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


Concept of WPI Academy

The World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI Program) was launched in 2007 by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Over the past 10 years, the program has been highly successful in building top world-standard research centers with powerful research capacity and a high level of internationalization, centers that now boast wide global visibility.

In FY 2017, MEXT established the new WPI Academy to take the vanguard in internationalizing and further renovating Japan’s research environment, making it place that expands and accelerates the international circulation of the world’s best brains. The WPI centers that have achieved “world-premier status” will be the initial members of the WPI Academy. They may possibly be joined later by other Japanese research institutes that have amassed research results and created research environments of the very highest world standard. As it becomes operational, the WPI Academy will position Japan as a pole at the pinnacle of international researcher circulation.

Academy Director

AD Toshio Kuroki Special Advisor, Research Center for Science Systems, JSPS

WPI Academy Members

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.”