Background and Mission
Sustained success in research at universities requires coordination and balance between exploratory research by individual researchers and strategic research focusing on specific themes that reflect the needs of the times. Funding for training and research has traditionally come mainly from management grants allocated to National University Corporations, and competitive grants-in-aid for independent research. To adequately support research from now on, universities will need to acquire funding through both competitive governmental grants and partnerships with industry. While individual researchers will continue to obtain competitive governmental research grants, their interrelationship with the university research system will be increasingly important. To acquire large-scale competitive funds, it is necessary to build a research-support system that simultaneously promotes a top-down, university-wide strategic research system as well as individual research
At Hokkaido University, research organizations (research institutes affiliated with the University, national-level joint-use facilities, and University-wide joint educational and research facilities) have successfully engaged in research following a bottom-up approach. There are, however, limitations to a basic system that acquires funds for strategic research at the scale of individual organizations. Although organizational links are indispensable in undertaking novel strategic research, the University lacked a mechanism for coordinating strategic, University-wide research.
From FY2002 to FY2008, Creative Research Initiative “Sousei” facilitated University-wide collaborative research projects and equipped research facilities through large-scale research grants. To create an even better system for conducting dynamic strategic research, the University linked existing research establishments within its basic infrastructure to establish a new organization, Creative Research Institution (CRIS). CRIS assumed the research-support functions previously executed by Creative Research Initiative “Sousei” to promote research and coordinate and manage University-wide facilities.
CRIS develops and promotes research projects in accordance with the research strategy of Hokkaido University. Through University-wide planning, it helps extend R&D programs into spheres of activity beyond those of existing educational and research departments. As a management organization, CRIS is organized into several units with designated functions and is equivalent in status to other executive offices and management centers in the University.
Outline of CRIS’s Organizational Units
|Evaluation Committee||Composed of a majority of external experts, this committee in consultation with the CRIS Executive Director evaluates the research and management performance of the constituent organizations (research institutes affiliated with the University, national-level joint-use facilities, and University-wide joint educational and research facilities). It evaluates each organization with a Mid-term Evaluation in the 3rd year and a Term Evaluation towards the end of each medium-term goals period. The committee reports evaluation results to the University President for a decision on the organization’s fate during the next medium-term goals period.|
|Steering Committee||This Committee considers matters such as organizational structure, personnel, budget allocation, and work planning related to CRIS’s Research Department, Equipment Management Center, and Research Support Office.|
|Coordination Committee||This Committee coordinates CRIS’s constituent research organizations (targets of the Evaluation Committee), provides them with information on the University’s research strategy, and facilitates bottom-up discussions on research agendas.|
|Research Department||This department performs research-related functions previously undertaken by the former Creative Research Initiative “Sousei” and supports University-wide, trans-disciplinary scientific research.|
|Research Support Office||To identify novel priority research themes, the Research Support Office helps acquire funds for collaborative research projects, and coordinates funding agencies and collaborating organizations.|
|Equipment Management Center||This Center integrates and consolidates instrumental analytical services (formerly offered University-wide by the Center of Instrumental Analysis) and shared-use equipment and laboratories (the Open Facility of the former CRIS).|
|Task Force for Research Strategy||This unit aims to strengthen the research strategy & planning and research support functions at Hokkaido University. Under direct supervision of the Executive Office for Research Strategy, it strives to create efficient research environments through various activities, from supporting individual researchers to reinforcing the R&D management system, in order to build a globally competitive research promotion system at the University.|
Duties and Functions of CRIS
- Evaluates the performance of its constituent research organizations.
- Advances research in fields given priority under the University’s research strategy and coordinates cross-departmental research in those fields.
- Promotes new priority research themes
- Facilitates commissioned instrumental analyses and maintains the Open Facility system.
- Conducts collaborative research projects conceived by the CRIS Research Support Office and the Center for Innovation and Business Promotion (related to intellectual property management and industry-university collaborations).