The CNRS and the University of Tokyo launch a new international research centre

Institutional matters


  • The CNRS and the University of Tokyo joined forces on 4 October as part of an International Research Centre (IRC), the third such structure for the CNRS abroad. 


  • The CNRS-UTokyo IRC comprises of four international research laboratories share by the two partners, one of which specializing in materials physics, was also created on 4 October.


  • This new scientific centre aims to drive research and teaching excellence on already existing subjects of collaboration, as well as for new subjects such as gender equality and seismology.


The CNRS and the University of Tokyo (UTokyo) created an International Research Centre on 4 October 2022 to promote international collaboration and exchange, with a view to promoting research as well as high-quality and interdisciplinary teaching between the two institutions. The two institutions already share a number of research subjects and will cooperate on new and promising avenues such as digital humanities, energy transition, and gender equality.

A major CNRS partner, the University of Tokyo is a national university recognized internationally for its excellence. It is notably the top Japanese university in number of publications. The creation of an International Research Centre (IRC) between the CNRS and the University of Tokyo was recently finalized in the presence of CNRS President and CEO Antoine Petit, and Professor Teruo Fujii, President of the University of Tokyo. It is the CNRS’s third IRC abroad, following those established with the University of Arizona in 2020, and Imperial College London in 2021.

This IRC is a new scientific centre that will stimulate interdisciplinary collaboration. It will rely on the complementary expertise of Japan and France, especially in mathematical sciences, geology, seismology, digital humanities, energy transition, and gender equality. These are so many new subjects and areas of cooperation to be explored by the research teams of the two partners.

This collaboration is part of a long history, marked by the creation of three International Research Laboratories (IRL) shared by the two institutions: the Laboratory for Integrated Micro Mechatronics Systems (LIMMS)1 established in 1995, the Japanese-French Laboratory for Informatics (JFLI)2 established in 2012, and the International Laboratory for Astrophysics, Neutrino and Cosmology Experiments (ILANCE)3 established in 2021.

These three IRLs are joined by a fourth created on 4 October4 named Dynamical Control of Materials (DYNACOM), bringing together the CNRS, l’Université de Rennes 1, and the University of Tokyo. It will explore materials in all of their forms—magnetism, conductivity, ferroelectricity, and photonics—with special focus on the ultrafast control of materials.

The signing marks the creation of a new entity, an IRC, which will foster ambitious strategic dialogue between the two partners. The centre will support current and future joint actions, including IRLs, research projects, and thematic networks. Joint calls for proposals will be launched to fund research projects shared by the two institutions, especially joint doctoral fellowships at the CNRS and the University of Tokyo.

CNRS-UTokyo cooperation in numbers

  • 2,900 co-publications from 2016 to 2020, or 29% of the CNRS’s co-publications with Japan (Source: Web of Science and InCites from Clarivate)
  • 4 international research laboratories (out of the 9 existing in Japan)
  • 5 international research projects
  • 4 international research networks




  • 1CNRS/The University of Tokyo
  • 2CNRS/The University of Tokyo/Sorbonne Université/Keio University/National Institute of Informatics (NII) of Tokyo.
  • 3CNRS/The University of Tokyo
  • 4See the press release:


Priscilla Dacher
Head of the CNRS Press Office