What is Research Coordination Alliance?

Circumstances that led to the launch of KURCA

The 19 institutes and centers affiliated to Kyoto University, KUICs, specialize in science and engineering, medicine, biology, humanities, and social sciences, as well as interdisciplinary domains. They perform research activities to deal with advanced, interdisciplinary, and basic topics, leading academic studies in-and outside Japan, and acquire new knowledge. Furthermore, many of them actively promote collaborative research through coordination with external researchers beyond the frame of the university. The KUICs establish relationships to mutually coordinate and collaborate. While holding symposiums, open lectures, and seminars through collaboration, they feed their internationally high-level research activities/outcomes back to society as in-school educational or social coordination activities. Among the 20 KUICs, 16 contribute to the activities of in-and external researchers' communities through their Joint Usage/Research Centers certified by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology(MEXT). Overall, these activities have markedly contributed to the visualization and globalization of research at Kyoto University.

A large number of KUIC activities are characterized by transdisciplinary research, covering multiple academic areas of humanities and sciences. Achieving internationally high-level research achievements, they are widely recognized by the general public as the educational/research activities of Kyoto University. With the meeting committee structure KUIC Director Meeting as its base, the KUICs have held joint symposiums to share their research outcomes, while promoting interdisciplinary and collaborative research projects through mutual coordination. With the further advancement of academic research and specialization and sub-division of each academic field, the KURCA was launched in April 2015, involving the faculties and graduate schools of the university, with the aim of further expanding the strengths and features of the KUICs, integrating the knowledge of researchers with different perspectives, and promoting interdisciplinary fusion and the development of new fields in accordance with one of the cores of Kyoto University's future vision (WINDOW -A Vision for the Future): creating academic/social innovations by promoting original, advanced, and integrative research.

Mission and Basic Idea

The primary mission of the KURCA is to provide new approaches, including: <improving research capacities>, <promoting globalization>, and <enhancing innovative functions>, through cooperation with faculties and graduate schools to further strengthen the research function of Kyoto University by promoting coordination among the KUICs, each of which has its own outstanding strengths and features.

Main approaches

  1. Promoting research activities in frontier scientific areas through the Research Units Exploring Future Horizons, such as creating new fields by interdisciplinary fusion.

  2. Extensively sharing the latest research outcomes with society through the KUIC Symposiums and Marunouchi Seminars in Tokyo held once a year and once a month, respectively.

  3. Contributing to the development of human resources for globalization through the education of next-generation researchers.

  4. Promoting mutual coordination while creating operational bases for research, such as sharing information related to large equipment belonging to the KUICs to promote its joint usage.