A Key Global Institute for Applied Academic Endeavor

Director of Research Initiatives and Promotion Organization

Executive Director(Research and Evaluation)

Izuru Umehara

Yokohama National University (YNU) established a Research Initiative and Promotion Organization in July 2010. This brought together the pre-existing Office of Industry and Community Liaison and a newly-launched Office of Strategic Research Planning and Administration, which focus on research support and capacity strengthening. Recently YNU, introduced a URA system and a research information analytical system from October 2013, has restructured its research promotion system, which will press on with various strategies for research activity enhancement.

National universities in Japan are currently under immense pressure to perform in difficult financial conditions. The incremental revenue by self-help efforts is limited, covering all of the expenses by regular incomes including management expenses grants, income from student tuition fees and external funds. At part of its response to this new environment, it is important to reduce costs through financial characteristic improvement and to secure external funds for research. And on top of everything, we have to make further efforts toward quality improvement of education and research to maintain YNU’s place as a vital social institution.

In this difficult environment surrounding national universities, YNU performed a large-scale reorganization in FY2011 with establishment of a new College and a new Graduate School, which involves establishment of the College of Engineering Science and the Graduate School of Urban Innovation and reorganization of the Faculty of Education and Human Sciences and the Graduate School of Education. This will complement the university’s core educational functions by cultivating researchers and professional engineers who can lead society forward through advanced research, and ensure that our research helps maintain YNU’s place as a vital social institution. With this reorganization, YNU instituted a research activity enhancement policy titled YNU Research Initiative. This Research Initiative gives concrete form to the ideal of a “key global institute for applied academic endeavor” and sets forth action guidelines to achieve it. It is comprised of the following four basic policies:

  • 1.Concept: Research Concept: Creation and application of knowledge
  • 2.Policy: Research Activity Policy: Advanced research and training
  • 3.Action: Action: Continual evolution
  • 4.Tie-up: Community Tie-ups: Application of knowledge and furtherance of practice-oriented research

Section 3-2 of Chapter 3 of the YNU Research Initiative, titled “Servicing and enhancement of research environments,” sets forth specific schemes such as gathering and utilizing research-related information, supporting research activity, and augmenting fundamental common research facilities, equipment, and information systems. In order to put these schemes into practice, the Office of Industry and Community Liaison has been promoting industry-university-government partnership through joint research and use of intellectual property. Meanwhile, the Office of Strategic Research Planning and Administration has been providing YNU faculty members and researchers with information on external research project offerings, coordinating project groups, handling examination of the proper conduct of life science research and legal issues relating to foreign exchange, and offering a range of other research support services. However, YNU has reorganized its structure to powerfully advance the research activity enhancement policies and the action plans in addition to research support. Please look forward to the results of YNU’s future activities.

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