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

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.

Requirements and Eligibility

1) Each application must involve at least two participating universities. Participating universities in the 2024 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 2024.
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 2024. 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 2024.

Application deadline

Sunday, 12 May, 2024

Application document


ASPIRE League Secretariat
International Engagement Division, Tokyo Tech
(Ext 3016)
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

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.

Application deadline

Late January

Past Research Collaboration


Held each year in late June or early 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.

About 1 week in late June or early July
ASPIRE League Member University
Theme designated by host university
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)
Past Activities Reports
Tokyo Tech News

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 Forum

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 Workshop


4-5 days in late June or early July


ASPIRE League Member University


Designated by host university


Graduate students of ASPIRE League and IDEA League. 5 Students from each member university.

Application deadline

mid May

Past Participants' Reports(PDF)

Report of Forum

Information on Tokyo Tech Website

ASPIRE Undergraduate Research Academy

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


ASPIRE League Member University


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 May

Past Participants' Reports

For details, please refer to:ASPIRE Undergraduate Research Academy

ASPIRE Undergraduate Engineering Design Challenge

Undergraduate students of the ASPIRE League can learn the basics of engineering design in this workshop. For Tokyo Tech participants, the course is offered as a 2-credit International Engineering Design Project Fundamentals S course. All participants will make a presentation on the final day of the program.


5 days in late June


ASPIRE League Member University


Undergraduates of ASPIRE League member universities(Five students of each member university)

Application deadline

Mid May

Activities Reports

Participants' Reports

Information on Tokyo Tech Website


Exchanges with other consortia

IDEA League Summer School

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 (Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands, ETH Zurich in Switzerland, RWTH Aachen University in Germany, Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and Politecnico di Milano in Italy).


4 days to 1 week from July to October


IDEA League member university
Delft University of Technology
Politecnico di Milano
ETH Zurich
RWTH Aachen
Chalmers University


Theme designated by host university


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.

Application deadline

Mid May

IDEA League News

【2023 NEWS】Report(PDF) IDEA League (RWTH Aachen Summer School) 2023

For details, please refer to:IDEA League Summer School


Planning and Coordination Group,
International Engagement Division

Tel 03-5734-3016