About Tokyo Tech

2022 New Year's message

Eternal incompleteness inspires creation and innovation

2022 New Year's message2022 New Year's message

Kazuya Masu
President, Tokyo Tech

As we welcome in the year of the tiger in 2022, the Institute looks to the future equipped with agility, poise, determination, and commitment.

Despite the waves of apprehension and uncertainty that attempted to wash over us in the past year, the Tokyo Tech community emerged from various challenges stronger than ever. Like so many times in the Institute's history, we embraced the unknown and demonstrated that these intimidating crests can be surmounted with courage, flexibility, creativity, and compassion for one another. I admire greatly the students, faculty, and staff of Tokyo Tech for their unrelenting, fearless drive to push forward and create a better future, regardless of the circumstances.

With all that we accomplished together in just twelve short months, I have no doubt that 2022 will be another year of sustainable continuity and positive change.

Universities in times of transformation

As the world indefatigably seeks solutions to COVID-19, climate change, and other global issues that affect us all, it has become abundantly clear that adjusted approaches and renewed policies by governments, institutions, and businesses alone will not suffice. Each one of us must examine how shifts in our own attitudes and lifestyles can help achieve truly lasting improvements. Considering the current situation, this may seem like an uncomfortable task when confronted by oneself. However, in an open, creative environment where everyone supports one another, change suddenly appears more feasible and desirable.

In this era of accelerated development, universities can provide this environment — a motivating ecosystem where people discuss and envision a better future, and then together create the academic knowledge that helps transform this vision into reality. In the runup to its 150th anniversary in 2031, Tokyo Tech is consistently building and enhancing its environment through agile management reforms that aim to support and develop people, create together with old and new partners, and expand the Institute as a leading science and technology hub, while proactively transferring the fruits of its efforts back to the public. With a firm focus on environmental, social, and governance factors, a united Team Tokyo Tech continues to make progress, anticipating exciting transformations not only in the next decade, but also in the more distant future.

Kazuya Masu, President, Tokyo Tech

Towards global environmental conservation

The global goal to go green by 2050 is gaining momentum, and the Institute is also dedicating efforts to conquer this paramount challenge. In 2021, Tokyo Tech consolidated its energy research resources to establish the Laboratory for Zero-Carbon Energy, which will help realize a carbon-neutral society through innovative research and development of non-fossil energy sources and usage systems, and contribute to sustainable economic growth that is in harmony with the environment.

The InfoSyEnergy Research and Education Consortium, formulated in 2019, combines informatics with the social sciences and the development of elemental technologies to execute energy-related research and education programs together with the business sector. The result is advanced research in broad, multi-scope solutions that include renewable solar and hydrogen energy sources and the efficient production, storage, transportation, and use of zero-carbon energy.

Actively supporting students who embrace challenges

As a comprehensive science and engineering university, Tokyo Tech's educational goal is to cultivate goal-driven leaders who take on challenges in science and technology to advance society.

The Institute's characteristic wedge-shaped education system flexibly supports its students as they embrace various challenges. Tokyo Tech's liberal arts program — both a long-lasting tradition and a strong foundation that encourages students to apply their specialized knowledge and skills in a professional environment — runs parallel to the Institute's technical curricula at all levels of study.

While inviting students to explore their own enthusiasm for starting and running a business, entrepreneurship is also viewed at the Institute as a critical path towards value creation. Through its multiple entrepreneurship programs, Tokyo Tech strives to nurture confident professionals who carve out their own path, create their own agenda, and ultimately, bring about a paradigm shift in society.

Tokyo Tech values the pursuit of individual passions, but it also recognizes interaction between people from diverse backgrounds as essential for achieving innovative solutions and uncovering new truths. In 2021, Hisao & Hiroko Taki Plaza (Taki Plaza), the new student exchange hub on Ookayama Campus, began full-scale operations to encourage this kind of interaction. A number of student-led exchange events have already been planned and implemented successfully despite the abiding challenges posed by COVID-19, indicating that the Tokyo Tech community is excited and motivated to realize the originally intended vision for the facility — a place where international and Japanese students connect, deepen ties, and create a better future together.

