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Performance and results

Table 7.4 shows the calls for applications and the selections made. The average success rate is about one in six. Table 7.5 shows each year’s grants and each centre’s total activities costs. Table 7.6 lists the currently active centres.

The six centres active as of April 2012 had 571 academics/researchers, 292 postdocs and 125 research assistants, for a total of more than 160 participants per centre.

In the interim evaluation, 2 500 papers published between 2007 and 2010 by the five centres selected in FY 2007 were examined. The average number of citations per paper was 13.9. This would put the centres, as a group, in fifth place among leading world universities, behind Rockefeller University at 22.6, Massachusetts Institute of Technology at 15.9, Harvard University at 15.5, and California Institute of Technology at 14.9. Some 5.1% of the papers are in the top 1% in terms of citations, and thus in second place, behind only Rockefeller University, with 6.6% of papers in the top 1%. Although the comparison is not rigorous, it seems clear that the centres achieved strong results quickly, with papers of a quality comparable to that of the world’s top universities.

176 - 7. JAPANESE EXPERIENCE WITH CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE

Table 7.4. WPI applications and grants by fiscal year

FY2007

FY2010

FY2012

Total

Selections

5

1

3

9

Applications

33

9

15

57

Source: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology.

Table 7.5. Total amount of WPI grants by fiscal year

FY2007

FY2008

FY2009

FY2010

FY2011

Number of centres

5

5

5

6

6

Total amount of WPI grant (JPY billion)

3.4

7.0

7.0

7.2

8.0

Total expenditure of all centres including WPI grant (JPY billion)

7.9

20.0

28.3

29.0

24.4

Source: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology.

Table 7.6. Current centres with WPI funds

Opening

year

Host institution

Name of centre

Outline of centre

FY2007

Tohoku University

Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR)

Establishment of a leading world research organisation in materials science

University of Tokyo

Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU)

Cross-disciplinary research centre to study the origin and evolution of the universe

Kyoto University

Institute for Integrated Cell- Material Sciences (iCeMS)

Creating a new field of integrated cell-material science in the mesoscopic domain

Osaka University

Immunology Frontier Research Centre (IFReC)

Observation of immune reaction - unveiling dynamic networks of immunity

National Institute for Materials Science

International Centre for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA)

Materials nano-architectonics; new paradigm of materials development

FY2010

Kyushu University

International Institute for Carbon- Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER)

The grand highway for a carbon-neutral energy fuelled world

FY2012

University of Tsukuba

International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine (IIIS)

World-class institute for sleep medicine, aiming to solve the mechanism of sleep/ wakefulness by conducting basic to clinical research

Tokyo Institute of Technology

Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI)

Advanced interdisciplinary research hub for exploring the origins of Earth and life

Nagoya University

Institute of Transformative BioMolecules (ITbM)

Changing the world with molecules: synthetic chemistry and plant/animal biology

Source: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology.

 
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