About RIKEN

Introduction

The K computer

The K computer at RIKEN Kobe campus

RIKEN is Japan’s largest and most comprehensive research organization for basic and applied science and a world leader in a diverse array of scientific disciplines.

For nearly a century since its foundation in 1917, RIKEN has fostered pioneering, innovative research in fields spanning the entire range of the natural sciences, from developmental biology and neuroscience to quantum physics and computer science.

Today, RIKEN encompasses a network of world-class research centers across Japan, with main campuses in Wako, Tsukuba, Yokohama, Kobe and Harima offering state-of-the-art facilities that rank among the best in the world. This high-quality, high-performance research environment, combined with a uniquely bottom-up approach to scientific innovation, has enabled RIKEN to foster an environment in which researchers are able to thrive.

Curiosity knows no borders

Harima campus

SPring-8 synchrotron radiation facility at RIKEN Harima campus

Increasingly, these researchers are international. Since 2003 under the leadership of President Ryoji Noyori, a Nobel prizewinner world-renowned for his pioneering research in chemistry, RIKEN has accelerated its efforts to cultivate a first-class international hub for innovative cross-border, cross-disciplinary collaboration.

The efforts have paid off: with over 500 foreign research personnel from more than 50 different countries and regions, RIKEN is today a truly international research organization.

Science serving society

Global-scale problems — the population explosion, climate change, the depletion of natural resources, and the emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases — threaten the very existence of humankind. Nations, societies and all sectors of human endeavor must join together to find creative solutions of high public value.

Underlying RIKEN’s drive to create an international research hub is a pressing need to confront the world’s most pressing problems through global cooperation.

Partnerships with the private sector put RIKEN’s knowledge in science and technology to the service of industry and ultimately society as a whole. Examples include the RIBA II healthcare robot, designed to provide assistance for nursing care, and a strain of salt-resistant rice, developed at the heavy-ion beam facility in Wako, which will contribute to solving the world’s food problems.

Looking ahead, RIKEN is committed to maintaining its position as Japan’s leading comprehensive research institute through the promotion of highly creative basic research and a renewed focus on innovation.