Our contribution to Okinawa

Our contribution to Okinawa

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OIST is committed to delivering benefits to Okinawa, our home prefecture, by leading educational initiatives, providing employment opportunities, building and sustaining strong partnerships, and driving research and innovation to benefit Okinawa and Japan.


“There is so much that OIST can bring to Okinawa. One of the most important things we can do — and have already begun to do — is to generate in young people a keen interest in science and a desire for a post-secondary education through high-quality outreach programs.” -President Peter Gruss

From Fiscal year 2021 to 2022, at the height of the COVID pandemic, OIST outreach activities reached 2777 elementary, junior high, and high school students and other members of the public through 68 different outreach events.

Community and Education Outreach


“We are bringing something to Okinawa that is not already here. On average, the salary earned in a science-based job is almost four times that of one earned in tourism or retail. With new scientific findings, we can develop new science companies.” -President Peter Gruss

Over fiscal year 2017 (April 2017-March 2018) OIST generated an estimated ¥228 for Japan’s domestic economy for every ¥100 OIST received. Most of that production impacted the Okinawa Prefecture, generating ¥163 for every ¥100 in input.

OIST Innovation


Cutting-edge technology, wildlife monitoring systems, and invasive species identification workshops are some of the methods that OIST has utilized and protected Okinawa’s stunning natural environment.


The Sustainable Development Goals address some of the most pressing global challenges we face today—challenges that OIST is working to address.

Learn more about how OIST is working toward a better and more sustainable future for all and how you can get involved.

Sustainable Development Goals

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COVID-19 Projects

During the early days of the pandemic, when vaccines were not yet available and hospitals were at capacity, OIST researchers, students, and administrative staff volunteered their time and skills to help the prefecture and its residents.

Learn more about the various community-focused COVID-19 research projects.

COVID-19 research projects

See profiles of some of those who supported the community and the research projects from behind the scenes.

OISTer Spotlight

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