Toward the Realization of a Carbon-Neutral Energy Fueled World
Chiharu Kubo, President
The "World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI Program)" was established by Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in FY2007 as a system for providing large-scale support for projects aimed at creating preeminent research centers staffed by a core of the world's most prominent researchers. In FY2010, the "International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER)" of Kyushu University was selected as the only awarded WPI Institute to serve in the vital area of energy research and sustainability through scientific contributions toward the realization of a low-carbon society.
I2CNER has embarked upon its second term as a permanent unit of Kyushu University. Moving forward, we aim to further enhance our research by initiating new collaborations in fields such as theory, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences, and by reinforcing and identifying all potential international research capabilities and opportunities. To this end, it is vital that I2CNER secure leading researchers by expanding the number of tenured faculty members and utilizing Kyushu University’s newly-established Cross-Appointment System.
Kyushu University will further strengthen ties with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the home of the I2CNER Satellite. In FY 2014, Kyushu and Illinois signed an Agreement on Academic Cooperation and an Agreement on Student Exchange. With these two agreements as a foundation, we are eager to promote more active engagement and interaction between our researchers through mutual PI sabbaticals and student exchange, the development of a Joint-Degree Program, etc., so that the two universities can join forces and further advance research and global education. We also plan to further promote collaboration with industry, and advance IP management and technology transfer, both nationally and internationally, by strengthening cooperation between Kyushu University’s “Academic Research and Industrial Collaboration Management Office (AirIMaQ)” and Illinois’ “Office of Technology Management (OTM).”
Though I2CNER was established under the WPI Program, considering all the Institute’s resources and capabilities, Kyushu University will continue to support I2CNER after the WPI Program ends and ensure its success as the world’s-leading carbon neutral research institute.