pandemic level.
In spite of these difficult circumstances, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the professors at overseas universities and research institutes and all members of IRAOST who have promoted international joint research. I would also appreciate it if you could read this report and give us your comments on the contents of IROAST's research. I hope the situation will recover to the pre-pandemic level as IROAST enters its second phase in FY2022.
Dr. TAKASHIMA Kazuki, Professor Emeritus
Director of International Research Organization for Advanced Science and Technology (IROAST)
Kumamoto University, JAPAN
A full version of the Annual Report 2021