Weaving Information into Knowledge
Informatics to Create Future Value on the Wheels of "Research" and "Service"
The National Institute of Informatics (NII) under the Inter-University Research Institute Corporation Research Organization of Information and Systems is the only academic research institute in Japan dedicated to creating future value in informatics, a new academic ﬁeld.
From the basic theory of informatics to cutting-edge ﬁelds such as artiﬁcial intelligence, big data, internet of things, and information security, NII carries out long-term basic research as well as practical studies that attempt to address current social issues.
Furthermore, NII is undertaking diverse services, including development and operation of the Science Information NETwork (SINET) and other essential academic information infrastructures used by the entire academic community in Japan for research and education.
It is also providing academic content and service platforms, as well as improving research data infrastructure.
NII is thus committed to services based on leading-edge technologies through mutual feedback of knowledge obtained from those services and from academic studies.
Through these activities, NII is committed to human resource development and social/international contribution, and conducts its operations with an emphasis on collaboration and cooperation between universities, research institutes, and private sector businesses in Japan and globally.
Further-more, NII is engaged in graduate education with the aim of fostering original world-class academic research and pioneering advanced ﬁelds of study.
Comprehensive research from basic theory to cutting-edge technology
Merging computer science and information engineering with the humanities, social sciences, life sciences, and many other disciplines, informatics is a new domain of study that is involved in all aspects of society. Having established four Research Divisions and 15 Research Centers, NII is carrying out research comprehensively on everything from the basic theory of informatics to cutting-edge fields such as artificial intelligence, big data, internet of things, and information security. NII is also focusing its efforts into international exchange and collaboration with overseas universities and research institutes, as well as collaboration between industry, government, and academia, in order to help implement its research achievements in the real world.
Supporting academic research and education
In collaboration with universities and research institutions, as well as research communities, NII builds and operates the Science Information NETwork (SINET). Leveraging SINET5's ultra-high speed, high reliability, robustness, and multifunctionality, NII contributes to academic research and education by developing and providing an authentication federation platform, cloud adoption and utilization supports, and an academic content platform, as well as by working to advance open science. In addition, NII Security Operation Collaboration Services help build the framework enabling national universities and other academic institutions to quickly respond to cybersecurity incidents and other issues.
Fostering new leaders for an advanced information society
The graduate program at NII is carried out in three ways: (1) participating in SOKENDAI (the Graduate University for Advanced Studies), (2) collaborating with other graduate schools, and (3) accepting research students for special collaboration. SOKENDAI is the first graduate university in Japan established to foster original, world-class academic research that transcends traditional disciplines and to pioneer advanced fields of study that create new lines of scientific inquiry. NII has joined with SOKENDAI to establish the Department of Informatics in the School of Multidisciplinary Sciences in order to offer graduate programs with three-year and five-year Ph.D. courses. The Department of Informatics encompasses six research fields; at the Department, students can take lectures and obtain research advice according to their field of study.
Collaboration with Industry, Government, and Academia
NII carries out goal-oriented research and development to address real social issues and fosters collaboration between industry, government, and academia to help implement its research achievements in the real world. NII actively promotes collaborative work between industries, local governments, and universities by using a system that includes open calls for collaborative research, comprehensive partnerships, and joint research units that are set up to operate special research laboratories under corporate partnerships. To create new collaboration and licensing opportunities for its research accomplishments, NII holds seminars to present the seeds of its cutting-edge research and to discuss corporate and social needs. It is also engaged in academic consulting by researchers and human resource development for the IT sector.
To promote organization-wide international research exchange with overseas universities and research institutes, NII has set up the Global Liaison Office (GLO), which conducts various activities, including forming international exchange agreements through Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and managing the MOU Grant for research exchange assistance, and the NII International Internship Program. In addition, NII holds the NII Shonan Meeting, a series of seminars where top-class researchers from around the world come to Japan for intensive discussions on the field of informatics. NII is also actively accepting researchers through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Japanese-French Laboratory for Informatics (JFLI).