For the last few years Tohoku University has ranked among the top six universities in the world for Material Science. It was ranked no.2 nationally last year and no.1 in 2012. On September 2, the university officially opened a research center that aims to bring about industry-academic collaborations to research and develop materials with new properties. The ceremony was attended by approximately 200 university and company officials.
Aptly named the Materials Solutions Center(MaSC) in English, the center will draw on the expertise of both academic research and industry demands to produce ideas and solutions in Material Science. As a disaster restoration project, the center will also contribute to the revival of Tohoku by creating new industry and employment opportunities in the region.
MaSC has been established with the cooperation of the university headquarters and three research institutes; the Institute for Materials Research, Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials and Institute of Fluid Science, all of which operate from the Katahira Campus. The five storey MaSC premises is also situated at Katahira, and houses structural analysis systems and other state of the art equipment.
The three main research areas are social infrastructure, electronics and energy. MaSC will ask for proposals in these areas, and selected projects will work from the center, using facilities and equipment. There are currently 13 projects that have already been chosen to work out of MaSC, including one group researching the development of high-capacity, high-power lithium-ion batteries. This creative hub in Sendai's 'Material Valley' will be the birth place of many new innovations, and help to raise Japan's profile in material science on the world stage.