NII SHONAN MEETING Reaches 100th Milestone/Intensive Discussions by World's Top Researchers
The National Institute of Informatics (NII; Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Dr. Masaru KITSUREGAWA, Director General), one of four organizations that constitute the Research Institution for Information and Systems, will host the 100th seminar of its international seminar series "NII SHONAN MEETING" from October 30 to November 2. The NII SHONAN MEETING is aimed at solving problems in the disciple of informatics as well as contributing to the internationalization of the discipline. In NII SHONAN MEETING seminars, invited participants decide the topic through the discussion among themselves and create cutting-edge research, including international joint research projects. NII SHONAN MEETING seminars have been opportunities to practice this unique way of creating new research themes. The NII SHONAN MEETING is co-hosted by the Kanagawa prefectural government based on a partnership agreement, and all its seminars have been held at the Shonan Village Center (Hayama-machi, Kanagawa Prefecture, photo below) as the permanent venue, which is the core facility of the Shonan Village, a lodging-type meeting place for international exchange developed by the Kanagawa prefectural government.
100 international seminars in six and a half years
Unique way of creating new research themes/international joint research projects
Co-hosted by the Kanagawa prefectural government
NII launched the NII SHONAN MEETING in February 2011. The objective of this international seminar series is to promote informatics and informatics research at an international level, by providing the world's premier venue for top scientists, promising young researchers, and practitioners to come together in Asia to exchange their knowledge, discuss their research findings, and explore cutting-edge topics in the discipline of informatics.
The NII SHONAN MEETING follows the style of the well-known "Dagstuhl Seminars," the best seminar series in the discipline of informatics held by the German non-profit research institute Schloss Dagstuhl Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (Leibniz Center for Informatics). Participating top researchers of the world stay together at the Shonan Village Center, which offers a combination of facilities for conferences, training, and lodging in a resort-like setting, and engage in intensive discussions. One of the distinctive features of the NII SHONAN MEETING is its unique conference style, which is that participants set the theme to be discussed in the discipline of informatics and then make the direction of research clear by discussing that theme intensively. In order to encourage the participation of foreign researchers, the NII SHONAN MEETING Administrative Office and the Shonan Village Center staff handle various activities, including dispatching invitations, arranging accommodations, and preparing venues on meeting days on behalf of seminar organizers.
Chart: NII SHONAN MEETING Scheme
In the 100th seminar, 3 researchers from Japan, Korea, and India act as organizers, and 29 researchers from 9 countries discuss the proposed theme "Geometric Graphs: Theory and Applications". The total number of participants in the 100 SHONAN MEETING seminars will reach approximately 2500, which includes participants from 56 countries and regions. The NII SHONAN MEETING has drawn attention nationally, as well as internationally, as an opportunity to create new research themes.
The results of each seminar are organized as the "NII Shonan Meeting Report" by the seminar's organizers and posted on the NII SHONAN MEETING website. The fruits of discussions include not only the creation of new research themes but also papers accepted by various international conferences and grants received from foundations and institutions such as the NSF, JST, and JSPS. The networks among participants built during seminars have helped form new research communities and triggered the commencement of new joint research projects. Thus, the NII SHONAN MEETING spurs international research activities.
NII and the Kanagawa prefectural government signed a partnership agreement in 2011, and the Kanagawa prefectural government provides the facilities of the Shonan Village Center as a permanent venue for the NII SHONAN MEETING. In order to introduce the latest developments of research in the discipline of informatics to the residents of the prefecture, they also have co-hosted a NII SHONAN MEETING memorial lecture six times at the Shonan Village Center.
In 1985, the Kanagawa prefectural government formulated the "Shonan Village Basic Concept". The Shonan Village, designed to serve as "a 21st century meeting place for international exchange with accommodations in a rich historical and cultural setting", was opened in May 1994.
NII actively works to promote international exchanges amongst its researchers and students and to make international collaboration a key element of its function as a center for informatics research, as well as to communicate research findings internationally. NII strives to make an international contribution to the discipline of informatics. It seeks to create Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements with overseas universities and research institutes and to engage in joint international research projects with such partners, thereby enabling researchers and students to benefit from deeper international exchange experiences. To make these kinds of international exchange efforts as effective as possible, NII promotes an international internship program and MOU grants system to facilitate international research exchange in a wide range of fields.
NII is planning to host a special NII SHONAN MEETING Memorial Lecture that commemorates the NII SHONAN MEETING's "100" milestone in the academic year 2018-2019.