President's Message

Ryoichi Fujii
President of Research Organization of Information and Systems
Masaru Kitsuregawa

Leveraging ROIS’ unrivaled digital
and statistical prowess to take on challenges


We have entered a highly uncertain, unpredictable age beset by natural disasters and wars around the world as well as global-scale pandemics. However, we must not despair at this state of affairs and simply wait in hope of better circumstances. Rather, we must move forward with an eye to the future.

The Research Organization of Information and Systems (ROIS), consisting of four distinguished research institutes, aims to solve complex phenomena and issues relating to life, the earth, the natural environment, and human society by reframing these issues from the perspective of information and systems while advancing data science to conduct integrated research that transcends disciplinary boundaries. In line with its mission to support resource-sharing and joint research among all universities, ROIS promotes cutting-edge research in specialized fields through joint research that transcends university boundaries by providing researchers nationwide with access to large-scale, state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, big data, valuable materials, and analytical methods. Unparalleled in the world, ROIS is a unique Japanese research organization that drives contributions to the field of education through the cultivation of data scientists and the advancement of digital transformation in education.

The National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) contributes to international efforts such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) by conducting detailed analyses of ice cores in order to elucidate climate change over the past several hundred thousand years. Preparations are currently underway for new drilling to excavate even older ice cores dating back over 1 million years. NIPR communicates the importance of observational activities by broadcasting images of the area near Syowa Station, despite the harsh communications environment of the high latitudes of Antarctica. NIPR further contributes to the development of future researchers by facilitating an online “Antarctic Class” conducted by wintering party members as well as content for Japan’s GIGA School Program.

In April 2022, the National Institute of Informatics replaced the previous Science Information NETwork (SINET) with the world’s fastest ultra-high-speed network infrastructure, SINET6, which provides transmission speeds of up to 400 Gbps. In addition to the over 1,000 institutions and universities currently being served, the network will soon be offered to elementary, junior high, and high schools as well. SINET is also expected to make substantial contributions to industry and continuing education. The full rollout of the GakuNin RDM research data management platform not only provides data management support for individual researchers but also supports the development of open science by providing a platform for the proper release of research data.

The Institute of Statistical Mathematics (ISM) successfully developed and released RadonPy, the world’s first software that fully automates polymer physical property calculations using all-atom classical molecular dynamics simulations. In addition, it is working on the unprecedented challenge of developing a polymer physical-property database containing more than 100,000 types of polymer materials, using computational resources such as the supercomputer Fugaku. That research project is considered a global-scale challenge in the domain of materials science. The Data Assimilation Supercomputer at ISM, which has the world’s largest memory, serves as a platform for instantaneously estimating and simulating extremely large, complex models in the fields of natural and social sciences.

The National Institute of Genetics (NIG) is deepening our understanding of marine ecosystems, which are critical to the resolution of global issues such as global warming and biodiversity loss, by elucidating the genomes of sharks and other marine vertebrates, which are evolutionarily distantly related to humans, based on the concept of “blue carbon” (i.e., mitigation approaches aimed at storing carbon dioxide in marine ecosystem), which has received increasing attention in recent years. In addition, NIG is promoting the application of green biotechnology using microalgae that can be cultivated under high temperature, strong acidity, and high salt concentration, which is expected to be used for various applications such as functional feeds and protein resources. The institute is not only promoting activities for social implementation with domestic companies but is also contributing to the elucidation of changes in the global environment and ecosystems through genetics-based research.

It is in this manner that ROIS is able to bring together its four constituent institutes—including two discipline-specific institutions that study complex phenomena and two institutes responsible for basic and applied research in informatics as well as statistical and mathematical sciences, which are commonly needed by all disciplines—in various combinations to carry out complex science and to further develop data science based on this collaboration. Furthermore, through the Joint Support-Center for Data Science Research (ROIS-DS) established in 2016 that connects the research domains of the four institutes, ROIS is able to actively promote interdisciplinary activities, pioneer new research fields, and promote open science initiatives to return the results of its research to society in order to bring innovation to society through data-driven science.

The third AI boom that started in the 2000s and has continued up to the present as well as the much-discussed emergence of ChatGPT are expected to bring about myriad innovations in a range of fields and services. Along with the anticipated potential to improve wellbeing, the fact that the authenticity and accuracy of the information provided by AI is not checked means that users will need to develop the ability and literacy to evaluate the veracity of this information for themselves. Although the advance of AI into all areas of society promises to improve the quality of daily life, it is also true that we will face new problems that could not have been foreseen in the past. ROIS will continue its efforts to solve both domestic and global issues by leveraging the organization’s digital and statistical prowess, while keeping an eye on the interests of society and economic security as well as the relationship between services and the law.

Founded in 2004, ROIS is a relatively new organization that may be unfamiliar to many, especially those in the industrial world. We seek to manage the organization in a way that maximizes returns to our stakeholders by leveraging the advantages of scale while building on the strengths of our four long-standing research institutes.

The Research Organization of Information and Systems looks forward to your continued support and encouragement.

May 2023
President of Research Organization of Information and Systems
Masaru Kitsuregawa