ICReDD hosted the 12th World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) Science Symposium



 On Thursday, November 23rd, ICReDD hosted the 12th World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) Science Symposium, which was held as a hybrid event at the Frontier Research in Applied Sciences Building in Hokkaido University. The theme for the symposium was “Frontiers of Research Using Informatics: Top-Level Research Powered by Information”.

Every year, the WPI Program holds the WPI Science Symposium for the general public, with a focus on middle and high school students. The goal is to communicate the wonder of science and the cutting-edge research of all WPI research institutes to the next generation, and ICReDD hosted this year’s symposium.

In the morning session, Distinguished Professor Hisashi Yamamoto, Director of Chubu University’s Peptide Research Center gave a special lecture titled “Innovation in our Country Needs Major Reform”.


The morning session continued with a series of three talks from researchers who detailed how they fuse information science with other fields within their own research. Professor Ichigaku Takigawa of ICReDD talked about utilizing machine learning to predict new chemical reactions and Professor Yukie Nagai of Tokyo University’s International Research Center for Neurointelligence (WPI-IRCN) described her work exploring cognitive development by teaching robots how to recognize facial expressions and how to draw.


Team Leader Ryo Tamura of the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) explained how he uses information science to develop a sensor for analyzing and identifying smells. These lectures were followed by a panel discussion with all three researchers and Q&A with audience members, fostering an interactive conversation about how information science is used in top level research.


During the lunch break, promotional videos introducing each research institute were shown at the venue. The afternoon session started off with 1-minute flash talks from representatives of all 18 WPI institutes, including the Advanced Institute for Marine Ecosystem Change (WPI-AIMEC), which was newly established this year.

Then public relations specialists and collaborators of multiple WPI institutes presented the appeal of their institute’s research from a unique perspective while introducing various methods for communicating science to a wide audience, including press releases, illustrations, and outreach events.


In the subsequent panel discussion, speakers discussed the benefits of using different methods to convey the wonder of science and the importance of conveying scientific research in an easy-to-understand fashion.

In addition to the lectures, there was a booth exhibition where all of the WPI institutes throughout Japan showcased their research and were able to interact directly with participants.


The symposium was a lively event with 117 participants onsite and 153 participants online. Moving forward, ICReDD aims to promote interdisciplinary research and contribute to the societal impact of research through similar activities.