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Centres interviewed for the case study

Among the universities that had acquired funds from the GCOE Programme and the WPI Initiative, Osaka University and the University of Tokyo had much experience and many GCOE centres. Interviews were conducted with the vice presidents for research, representatives of the centres, administrative directors and others at each of the universities. The centres interviewed are listed in Table 7.7.

Table 7.7. Overview of centres interviewed


Osaka University

University of Tokyo

Staff numbers

Faculty, 3 111; Others, 2 877; Total, 5 988; Contract workers, 3 335

Faculty, 3 830; Others, 3 772; Total, 7 602; Contract workers, 2 434

Number of students

Undergraduate, 15 541; Graduate, 8 017

Undergraduate, 14 018; Graduate, 13 624

Number of COEs

21st Century COE, 15; GCOE, 12; WPI, 1

21st Century COE, 28; GCOE, 17; WPI, 1



Centre for human-friendly robotics based on cognitive neuroscience (GCOE)

Immunology Frontier Research Centre, IFReC (WPI)

Global Centre of Excellence for Mechanical Systems Innovation (GCOE)

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

Director of centre

Hiroshi Ishiguro (Graduate School of Engineering Science)

Shizuo Akira (Research Institute for Microbial Diseases)

Mamoru Mitsuishi (School of Engineering)

Hitoshi Murayama



Interdisciplinary research integrating studies in robotics, cognitive science, and brain science

The fusion of immunology, imaging technology and bioinformatics

Construction of an "extended mechanical engineering" scheme, in which the unique phenomena and sophisticated characteristics of the nanoscale are actively used

Cross-disciplinary research centre for addressing the origin and evolution of the universe, with close collaboration of mathematics, physics and astronomy

Grant period





Total amount of grant

JPY 631 million (four years, through FY 2012)

JPY 6 291 million

(five years through FY 2011),

plus facility construction costs

JPY 1 463 million

(five years through FY 2012)

JPY 6 137 million (five years through FY 2011), plus facility construction costs

Number of



27 (Solely employed to work at the COE, 9; also employed to work at the host institution, 18); with foreign citizenship, 0 (2012)

117 (103 hired at centre; 14 professors at host organisation); 40 foreign researchers (2011)

30 (7 hired at centre; 23 host organisation professors); 3 foreign researchers (2011)

95 (74 hired at centre; 21 host organisation professors); 48 foreign researchers (2011)

Other staff (FTE)

4 (solely employed at the COE, 3; also employed at the host institution, 1); with foreign citizenship; 0 (2012)

85 (78 hired at centre; 7 host organisation professors); 6 foreign staff members (2011)

4 (4 hired at centre); 0 foreign staff members (2011)

35 (25 hired at centre; 10 host organisation professors); 0 foreign staff members (2011)





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