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NII and NIMS Sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Coordination and Cooperation/Promoting Open Science through Collaborative Data Platform Research and Development

The National Institute of Informatics (NII) (Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo; Masaru Kitsuregawa, Director General) and the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) (Tsukuba, Ibaraki; Kazuhito Hashimoto, President) signed a memorandum of understanding to promote coordination and cooperation as of June 1, 2017.


NII Director General Kitsuregawa (left) and NIMS Executive Vice President Nagano shaking hands after signing the memorandum at NII on May 30


The two institutes will collaborate on R&D related to the technologies and operational methods that will be required for building a leading data platform using the facilities and human resources of the NII Research Center for Open Science and Data Platform (Center Director: Associate Professor Kazutsuna Yamaji of the Digital Content and Media Sciences Research Division) and the NIMS Research and Services Division of the Materials Data and Integrated System (MaDIS) (Division Director: NIMS Executive Vice President Yuko Nagano). They hope that promoting open science will contribute to the academic, cultural and industrial fields.

NII is an inter-university research institute committed to promoting open science in Japan. It has developed the "JAIRO Cloud" to provide shared repository services to universities and research institutes, facilitating their open access activity. In order to strengthen these services and promote the sharing of research data, NII established the Research Center for Open Science and Data Platform on April 1, 2017. Main mission of the center is to develop and operate three information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure--research data management, publication and discovery platforms--to support research workflow and life cycle of research data.

NIMS is a designated national R&D institute committed to promoting innovative research in materials science. It has founded MaDIS on April 1, 2017 to build an "integrated materials system" linking ICTs with materials science and promoting R&D related to a "materials data platform". The MaDIS staff will develop a materials data platform that will store and popularize research results and facilitate creation of new knowledge.

NII and NIMS agree on the importance of promoting open science in Japan. Their shared vision--and their reason for signing the memorandum of understanding--is to join forces in promoting open science and thereby accelerate their research activities. The two institutes are expected to leverage their different strengths synergistically. NII has a general-purpose, large-scale data platform, while NIMS hosts a strong basic research data platform. By helping NIMS to widen its data platform, NII will ensure specific demands and case studies which are crucial at system development. In turn, by collaborating with NII, NIMS will improve its services related to materials research. Hence, the cooperation between NII and NIMS is expected to yield new methods of promoting open science, which is rapidly growing internationally.

About the National Institute of Informatics (NII)

NII is Japan's only academic research institute dedicated to the new discipline of informatics. Its mission is to "create future value" in informatics. NII conducts both long-term basic research and problem-solving, practical research to address various aspects of informatics, ranging from fundamental theories to the latest topics, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and information security. As an inter-university research institute, NII develops and operates academic information infrastructure, including the Science Information Network 5 (SINET5). NII also provides specific academic information and data platforms.

About the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)

NIMS is Japan's only national research institute specializing in R&D related to materials science. It was founded in April 2001 by merging the National Research Institute for Metals and the National Institute for Research in Inorganic Materials, under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Within its fourth mid- to long-term project, which was started in April 2016, NIMS is further strengthening its research capabilities and international competitiveness. Its core goal is to "speedily leverage research results for the good of society".

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