Student-led event celebrating opening of Taki Plaza

Student-led event celebrating opening of Taki Plaza

Institute-led efforts to enhance the broader community

One of the four cornerstones of Tokyo Tech strategic plan 2018-2023 is the pursuit of institutional effectiveness and financial stability. Achieving this will enable the Institute's faculty and staff to share with the public academic scholarship created at Tokyo Tech, acquire further resources based on public trust and confidence, and execute a virtuous cycle of knowledge creation and transfer through outstanding education and research.

Tokyo Tech's Cross-Campus Innovation Ecosystem concept, launched in 2021 with the redevelopment of Tamachi Campus as a prime focus, will be the driving force behind the Institute's growth. By taking advantage of the unique characteristics of its three campuses — Ookayama Campus as the nexus of diverse education, Suzukakedai Campus as a hub for large-scale research, and Tamachi Campus as the center for business collaboration and value creation — Tokyo Tech can enhance greatly its ability to foster business-minded leaders and incubate ideas that generate new industries.

Conception of surroundings upon completion of Tamachi Campus Redevelopment Project. Image courtesy of NTT Urban Development Corporation, Kajima Corporation, East Japan Railway Company, and Tokyu Land Corporation

Conception of surroundings upon completion of Tamachi Campus Redevelopment Project
Image courtesy of NTT Urban Development Corporation, Kajima Corporation, East Japan Railway Company, and Tokyu Land Corporation

Furthermore, the Greater Tokyo Innovation Ecosystem (GTIE), a platform led by Tokyo Tech, the University of Tokyo, and Waseda University, was selected recently to be part of the Japan Science and Technology Agency-sponsored Program for Creating Start-ups from Advanced Research and Technology (University Ecosystem Promotion Type (Supporting Creation of Startup Ecosystem in Startup Cities)). Working from Tamachi Campus, Tokyo Tech will collaborate with local governments to enhance support for startup activities, promote entrepreneurship education, and encourage partnerships with companies, all with the aim of constructing an ecosystem for fostering university-born startups that create global impact.

"Eternal incompleteness" spurs continuous creation and innovation

Soon after I assumed the presidency at the Institute in 2018, I called on the entire community to appreciate diversity as part of the three Tokyo Tech commitments. With the drastic changes that have shaken the world in the past few years, this exposure to diverse fields, adaptation to new concepts, and adoption of broader ways of thinking appear more important than ever, and not least so in the fields of science and engineering.

At the Future of Humanity Research Center, established within Tokyo Tech's Institute of Innovative Research in February 2020, faculty members are deepening our understanding of the academic discipline of rita, or altruism, a concept which guides us not to act for ourselves, but for those around us. Tokyo Tech feels that this approach, which is steadily gaining traction within the broader sphere of science and engineering research, is of great significance and should be shared with the rest of the world.

In his reflections on the beauty and uniqueness of Japanese folk art, twentieth-century writer and poet Kenji Miyazawa once wrote that "completeness is achieved through eternal incompleteness." I realize that this notion of eternal incompleteness is aptly reflected in the joy of seeking — in the form of both questions and answers — our own path, the fierce pursuit to achieve a vision, and the continuous desire and ability to create and innovate. Eternal incompleteness encompasses progress in pioneering research and education. It encapsulates the activities of a world-leading university.

As I prepare for my second term as president, commencing in April 2022, I am determined to exert further resolute efforts to create an environment where all members of the Tokyo Tech community —students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders — can continue to create, innovate, and leave their mark on the Tokyo Tech montage of progress, sustainability, and "eternal incompleteness."

Happy New Year 2022.


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Public Relations Division, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Email pr@jim.titech.ac.jp