Recent years have seen fierce international competition to acquire the world's best brains. To sustain and raise the level of its science and technology in the middle of such competition, Japan must position itself within the global flow of intellectual mobility. To do so, it will be necessary to build research centers of a sufficiently high level of excellence to attract outstanding researchers to Japan from around the world.

 Recognizing this urgent need, in fiscal year 2007 our Ministry, MEXT, established the program “World Premier International Research Center Initiative(WPI).” It derives its impetus from the government's third S&T Basic Plan and the “Comprehensive Strategy for Fostering Innovation” formulated by the government's Council for Science and Technology Policy.

 The WPI Program, as it is called for short, provides concentrated support for projects to establish and operate research centers that have at their core a group of very high-level investigators. These centers are to create a research environment of a sufficiently high standard to give them a highly visible presence within the global scientific community-that is, to create a vibrant environment that will be of strong incentive to frontline researchers around the world to want to come and work at these centers.


Basic Research Promotion Division, Research Promotion Bureau

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(Basic Research Promotion Division, Research Promotion Bureau)