Good morning, everyone.
The Tokyo Tech community is pleased to welcome students, parents, family members, staff, and friends to the 2023 Fall Entrance Ceremony for all levels of study. We are here to celebrate the new students joining us today. You have worked hard to come this far under challenging circumstances, and you should be proud of your achievements. Let us also acknowledge your guardians and families, and express our gratitude for the time and effort they have dedicated to your lives.
On this special day, we welcome warmly the 2 students entering the bachelor's degree program, including the transfer students joining us from other institutions. We also welcome 245 students entering the master's degree program, 11 students entering the professional master's degree program, and 187 students entering the doctoral degree program. Congratulations to you all, and thank you for adding another special page to the 142-year history of the Institute.
New students of Tokyo Tech: I want to assure you that, starting from today, you are all part of a diverse, inclusive community that is here to support you. Despite the difficult challenges that the world has faced in recent years, Tokyo Tech has remained firmly on its path of continuously enhancing learning opportunities for its students while creating new value that addresses the constantly changing global environment.
Late last year, the Institute established the Center of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence to expand DS and AI training to all Tokyo Tech students, ensuring that you can utilize these skills in a rapidly accelerating digital information society, regardless of your specializations. Tokyo Tech has also consolidated its energy research efforts to form the Laboratory for Zero-Carbon Energy, which focuses on research and development of non-fossil energy sources and usage systems, and incorporates its findings in the Institute's courses. And Hisao & Hiroko Taki Plaza, the student exchange hub near the Main Gate on Ookayama Campus, welcomes you right from the start to join any number of student-led activities or to pursue your own initiatives.
Without a doubt, however, the most exciting development is yet to come. Tokyo Tech will join forces with its long-term partner, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, to form a completely new university, tentatively named Institute of Science Tokyo, or Tokyo Kagaku Daigaku, in the near future. This integration will unite many of you — the budding leaders who have chosen science and technology as your path — with the brightest minds in the medical, nursing, and dental sciences, encouraging a convergence of fields that will create state-of-the-art innovations, heightened societal impact, and most importantly, increased collaborations and possibilities for all of you to explore.
This move to unify current and future experts from various fields will put you at the compelling crossroads of science and engineering, informatics, medicine, nursing, and dentistry. It will also open more doors into the liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences, and encourage enterprising approaches in a stimulating interdisciplinary environment.
Throughout its history, the transfer of innovative ideas to the wider world has been at the heart of Tokyo Tech. Over 90 years ago, Dr. Yogoro Kato and Dr. Takeshi Takei at Tokyo Tech's Department of Electrochemistry developed ferrite, a ceramic magnetic material that remains a key component in smartphones, tablets, and electric vehicles today. Kato patented the material, and then found collaborators to help commercialize their discovery through the launch of a company. This led to the establishment of TDK Corporation, a pioneering example of a university research-born startup that today employs over 100,000 people.
A recent example of the entrepreneurial drive within the Tokyo Tech community is Tsubame BHB, a startup launched in 2017 based on electride catalyst research by Institute Professor Hideo Hosono and his team. Tsubame BHB strives to synthesize ammonia using electride catalyst technology and innovate the ammonia industry supply chain with small-scale decentralized ammonia generation plants.
Tokyo Tech's support for startup creation is not limited to faculty and staff members. The Institute has a number of programs, seminars, and competitions each year to stimulate our budding student entrepreneurs. Amidst your other studies, I urge you to join these student-focused activities, sharpen your business acumen, and start building the next Tokyo Tech-born startup!
Whatever you decide to do here, you can be certain of two things: Firstly, that the Institute will provide you with challenges and opportunities to create openly. And secondly, that the dedicated faculty, staff, and students of Tokyo Tech are here to support you. As the Institute confidently seeks to create a brighter future, we aim for a shared culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion — an environment where each one of you is valued, provided equal access to the riches of academia, and openly welcomed in all of our activities.
Finally, I want to draw your attention to the centennial flags and the Tokyo Tech Seal behind me. These flags were presented to the Institute by the Tokyo Tech Alumni Association, or Kuramae Kogyokai, to commemorate Tokyo Tech's 100th anniversary. One represents the search for truth and reason, the other signifies advancement of technology. As the Institute looks towards exciting new challenges and opportunities, the alumni association is also here to engage with you as you begin to expand your networks and perspectives.
The Tokyo Tech Seal, the swallow by the window, symbolizes the Institute as a hub of technical innovation from which the windows of the world open up to its members. You are now peering in this window, perhaps seeking new experiences, knowledge, and guidance. I am confident that we will provide these to you. So don't hold back. Begin your active Tokyo Tech journey from today and take full advantage of what the Institute has to offer.
New students of Tokyo Tech: I encourage you to embrace any challenges that come your way. I encourage you to become creators of a better future!
Once again, congratulations.
September 27, 2023
President, Tokyo Tech