Center for World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI Program Center)
Kojimachi Business Building 10F, 5-3-1 Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0083, JAPAN

Basic Research Promotion Division, Research Promotion Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
3-2-2 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8959, JAPAN


World Premier International Research Center (WPI) Initiative

Selected Projects

The Center Projects Selected in FY2017

Host institutionCenter nameCenter DirectorOutline of the Center
The University of Tokyo International Research Center for Neurointelligence (IRCN) Takao Hensch Tackling the ultimate question – "How does human intelligence arise?"
The IRCN aims to (1) elucidate fundamental principles of neural circuit maturation, (2) understand the emergence of psychiatric disorders underlying impaired human intelligence (HI), and (3) drive the development of next-generation AI based on these principles and function of multimodal neuronal connections in the brain.
Kanazawa University Nano Life Science Institute(NanoLSI) Takeshi Fukuma Understanding nanoscale mechanisms of life phenomena by exploring “uncharted nano-realms”
Cells are the basic units of almost all life forms. We are developing nanoprobe technologies that allow direct imaging, analysis, and manipulation of the behavior and dynamics of important macromolecules in living organisms, such as proteins and nucleic acids, at the surface and interior of cells. We aim at acquiring a fundamental understanding of the various life phenomena at the nanoscale.
Project Plans of The Centers Selected in FY2017 (will be posted in next July)

The Center Projects Selected in FY2012

Host institutionCenter nameCenter DirectorOutline of the Center
University of Tsukuba International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine(IIIS) Masashi Yanagisawa World-class institute for sleep medicine, aiming to solve the mechanism of sleep/wakefulness by conducting basic to clinical research
The mission of IIIS is to be a multidisciplinary, international hub for the research to elucidate the fundamental mechanism of sleep/wakefulness, to develop strategies to regulate sleep, and to contribute to enhancement of world health through the combat with sleep disorders and associated diseases.
Tokyo Institute of Technology Earth-Life Science Institute(ELSI) Kei Hirose Globally-Advanced Interdisciplinary Research Hub for Exploring the Origins of Earth and Life
ELSI focuses the origins of Earth and life. Both studies are inseparable because life should have originated in unique environment on the early Earth. To accomplish our challenge, we establish a world-leading interdisciplinary research hub by gathering excellent researchers in Earth and planetary sciences, life science, and related fields.
Nagoya University Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules(ITbM) Kenichiro Itami Changing the world with molecules: Synthetic Chemistry and Plant/Animal Biology
The goal of ITbM is to develop innovative functional molecules that make a marked change in the form and nature of biological science and technology (transformative bio-molecules). By merging synthetic chemistry, catalysis chemistry, systems biology, and plant/animal science, which are the strengths of Nagoya University, we aim to create cutting-edge science with potentially significant societal impact.
Project Plans of The Centers Selected in FY2012

The Center Projects Selected in FY2010

Host institutionCenter nameCenter DirectorOutline of the Center
Kyushu University International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research(I2CNER) Petros Sofronis The Grand Highway for a Carbon-Neutral Energy Fueled World
The mission of the Institute is to contribute to the creation of a sustainable and environmentally friendly society by advancing fundamental science to reduce CO2 emissions and establish a non-fossil based energy carrier system.
Project Plan of The Center Selected in FY2010

The Center Projects Selected in FY2007

Host institutionCenter nameCenter DirectorOutline of the Center
Tohoku University Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR) Motoko Kotani Establish a World-Leading Research Organization in Materials Science
AIMR aims to establish a Premier Research Center for materials science, to reform the conventional Japanese system and to construct a visible center. To this end, the institute is assembling excellent researchers in the fields of physics, chemistry, materials science, bioengineering and electronic/mechanical engineering.
The University of Tokyo Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU) Hitoshi Murayama Cross-Disciplinary Research Center for Addressing the Origin and Evolution of the Universe
Establishing a top-level research center visible worldwide for the most urgent issues of basic science such as dark energy, dark matter, and unified theories with a close collaboration of mathematics, physics and astronomy.
Kyoto University Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) Susumu Kitagawa Creating a new field of integrated cell-material science in the mesoscopic domain
Our institute seeks to illuminate a chemical basis of cells, creating compounds to control processes in cells such as stem cells (materials for cell control) in addition to sparking cellular processes to create chemical materials (cell-inspired materials), to ultimately establish an integrated cell-material science.
Osaka University Immunology Frontier Research Center (IFReC) Shizuo Akira Observation of immune reaction - Unveiling dynamic networks of immunity -
IFReC presents innovative accomplishments in immunology through the interdisciplinary collaboration and participation of world-top immunology and imaging researchers.
National Institute for Materials Science International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA) Takayoshi Sasaki
Materials Nanoarchitectonics - New paradigm of materials development -
MANA aims to create a new paradigm for materials development called “Materials Nanoarchitectonics” and in the field of the managing system focuses on “Melting pot environment,” “Fostering young scientists” and “Global Network.”
Project Plans of The Centers Selected in FY2007