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New directions

TIA has been launching new projects since the University of Tokyo joined TIA on April 1, 2016. These projects are not limited to the field of advanced nanotechnology but include other research fields described in this and the next pages. In addition, we have implemented a collaborative research program called Kakehashi (meaning “linking bridge”).



TIA is capable of performing all steps of materials R&D, from analysis and synthesis of materials to the fabrication of devices to the formation of systems. Using this strength, TIA is expanding its research range to include nanobiotechnology. Tsukuba Clinical Research & Development Organization (T-CReDO) was recently established at the University of Tsukuba as a facility to support research on medicines and medical devices conducted from the perspective of practical application. T-CReDO also supports empirical research with the vision of applying research products to society and clinical development. In collaboration with T-CReDO, TIA aims to develop a nanobiotechnology platform, which enables seamless execution of R&D steps from basic research to the development of technology seeds to the verification and implementation of clinical research.

Control of biomolecular dynamics


To achieve high-precision control of functional protein molecules, it is critical to obtain information on multidimensional molecular dynamics and structures, in addition to conventional information on static molecular structures. In order to understand time-series behavior of molecular dynamics, not only is data-driven science vital in processing immense amounts of data, but interdisciplinary integration based on theoretical considerations is also indispensable. For this purpose, several technological advancements need to be made as follows: 1) the enhancement of accuracy of sequential measurement technology and AI-based data processing technology using quantum probes such as X-rays, electrons, and neutrons, 2) improvement of accuracy of computational technology as it applies to molecular dynamics, to complement experimental results, 3) true integration of these technologies with molecular design technology, which enables external manipulation of molecules. For successful technological integration, we will continue to enhance the performance of the diffracted X-ray tracking (DXT), fundamental measurement technology available at Spring-8 (photo on the left).

Algae biomass

Algae biomass, primarily in the form of biofuel, has been drawing much attention for a long time for its potential and huge social and economic impact in addressing environmental and energy issues. However, despite its other potential such as anti-obesity, anti-aging, antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-dementia effects, algae biomass had been studied for very limited objectives. We, the TIA joint research group working under the program Kakehashi, have rich experience with algae biomass. The research group consists of the University of Tsukuba and AIST, which established the Algae Biomass and Energy System R&D Center (ABES) and have been playing a pioneering role in this field, and the University of Tokyo, which has been developing technology to add new functions to microalgae. The group aims to speedily discover new functions of algae biomass with a primary focus on medical and health fields, develop new markets, and implement new products and technologies in society.


Computational science


The Institute for Solid State Physics (ISSP) of the University of Tokyo makes supercomputers available for shared use by materials scientists. ISSP also promotes and supports various activities, such as an inter-university human resource development program, researcher exchange, and the development and dissemination of software in Japan. In addition, in the project of application development for the successor of the K computer, ISSP serves as a core facility to deal with device and material issues. Through these activities, ISSP aims to strengthen collaboration in the TIA framework with researchers in data-driven science and AI projects and those conducting experiments and measurements, and jointly develop advanced techniques to analyze experimental data obtained using leading-edge measurement technologies. ISSP also aims to gain a deep understanding of materials, to design materials using computers, and to foster computational scientists who will support society and industries in the future.

Data-driven science


With respect to materials informatics, the University of Tokyo aims to develop new materials using advanced science such as sparse modeling in close collaboration with NIMS and AIST. The university also plans to make data-driven science applicable to a wide range of new fields including nanobiotechnology, and to play a role of interconnecting research projects as an innovation hub.

Measurement technology


Cutting-edge technologies developed for high-energy physics experiments can support new industries. Through collaborative use among research facilities of KEK, NIMS, and the University of Tokyo Kashiwa Campus (e.g., the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, and the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe), it is possible that totally new measurement technologies will be developed. Such collaboration will also provide hands-on educational opportunities to young scientists.

IoT innovation platform

IoT connects physical items (things) to the internet. In order to realize the practical use of IoT, it is critical to make IoT devices smaller, more lightweight, more power-saving, and more secure. It is also vital to further enhance integration technology so that various current devices, such as logic circuits, memory devices, sensors, MEMS devices, and RF modules, can be integrated into a single-chip device.
Moreover, to increase the number of industries that use IoT, it is vital for companies in non-electronics sectors, for example, those dealing with food or healthcare products, to adopt IoT, in addition to electronics industries. To accelerate and promote IoT research and technology, TIA encourages companies unrelated to electronics and those interested in the IoT but do not have facilities to create prototype devices to join TIA. We will establish an IoT innovation platform consisting of the Super cleanroom (SCR), the Nano-Processing Facility (NPF), the TIA Collaboration Center, and other facilities in AIST.


TIA collaborative research program "Kakehashi"


TIA has launched a program called Kakehashi (meaning "linking bridge"), a collaborative framework for researchers among the five core organizations to explore research themes with the potential to spark innovation. This program facilitates the process involving the selection of many challenging research projects, collaboration of researchers from different organizations for each project, and formulation of strategies and establishment of a system to move the new project forward.

39 research projects for FY2016 have been selected, research fields of which include measurement in nanobiotechnology, computational materials science, big data analysis.