What is RIKEN and How is it Operated ?
RIKEN is a non-profit research institute supported
by the Japanese government's Science and Technology Agency.
It aims to promote creative and advanced research, while
maintaining a harmonious balance between basic and applied science.
The Institute is a research complex consisting of about
fifty laboratories and supporting facilities, covering wide areas
of physical, chemical, engineering and biological sciences.
Each laboratory seeks to push forward its respective ares of research,
under the autonomous management of a Chief Scientist. RIKEN's research
often involves active collaboration with universities, other research
institutions and industry - both in Japan and overseas.
When necessary, RIKEN organized groups laboratories to pursue
interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary researches taking advantage
of different researcher's widespread fields of interest. Six of the
institute's fifty laboratories form the Tsukuba Life Science Center
located, along with a service facility, in Tsukuba. This center is
developing all avenues of life science and advancing gene technology,
including molecular nurobiology.
The RIKEN Ring Cyclotron (RRC), used for the acceleration
of heavy ions, started operation in 1986 and has absorbed a
number of domestic and international collaborative
proposals. Recent research results include the discovery of 10He,
which approaches the limit of nucleus stability.
In the area of physics,
a large-scale project to construct a
synchrotron radiation facility, named SPring-8 (Super Photon Ring),
is under way in Hyogo Prefecture, under joint sponsorship by RIKEN and
JAERI (Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute). Following completion
in 1998, SPring-8 will have an 8 GeV operating capacity, making
it the world's largest ultrahigh-brilliance X-ray synchrotron radiation
RIKEN launched its Frontier Research Program in 1986 to explore
new disciplines for 21st century science and technology by
pioneering fundamental research. At Present, the program's research
covers several areas, including brain science and related fields. In
addition, the Frontier Program has established regional research
centers, which will operate for a fixed term to take advantage of
local expertise in relevant disciplines. As a first step,
RIKEN set up a research center for photo dynamics at Sendai in 1990.
In 1993, it established a bio-mimetic control research at Nagoya.
In order to encourage creative research, RIKEN takes special care to
introduce new blood to the institute. Laboratories are open to
visiting scientists. In fact, the number of visiting scientists from
Japan is almost three times that of RIKEN's permanent staff. At the
same time, the number of scientists visiting from overseas is also
increasing. RIKEN acts as host to some four hundred overseas visiting
scientists and has recently developed a special initiative to bring
Outstanding researchers to the institute through its Eminent scientist
RIKEN is an active participant in a number of Collaborative international
programs. For example. it has constructed a large-scale Muon science
Facility at the UK's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, which began operation
in 1994. Moreover. RIKEN will soon launch a program involving the
a large facility for spin Physics Research, at Brookhaven
National Laboratory in the United States.
RIKEN's openness goes beyond research. In 1992. the institute
formed a RIKEN Advisory Council (RAC) made up of distinguished
scientists from across the world - to evaluate its scientific programs
and management systems, and to advise the President about ways to
enhance RIKEN's ability to achieve its goals. The RAC's chairman and
half of its members come from overseas.
l am proud that RIKEN has continued to provide a stimulating and creative
research atmosphere the "RIKEN spirit" since its establishment in 1917.
Despite the second World War and the stormy postwar period, the "RIKEN
spirit" survived and, in 1958, the institute rose like a phoenix, with a
new organizational status as a semi-public corporation. The bold vision
that lay behind RIKEN's foundation remains valid and fresh today: "We will
survive in the modern world only by the promotion of industry which is based
on pure science and its application."
Return to the home page of RIKEN
A. A. (President of RIKEN)