In the development of academic research in our nation, the system of joint usage of the large-scale facilities, sharing research data, and collaborative research have contributed to the creative and cutting-edge academic research. As the facilities of the research institutes in national universities have been made available for these collaborative research works for further promotion of academic research in Japan, it is important to implement system for flexible utilization of facilities at domestic universities by researchers.
The Working Group for Academic Research Facilities established under the Council for Science and Technology issued a report about joint usage of research facilities at national, public and private universities. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) established the Joint Usage/Research Center certification in July 2008 in order to strengthen the foundation of academic research and promote it across a wide range of disciplines by creating a system through which researchers from all over Japan can share facilities and materials to conduct their research. MEXT subsequently promotes establishing research infrastructure platform by the alliance of the institutes which provide public share-use of cutting-edge equipment.
The system of share-use of research infrastructure can promote creative research and establishment of the research hub through the collaboration with the wider research community. As of April 1, 2017, 105 Joint Usage/Research Centers have been approved at 53 universities (28 national, 25 public and private).
Reprinted and translated from MEXT official site