The HIRAKU Program is promoted as part of the “Program for Developing Next Generation Researchers” of the “Building of Consortia for the Development of Human Resources in Science and Technology*1”, implemented by the Japanese Government’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Focusing on the “Home for Innovative Researchers and Academic Knowledge Users (HIRAKU)” as its main theme, the Program is jointly operated by Hiroshima University (Lead Partner Organization), Yamaguchi University and Tokushima University (Co-Partner Organizations), in collaboration with public and private universities primarily located in the Chugoku and Shikoku regions, as well as a growing number of institutions/corporations in public and private sectors.
For this Program, these universities, companies, and public institutions have established an industry-government-academia consortium to drive multiple initiatives under “the Program for the Practical Training and Engagement of Innovators” and “the Program for the Promotion of Young Researchers’ Independence and Mobility by Introducing a Tenure-Track System” as the two major pillars founded on a broader platform.
The Consortium provides comprehensive support to the students on the doctoral programs, postdoctoral fellows and tenure-track researchers, depending on their career progress, through the long-term internship program, seeds-needs matching opportunities, mentoring program as well as skill development with cross-disciplinary approach between art and science.
Today’s global society allows various countries and organizations to closely interact with each other, which has been diminishing Japan’s presence in internationally. The declining birth rate and aging population are growing issues in Japan, leading to noticeable depopulation particularly in the rural districts, seriously affecting the overall power of the nation. Under such circumstances, human resources in science and technology are required to propose solutions to highly complex problems in the modern society and be more than just general specialists in their respective fields in science and technology. In view of this, the Consortium “HIRAKU,” establishes a framework that enables highly-skilled young researchers, leading the next generation, to develop within the region and attain to a successful position. It will also implement a flexible and diversified employment system to put the right researchers in the right positions regardless of their gender. Through developing exceptional human resources to generate innovation, we aim to increase the regional competitiveness, which may eventually get the Chugoku-Shikoku regions to open up (or “HIRAKU”, Japanese for “to open”) the future of Japan.
＊1 “Building of Consortia for the Development of Human Resources in Science and Technology” is implemented by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as one of its projects newly launched in FY 2014. Under this project, multiple universities and institutes jointly build consortiums in collaboration with private sectors to establish a system for enhancing the mobility of young researchers and research support resources, and also for ensuring their stable employment as well as their career development.