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.

Duties and Functions of CRIS

  1. Evaluates the performance of its constituent research organizations.
  2.  Advances research in fields given priority under the University’s research strategy and coordinates cross-departmental research in those fields.
  3. Promotes new priority research themes
  4. Facilitates commissioned instrumental analyses and maintains the Open Facility system.
  5. 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).