What are Inter-University Research Institutes?
Inter-University Research Institutes (IURIs) are nineteen world-class research institutes in Japan.
Have you ever heard of the largest single mirror telescope in the world, the Subaru telescope on the big island of Hawaii, or of the South Pole observation ship “Shirase” on TV or in a newspaper? Both of them are related to IURIs; the Subaru telescope was constructed by the National Astronomical Observatory and the polar observation is carried out by the National Institute of Polar Research.
Most of these research activities are unique and require large-scale facilities and a large amount of investment. The allocation of manpower and funds is prioritized in large-scale research activities to maximize budgetary and research efficiency with the aim of conducting innovative advanced research. These facilities are open to university researchers in Japan and abroad and are called Inter-University Research Institutes (IURIs).
Of the nineteen IURIs established across Japan, seventeen participate in SOKENDAI. We call these seventeen IURIs, together with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the Open University of Japan, “Kiban Kikan”.