The Institute of Industrial Science (IIS), established in 1949 at the University of Tokyo, is one of the largest university research institutions in Japan and this year is 70th anniversary. Our multidisciplinary research covers nearly all fields of engineering, and our professors, associate professors, and lecturers each lead dedicated laboratories, about 120 in total. More than 1,000 personnel, comprising approximately 300 faculty members including staffs and 750 graduate students, participate in educational and research activities that are responsible for producing excellent research outcomes and fostering outstanding talent. All our laboratories belong to one of five core research departments and some straddle multiple departments, providing the warp and weft for seven UTokyo IIS research centers,one IIS research center, two collaborative research centers, and an international collaborative research center. As well as promoting original research in each specialist field, we as an institution encourage cross-disciplinary and international activities. 2017 saw the functions of the Chiba Experiment Station transferred from its original home in Nishi-Chiba to our Kashiwa campus, and the launch of the new Design-Led X Platform.

Since the foundation of the Institute, we have been acutely aware that the significance of academic research into engineering lies in its real-world implementation, and together with the seeding of new academic disciplines through enhanced specialization and cross-disciplinary collaboration, we have developed and deployed new technologies that contribute to solving problems in the real world. We have also made it our mission to nurture talented people to shoulder the responsibility of technological development and dissemination, especially in the industrial world. Such a philosophy and sense of mission has been programmed into our DNA since the foundation of the Institute, and we have taken a hands-on approach to address engineering challenges as a pioneer of advocacy for collaboration between industry and academia. We also take pride in the fact that our achievements and proactive stance are widely recognized together with the name Seiken.

Society is facing diverse problems today, and expectations are growing for the role that engineering plays in solving these problems. At the same time, the challenge for conventional engineering is that it is unable to make widely-accepted and compelling products with an approach that focuses only on technological development. For such situations that are difficult to address with engineering alone, we are seeking to build a new Seiken style—one that contributes to the creation of compelling value through innovation, founded on the pursuit of academic truth as a university research institute, and adding a multidisciplinary approach integrating humanities and sciences that incorporates exit strategies for real-world implementation, to the style that it is long known for: barrier-free, cross-disciplinary, practical industry–academia collaboration, and ambitious international collaboration.

Even though it is the largest of its kind in Japan, Seiken is perfectly sized to maintain a strong sense of organizational unity, and through our agility and collective strength as a world-class research institute in the field of engineering, we hope to continue helping to make everyone’s dreams come true.

Your understanding and support are much appreciated as we develop various commemorative projects this year in celebration of our 70th anniversary, featuring the establishment of "Inter-Regional Network for Sustainable Coexistence with the Nature".

KISHI Toshiharu