The World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) was launched in 2007 by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in a drive to build within Japan "globally visible" research centers that boast a very high research standard and outstanding research environment, sufficiently attractive to prompt frontline researchers from around the world to want to work in them.
These centers are given a high degree of autonomy, allowing them to revolutionize conventional modes of research operation and administration in Japan. JSPS is commissioned by MEXT to conduct the program’s grant selection and project assessment processes and to perform support functions aimed at maximizing the WPI Program's achievements.
These are the WPIs which received funding (June 2018):
- Tohoku University: Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR)
- The University of Tokyo: Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU)
- Kyoto University: Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS)
- Osaka University: Immunology Frontier Research Center (IFReC)
- National Institute for Materials Science: International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA)
- Kyushu University: International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I²CNER)
- University of Tsukuba: International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine (IIIS)
- Tokyo Institute of Technology: Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI)
- Nagoya University: Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM)
- The University of Tokyo: International Research Center for Neurointelligence (IRCN)
- Kanazawa University: Nano Life Science Institute (NanoLSI).