COI is short for Center of Innovation, a program of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Under this program, national universities are required to contribute to industry as core institutions for ground-breaking innovation.
KIT established a Health Sciences Innovation and Promotion Center in 2013. To tackle the various problems caused by the aging of the Japanese population and decline in the birth rate in recent years, this center has been engaged in the following:
(1) Research and development into the establishment of living environments, such as residential spaces, facilities and appliances which enable the elderly and dementia sufferers to live independently in safety; and
(2) Research and development into equipment that will allow them to maintain their links with family and community while remaining in their own homes, and support them with social participation and communication.
In November 2015, KIT launched a Green Innovation Center, with the aim of establishing a center for research in the area of green innovation, in close cooperation with the university’s programs for the strengthening of green-innovation functions. It will achieve this aim by further developing the outcomes of the “High-Efficiency Energy Use” initiatives it has pursued to date, participating in the “Kyoto Next-Generation Energy System Creation Strategy” currently being pursued in the Kyoto region, and drawing researchers together.
Further, as a program for the strengthening of the university’s functions in the area of high-molecular-weight fiber materials, KIT, centered on its high-molecular-weight research groups and in conjunction with five overseas universities based in the UK, France, Hungary, Canada, and Singapore, is attracting and inviting units of researchers that are involved in advanced research into new materials development. The specific research themes are described below. KIT will continue to expand its network of counterpart universities in this area.