Founded in 2009, the Asian Science and Technology Pioneering Institutes of Research and Education (ASPIRE) League is comprised of Tokyo Institute of Technology, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and Tsinghua University in China. Established to form a hub for innovation in Asia, the consortium aims to contribute to the realization of a sustainable world through the advancement of science and technology and the development of human resources. The ASPIRE League pursues its objectives through research collaborations and student exchanges.



ASPIRE League Activities


● ASPIRE League Member Universities

● ASPIRE League Activities

   -  ASPIRE League Partnership Seed Fund

   -  ASPIRE League Research Grant

   -  ASPIRE Forum

   -  ASPIRE Undergraduate Research Academy

● Exchanges with other Consortia

● Contact


ASPIRE League Member Universities

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology(HKUST)outer

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology(KAIST)outer

Nanyang Technological University(NTU)outer

Tsinghua University(Tsinghua)outer

Tokyo Institute of Technology(Tokyo Tech)outer


ASPIRE League Activities


ASPIRE League Partnership Seed Fund

In 2019, the ASPIRE League launched the ASPIRE League Partnership Seed Fund, which aims to foster deeper research collaboration within the League, and to build on the research strengths of member universities to create greater impact. The scheme encourages researchers from the League’s member universities to conduct research on topics of mutual interest, with a view to make joint research proposals to external funding sources for the next phase of their research, and to develop valuable long-term relationships. Seed funding is provided by each participating university to its own researchers in order to support collaborative research that conforms to the objectives of the ASPIRE League.

In the 2019 cycle, a total of five joint research projects were selected for funding under the Partnership Seed Fund, and three Tokyo Tech researchers have been involved in three of the selected projects. The ASPIRE League is now accepting project proposals for the 2020 cycle of the ASPIRE League Partnership Seed Fund.


Requirements and Eligibility
1) Each application must involve at least two participating universities. Participating universities in the 2020 cycle are KAIST, Nanyang Technological University, Tokyo Tech, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. At the invitation of researchers from participating universities, Tsinghua University faculty may join in the proposal using their own research budget; however, Tsinghua University will not directly fund Seed Fund projects in 2020.
2) Full-time Tokyo Tech faculty members with the titles of Professor, Associate Professor, Lecturer, or Assistant Professor are eligible to participate in the proposals. However, full-time Assistant Professors of Tokyo Tech are not eligible to serve as Principal Investigator (PI) for a proposal.
Project Implementation Period
Projects should commence in or after September 2020. The project period must be between 12 and 18 months.
Funding Amount
To support collaborative research, Tokyo Tech will provide funding to its own faculty members in the amount of between JPY 500,000 and JPY 800,000 per successful project.
Project Proposal Submission
The Principal Investigator (PI) of the project team should submit the project proposal as well as the other required documents in a PDF file to
PIs will be notified of the results in August 2020.
Application deadline
Thursday, 30 April, 2020
ASPIRE League Secretariat
Toku Hirasawa, International Cooperation Division, Tokyo Tech
(Ext 3016)
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


  • Call for proposal 2020 PDF
  • Application form 2020 Word

    ASPIRE League Research Grant (Phased out in FY2019)

    A unique feature of ASPIRE League activities is the establishment of satellite laboratories. Since 2011, Tokyo Tech has offered grant funding to support research collaboration and encouraged researchers from member universities to open their labs to one another as satellite labs. Between FY2011 and FY2019, twenty six research projects in various fields received funding through the ASPIRE League Research Grant. Offered for research collaborations involving Tokyo Tech faculty and co-researchers from the ASPIRE League member universities, the grant has supported research exchanges which include students as well as faculty. Such inter-league exchanges continue among many, even after the grant period has expired.


    The ASPIRE League Research Grant is offered for innovative collaborative research, conducted by faculty from Tokyo Tech and co-researchers from ASPIRE League member universities, which aims to contribute to a sustainable society through the advancement of science and technology in Asia and the development of human resources.
    Tokyo Tech Professors, Assistant Professors, Associate Professors (or above)
    Research period
    May 1- March 31 of the following year
    Grant amount
    3,000,000 JPY (maximum)
    Note: The grant amount indicated is not necessarily the amount that will be awarded.
    Mid December
    Application deadline
    Late January


    For details, please refer to:ASPIRE League Research Grantouter


    ASPIRE Forum(held annually in July)

    Held each year in July, the ASPIRE Forum brings together vice presidents from member universities to share presentations on their universities' activities during the past year, including reports on inter-league exchanges and research collaborations. The Forum encompasses the Student Workshop, the Symposium, and the Vice Presidents and Senior Staff Meeting.


