HOME > Outline


Project Leader

This short article summarizes the concept and some details of "International Center for Integrated Research and Advanced Education in Materials Science ", a Global COE project recently granted in the area "Chemistry and Materials Science" for fiscal 2007-2011.

The Project is intended to consolidate the over 100 chemistry-related research groups of Kyoto University in Graduate School of Engineering, Graduate School of Science, and Institute for Chemical Research, covering virtually all the arenas of chemistry from basic to engineering and from molecules to materials, for the ultimate goal of " Integrated Materials Science."

Concept and Objectives

In the contemporary science in general, and in chemistry and materials science in particular, a trend is obvious: An ever accelerated merge or disappearance of the traditional boundaries among disciplines ( inorganic, organic, etc. ) and between basic science and engineering, as exemplified by the immediate translation of a newly discovered sub-nano-scale molecule into new macroscopic materials. The trend in part stems from the recognition that traditionally trained experts, however excellent in a specific field they might be, can no longer cope with complex and multifaceted problems in science and in global society, such as sustainable growth, environmental protection, global warming, and energy.

The recognition, in turn, demands a new framework of research and education, herein coined as " Integrated Materials Science "( Figure 1 ), that is to achieve the following objectives:

(a) "Integrated Materials Science" β€” A New Paradigm

An effective integration of basic chemistry and materials science in research and advanced education, beyond classical disciplines, faculties, and international borders, to create and establish a new paradigm.

(b) A New Breed of Scientists

Cultivation of internationally competent, scientifically creative, independent scientists of future generations whose expertise encompasses wide and multidisciplinary fields in the concept of "Integrated Materials Science", with visions open to the human society.

(c) " Interactive Materials Science " β€” Science for Society

Creation of a renewed materials science, interactive and open to the global society, that actively contributes to critical problems such as sustainability and environment, as well as to culture.

Figure 1. Integrated Materials Science: A new paradigm in chemistry and materials science.
Figure 1. Integrated Materials Science : A new paradigm in chemistry and materials science.

Project Programs

This Project plans the following two principal programs, in research and in education, to achieve the above-specified objectives (a)–(c):

(1) Program in Research:
International Center for Integrated Materials Science

- Integrated Core Fields: Integration beyond Disciplines.

The first step is to create and establish "Integrated Materials Science", i.e., the integration of basic chemistry and materials science comprehensively covered in Kyoto. For this, four Integrated Core Fields will be organized (see also Figure 1):

Material Transformation;

Advanced Material Functions;

Material Properties;

Interactive Materials Science.

- Inter-Field Joint Research Projects: Integration beyond Core Fields.

Joint projects among the Integrated Core Fields to strengthen and streamline their collaboration and integration by members selected beyond faculty and traditional boundary.

- Interactive Materials Science: Integration beyond Academia.

Another feature of this COE Project is to create a new materials science that is open to, interacts with, and in turn contributes to the global human society and culture, i.e., materials science for global society beyond academia.

- International Epicenter of " Brain Influx ": Integration beyond Borders.

A set of programs are executed to establish an international epicenter of chemistry and materials science that attracts " first-rate brains " around the globe (" brain influx " ): e.g.," International Academic Exchange Programs" for sending junior COE members to overseas key institutions and "Integrated Materials Science International Scholarship" for inviting leading scientists to Kyoto for joint research, faculty training, and advanced education.

(2) Program in Education :
A New Breed of Internationally Competent Young Scientists

Within the scope of "Integrated Materials Science", the following "integrated" programs are to be organized to cultivate the independence and international competence in junior COE faculty members and students:

- Interfaculty Integrated Course Program.

Brand-new "integrated" educational programs will be organized beyond faculties and specialties.

- Interdisciplinary On-the-Research Training.

Advanced education and training beyond disciplines by exchanging students and assistant professors within the Core Fields, on site in cutting-edge research within the COE Project.

- Support Programs.

For promoting international competence and independence in research of junior COE members and students, e.g., "Embryonic Research Project Support", "International Academic Exchange Program" (on-the-research training beyond borders), and "International Workshop Initiative" (allowing young scientists, with financial support and expert advice, to organize international meetings all by themselves).


Chemistry is the only fundamental science that creates novel and unprecedented molecules and materials via infinite permutation of atoms and reactions. In interdisciplinary collaboration and perhaps in fusion with physics and biology, chemistry and materials science today are thus expected to make fundamental contribution to science per se and to the global society beyond tomorrow. All the members of the COE Project are sincerely determined to create the new paradigm of "Integrated Materials Science" and thereby to cultivate new breeds of young scientists, truly competent, creative, and energetic, who will soon take off from Kyoto University towards international arenas of science and beyond.