Ritsumeikan University ranked No. 1 in Japan for the second straight year in a Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) survey on the “implemented number of research projects entrusted by private companies” in the “status of implementation of industry-academia collaboration at universities and other institutions in fiscal 2015.” The results of the survey were announced by MEXT on Jan. 13. The university topped the list (287 projects) for the third time. In addition, it came out ahead of all others in the country as an organization with the fastest average rate of growth (up approx. 14.9 percent) in receiving research funds between fiscal 2010 and 2015.
In order to promote contributions to society through research results, the university considers industry-university collaboration as an important pillar in its “medium-term plan for the advancement of research sophistication” that started in fiscal 2006. Private universities often lag behind state-run universities in research resources. But Ritsumeikan created a Liaison Office (the present Research Office), the first such window of contact between industry and academia at a university in Japan, in 2005, proactively tapped into individual corporate research needs and promoted industry-academia collaboration. The characteristics of the research projects the university implemented are that the projects came in almost equal numbers from major corporations and small- and medium-sized enterprises and that the university gives priority to collaboration with local businesses in Kyoto, Shiga and Osaka prefectures, where the university campuses are located.
In the future, the university plans to send out the results of projects in MEXT’s private university research branding plan adopted in the current fiscal year and to actively carry out major joint research and collaboration in the fields of humanities and social sciences.