The results of public applications for the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI Program), sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology for fiscal 2010, have been announced. The “Carbon-Neutral Energy Research Institute” of Kyushu University was selected as the only winning organization in Japan. Under the WPI Program, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology provides priority support for projects designed to build top level global research cores staffed with leading researchers, with the purpose of further enhancing basic research functions in Japan and strengthening global competitiveness. This program was launched in fiscal 2007.
The program is meant to encourage the development of highly prominent research centers with advanced research environments and extremely high-caliber research to attract leading researchers from around the world. The following are the conditions of the program:
○ More than 200 members in all, including researchers, research assistants and administrative staff, must be responsible for a given projects.
○ At any given time, more than 30% of the researchers must be from overseas.
○ In principle, researchers must be recruited internationally for postdoctoral positions.
○ English must be the working language at each research center.
For fiscal 2010, Kyushu University and 8 other organizations nationwide applied for this program, and only our The “Carbon-Neutral Energy Research Institute” was selected. At a press conference conducted on July 15 (Thursday), 2010 following the result, Professor Petros Sofronis of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who is to head the Institute, and Trustee and Executive Vice President Yukitaka Murakami explained the purpose of the Institute project and provided many additional details. Professor Sofronis said, “I am confident that we can achieve excellent results. I would like to contribute to the future of humankind with this program.”
Summary of Proposal
Proressor Petros Sofronis
Trustee and Executive Vice President Yukitaka Murakami