Message from the President

OIST is one of the most interesting initiatives in world scientific research and education. It has very high ambitions to become established as one of the great research universities. The Japanese Government has a clear vision for setting up an international, interdisciplinary university that will produce the future leaders for rapidly changing needs of global research and business.

I fully support the concept of OIST and am convinced that we can succeed if we constantly strive for excellence in all our activities; excellence in research, excellence in education, excellence in management, excellence in industrial collaboration and development.

My experience at the Max Planck Society, backed by research studies on the nature of creativity, show that certain factors are essential for success in research organizations and universities.

We must hire the best people in the world. Ultimately the reputation of a university is created by the excellence of its faculty, its students, its staff and management. These professors must form research units that are reasonably small but which work in a larger context of support from the whole university. The research units must be helped to start independent research as soon as possible. Professors, researchers and students must have the opportunity and encouragement to establish multidisciplinary contacts and subsequently collaborations. Clearly sufficient core and flexible external funding are a foundation for success, as is periodic peer review by world-class experts.

Measured by these criteria OIST has all the ingredients needed to make it into the top league of universities worldwide. This website shows that OIST has succeeded in attracting the very best professors from all around the world to carry out top-level research in Okinawa. There is strong evidence that the interdisciplinary ambition is now a reality with many units working on common projects. We have recently hired several new faculty and we intend to have their units up and running in a very short time.

This is the fertile ground that I have inherited as OIST’s second President. I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead OIST and I look forward to the future with great excitement.

Peter Gruss

Dr. Peter Gruss