    • ASPIRE Forum Student Workshop

    • An exchange program for graduate students, the Student Workshop is comprised of lectures and site visits based on a particular theme set by the university hosting the workshop. Participants are assigned to working groups comprised of students from each of the four sci-tech universities of Europe's IDEA League consortium together with counterparts from ASPIRE League member universities. (As the host university of the event arranges the workshop program and themes, presentation topics and other details may vary.)

      For details, please refer to :ASPIRE Forum Student Workshopouter


    • ASPIRE Symposium

    • Organized around a designated theme, the symposium brings together researchers of the member universities to share presentations and reports on research collaborations under the ASPIRE League Research Grant.


    • Vice Presidents and Senior Staff Meeting (VPSSM)

    • Vice presidents and senior staff from the member universities meet to share reports, exchange ideas, and discuss future activities of the ASPIRE League.

      For details of Symposium and VPSSM, please refer to:ASPIRE Forumouter


    About 1 week in July (2020:June 29 to July 3, 2020)
    ASPIRE League Member University (2020: hosted by Tokyo Tech)
    Theme designated by host university.
    【2020】Better Living for All through Innovative Technologies
    Student Workshop
    Graduate students of ASPIRE League and IDEA League. 5 Students from each member university.
    Researchers specialized in the designated forum theme from member universities
    ASPIRE League Research Grant Principal Researcher(s)
    Vice presidents and senior staff of member universities
    ASPIRE League Secretariat (Tokyo Tech)
    Application for Student Workshop
    Beginning April (2020)
    Deadline for Application
    Mid May (2020)


    For references:

    Report of ASPIRE Forum 2019outer

    Tokyo Tech hosts ASPIRE Forum 2019outer

    Report of ASPIRE Forum 2018pdf

    Tokyo Tech delegation attends ASPIRE Forum 2018outer

    Report of ASPIRE Forum 2017pdf

    Tokyo Tech delegation attends ASPIRE Forum 2017outer

    Report of ASPIRE Forum 2016pdf

    Tokyo Tech delegation attends ASPIRE Forum 2016outer

    Report of ASPIRE Forum 2015pdf

    Executive Vice President Maruyama attends ASPIRE Forum 2015 outer


    ASPIRE Undergraduate Research Academy (held annually in July)

    A four-day exchange program for undergraduates, the UGRA includes site visits, group work, and lectures organized around a broad theme. Participants also make presentations and gather information relevant to their own research interests.


    4-5 days in July 【2019】June 30 - July 5, 2019
    ASPIRE League Member University
    【2019】Host university:KAIST
    Designated by host university.
    【2019】Better Living: Innovations and Technologies to Improve Lives (Architecture, Environment, AI, Robotics, Health, Medical Engineering, etc)
    Undergraduates of ASPIRE League member universities
    (For Tokyo Tech participants, preference given to 4th year students whose research topics are decided)
    Five students of each member university
    Mid April
    Deadline for Application
    Mid May


    For details, please refer to:ASPIRE Undergraduate Research Academyouter



    Exchanges with other consortia

    The ASPIRE League and the IDEA League signed a joint declaration in 2009 agreeing to accept each other's students as participants in student exchange activities. Since then, Tokyo Tech students have participated in summer programs operated by IDEA League member universities (RWTH Aachen University in Germany, Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands, ETH Zurich in Switzerland, Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, and Politecnico di Milano in Italy).


    4 days to 1 week in July or September
    June 29- July 3, 2020 (TU Delft with Politecnico di Milano and ETH Zurich)
    July 13-17, 2020 (Politecnico di Milano)
    July 13-17, 2020 (RWTH Aachen and ETH Zurich)
    August 24-28, 2020 (ETH Zurich)
    September 9-18, 2020 (Chalmers)
    September 14-18, 2020 (RWTH Aachen with TU Delft)
    September 14-18, 2020 (RWTH Aachen)
    IDEA League member university
    Delft University of Technology
    Politecnico di Milano
    ETH Zurich
    RWTH Aachen
    Chalmers University
    Theme designated by host university.
    Computational Design for Additive Manufacturing (TU Delft with Politecnico di Milano and ETH Zurich)
    Science, Technology, Society and Wikipedia (Politecnico di Milano)
    Infrastructures of Science(RWTH Aachen and ETH Zurich)
    Reducing Society’s Environmental Footprint(ETH Zurich)
    The Impact of Technology and Innovation on the Transforming City Regions(RWTH Aachen with TU Delft)
    Mobility Concepts(RWTH Aachen)
    Driver Behaviour(Chalmers)
    Master's and PhD students of ASPIRE League and IDEA League member universities.
    1 student per program
    Preliminary screening and selection of students will be made by Tokyo Tech. Student nominations will then be sent to the IDEA League Secretariat for final participant selection.
    Mid April (Tentative)
    Deadline for Application
    Mid May (Tentative)



    International Cooperation Division
    (South Bldg 6, 3Fl, 301B, Mailbox S6-6)