Director's Message

Kiyotaka ASAKURA

“Institute and Center”
 The new Institute for Catalysis (ICAT) is opened on October 1st 2015. Catalysis is the traditionally important and strongest field in Hokkaido University. Juro Horiuti started Research Institute for Catalysis in 1943. It was remodeled to the Catalysis Research Center(CRC) in 1989 as a Joint Usage/Research Center. We are succeeding the mission of the CRC and play a role of the joint Usage/Research Center in the catalyst field.
 What is the difference between Institute and Center? A difference is the freedom and the responsibility.Institute has greater freedom. It means we have to decide by ourselves what is necessary for the development of our society related to catalysis science and technology. In this sense all members in ICAT have to recognize our mission to carry out good science and to stop misconduct in research and harassment. We have to behave ourselves honest and fair and take the accountability of our actions. At the same time we have to listen to any comments, criticisms and voices addressed to us in open and fair manners. We will decide based on these comments, criticisms and voices. The important point is to promote the communications with inside and outside. We welcome open and fair discussion and comments.
 Next question may be what is the research target of ICAT. Our research target is to develop new catalysts necessary for the establishment of sustainable society. Our missions are not only to perform frontier research on catalysis but to encourage catalysis communities in their research and to expand catalysis research collaboration with other fields such as physics, biology, and environmental sciences.
 We now initiate a new project to build up catalyst informatics for the future. We have made and open the catalysis database( Next challenge is to gather all data from the experiments directly, store them as big data and analyze them using AI(Artificial Intelligence) to derive the useful information to obtain new catalysts. We are
collaborating with AIST, NIMS, RIEKN and KEK for the catalyst informatics and are trying to make a catalyst informatics consortium with people in academics and industry. The catalyst informatics will be another runner of ICAT in the global collaborations to attain catalyst-driven innovation. We need all your help and suggestions.

Kiyotaka Asakura
Director of Institute for Catalysis,
Hokkaido University
April 1st, 2016.