Ibaraki University has laid out "Research Policy" to encourage and promote research efforts as the basis of all academic disciplines. The policy has been constructed with an emphasis placed upon the following 3 areas:
- Fundamental research
- Promotion and development of distinctive research
- Regional cooperation and social contribution
A number of research projects have been conducted under the conditions where the unique characteristics of regional communities and the distinctive personalities of professors are fully maximized as part of the overall research promotion strategies.
Unique Area of Research 1: Applied Atomic Sciences
This is an academic discipline that aims to conduct basic as well as industrially applied research by utilizing the apparatus found in J-PARC (Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex located in Tokaimura, Ibaraki Prefecture), a high-intensity proton accelerator facility, through experiments on a variety of quantum beams. Fully taking advantage of the unique features of Tokaimura, where a multitude of research institutes and companies are gathered, "Frontier Research Center for Applied Atomic Sciences, Ibaraki University" has been established as the center of global research and education to promote industry-academia collaboration. The research center aims to bring new developments to the university-wide research efforts being expended at Ibaraki University, while producing unprecedented research results in the fields of life science and materials science.
On the basis of life science and materials science, being the building blocks of science and technology in the 21st century, the research center is contributing to the development and application of applied atomic sciences to a variety of industries through the following research schemes:
- Research on the atomic-scale structure and function of materials using a variety of quantum beams
- Development of basic research on atomic sciences
- Strengthening cooperation with enterprises and research institutions in Ibaraki Prefecture
The research center consists of the following three divisions.
- Research Division
Research on the structure and function of materials that utilize various quantum beams is conducted on the basis of materials science, life science, and applied nuclear science. Currently research projects on biomolecular transformation and advanced materials with quantum beams are being carried out.
- Prefectural BL Research Division
Research on the industrial use of neutron analysis results is conducted, while the two neutron analysis devices installed in J-PARC by Ibaraki Prefecture are operated, maintained, managed, and enhanced. In addition, relevant research projects are being carried out by professors from the university, while engineers and researchers specializing in neutron beams are being trained.
- Government-Industry-Academia Partnership Development Division
Efforts are being made to share research results with regional communities towards new innovations through government-industry-academia collaboration.
Unique Area of Research 2: Sustainability Studies / Global Change Adaptation Sciences
"The Institute for Global Change Adaptation Science (ICAS)" has been established as a participating university in the collaborated research entity for sustainability studies, where university-wide research efforts are being promoted. With the central theme of adaptation to climate changes, research and education that integrate humanities and sciences are being advocated in order to ensure sustainability of environment, society, and human beings. The expertise of researchers in a wide range of disciplines at Ibaraki University is fully maximized to produce unique and significant research outcomes.
ICAS has the following 3 goals.
- Anticipation of the scope of impact caused by climate changes and development of adaptive technology and policy
- Research on a sustainable vision for Ibaraki as well as other Asian regions
- Cultivation of human resources responsible for sustainability studies and climate change adaptation science
Based on these goals, the institute is making a wide range of research and education efforts focused on climate change adaptation science.
ICAS consists of the following 3 research divisions.
- Division of Engineering and Applied Development for Adaptation
The purpose is to develop a system of adaptive technology to ensure a safe society. Accordingly, research efforts are being made on the application of IT technology to global as well as Asia-Pacific regional impact assessment, complex disaster impact assessment, adaptation technology, environmental assessment, and disaster prevention. Further, collaborated research projects with Vietnam, Thailand, and the South Pacific island nations are being carried out.
- Division of Agricultural Development for Climate Change Adaptation
The purpose is to develop a system that maintains the dynamic nature and well-being of ecological populations and communities as well as the stable supply of food resources to ensure the survival of mankind. Accordingly, research efforts are being made on land use in agriculture and farming adapted to climate changes, development of adaptive growing methods, and biogeochemical cycles in soil and water. Further, collaborated research and investigation projects are being carried out in countries like China and Indonesia.
- Division of Living Zone Planning and Policy Research
The purpose is to systematize the adaptation policy and clarify the vision for adaptation to ensure quality of life and a cozy, comfortable living zone. Accordingly, research efforts are being made on adaptation strategies that help set up plans for adaptation to climate changes and ensure a comfortable living zone. Further, investigation and research projects are being carried out in countries like Vietnam and Thailand.