Message from the Director
The various forms of energy that sustain the existence and activities of humanity and the matter generating them were created in the ingenious and subtle workings in nature, some of which seem to have been incredibly fortuitous, such as the birth of the universe̶ estimated to have occurred 13.8 billion years ago and the later emergence of the sun, the earth, and life itself. Reflecting on all this, we could be requested to understand how such energy and matter have been produced in universe and how such subtle mechanisms of nature have been existed, and then to pursue the safe forms of 21-century energy that excels in terms of both "quality" and "quantity".
The Institute of Advanced Energy was established in May 1996 for the purpose of conducting energy science by probing into the laws and basic principles of nature, as well as investigating new, next-generation forms of energy under the development of state-of-the-art technology to utilize them for practical applications. For this purpose, the institute's 14 sections are organized as three divisions, each dedicated to one of the three basic kinds of energy processes: energy generation, energy conversion, and energy utilization. On top of this, we set up the Laboratory for Complex Energy Processes. This laboratory organically integrates the 14 disciplines to enable us to tackle complex research projects and academically demanding research challenges. Already, this unique lab has produced a wealth of research findings. Furthermore, we actively pursue the internationalization of research exchanges and participate in industry‒academia‒government collaboration to channel the fruits of our research back into society for the public good. The institute is also in charge of the Graduate School of Energy Science's Cooperating Chair, which conducts student education and trains researchers in a leading-edge research environment.
In 2011, the institute began operating as a "Joint Usage / Research Center" under the name Zero-Emission Energy System, applying the energy ideals of the institute to the challenge of "zero emissions". Under this initiative, the institute employs its broad variety of resources to promote collaboration/cooperation and the formation of communities across multiple academic disciplines. As it happens, the research center was launched around the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake, an event that spurred Japan to look more deeply at the question of energy, and ever since the center has grown apace with national efforts to recover from the disaster. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone for their support and cooperation thus far in the efforts of this unique research center.
At this point of the 21st century, scientific research is at an important crossroads, both in Japan and internationally,because the integration of different disciplines is now indispensable to achieving significant development, just as the cross-stitching of different two vertical and horizontal threads is essential to creating a beautifully patterned fabric. The integration of different disciplines is no easy matter, however. It cannot be achieved just by the limited staff of one research institute. New knowledge and new people must be constantly brought in from the outside to stimulate spirited debate and bold initiatives. Then through such efforts, new ideas are developed and applied in the real world, to explore new value, which then returns to the institute. Integration can be truly achieved only through a "circular" process such as this. Internationally too, as an energy research adopts assorted new ideas and technological innovations in the pursuit of scientific advancement, what we select and what we aim at are the important key issue. Keeping this firmly in mind, everyone at the institute works together and contribute actively to discovering insights, without limiting themselves to existing methods and concepts. Through exhaustive debate within a broad context that encompasses the whole of society, the institute is constructing a foundation for a new style of energy science and technology suited to 21st-century needs. As we make this effort, we look forward to your support and cooperation.
Director Yasuaki Kishimoto