MEXT:Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology - Photon Frontier Network, Japan


Program Outline

Photon science and technology is the platform upon which so much of our society is built: matter and materials, biotechnology, information-communication, manufacturing, and more. This makes it a key technology, crucial to future innovation and enhanced industrial competitiveness. Japan recognizes the vital importance of research and development in the photon science and technology field, and is dedicated to its strategic and constructive promotion. It is also imperative to fostering a new generation of researchers and scientists, capable of finding the great potential in this field.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has created the Photon Frontier Network program with two specific objectives: to progress development of advanced light sources and measurement methods generated through a uniquely innovative approach, and to improve the quality of education and research available to those young researchers and scientists, engaged in photon science and technology, who will be responsible for cutting-edge R&D and its commercial applications in the future.

This program aims to effectively bring together the great potential in photon science and technology that exists throughout Japan today. In order to do so, it will support the establishment of core network centers, constructed by multiple research facilities with research and development capabilities in the photon science and technology field. Network centers will forge strong collaborative and cooperative links with industry, where the light technologies generated by R&D in this field will be utilized, and research facilities in other fields, such as nanotechnology, materials and the life sciences. These networks can then function as a bridge between the needs of industry and society and the seeds of research being generated throughout the photon science and technology field.

In principle, research periods will be set at a maximum of ten years. Long-term projects must be developed constructively and effectively, and to ensure this is the case the research period will be split into three stages: Stage 1: 3-4 years, Stage 2: 3-4 years, and Stage 3: 3 years. At the end of each stage, the research will be reviewed, and projects will also be subject to random inspections during implementation. Based on the results of such reviews, projects may be terminated or amended as deemed necessary.

Network Centers

Of the many applications received, the following two Network Centers have been selected.

[ Advanced Photon Science Alliance ]

Center Leader:
Makoto Gonokami    Professor, The University of Tokyo
Organizing Body:
The University of Tokyo
Network Participants:
Riken, The University of Electro-Communications, Keio University, Tokyo Institute of Technology

[ Consortium for Photon Science and Technology ]

Center Leader:
Ryosuke Kodama    Director, Center for Photon Science and Technology, Japan Atomic Energy Center Professor, Osaka University
Organizing Body:
Japan Atomic Energy Center
Network Participants:
Osaka University, Kyoto University, Institute for Molecular Science (National Institutes of Natural Sciences)

Program Directors & Program Officers

This program will be carried out under the leadership of a specially appointed Program Director (PD) and Program Officers (PO), as follows:

Program Director (PD)
Yoshiaki Kato, President
The Graduate School for the Creation of New Photonics Industries
Program Officers
Human Resources Development Officer
Tsutomu Yabuzaki, Professor
Osaka Electro-Communication University
East Japan Center Officer
Yuji Sano, Executive Engineer
Power Systems Company, Toshiba Corporation
West Japan Center Officer
Shigenori Yagi, Director and Executive Engineer
Central Research Laboratory
Mitsubishi Electric