- Creating a Role Model for Open Innovation-Type Life Science Research -
New Research Base FS CREATION Opened by The University of Tokyo
Distinguished Professor Makoto Fujita and Others
Symposium to be Held (May 27, 2022) about Creating New Industries from Molecular Structural Analysis

Februrary 17, 2022
The University of Tokyo, Mitsui Fudosan Co. Ltd.,
National Institutes of Natural Sciences Institute for Molecular Science,

Tokyo, Japan, February 17, 2022 - The University of Tokyo (President: Teruo Fujii; “The University of Tokyo”) and Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd., a leading global real estate company headquartered in Tokyo, announced that in April 2022 they will open FS CREATION, an open innovation base to conduct fundamental life science research at MITSUI LINK-Lab KASHIWANOHA 1, which was completed in the Kashiwa-no-ha area in November 2021. To commemorate the opening of the base, the University of Tokyo, Institute for Open Innovation (Chairman: Tatsuya Okubo) and Mitsui Fudosan will jointly hold a symposium on May 27, 2022 on the theme of creating new industries from molecular structural analysis.

New Research Base FS CREATION

  • FS CREATION will be the world’s only open innovation (OI) base in its industry with a focus on integrated molecular structure analysis, which will form the fundamental life science research tenanted on the top floor of MITSUI LINK-Lab KASHIWANOHA 1, which opened in the Kashiwa-no-ha area.
  • Chosen tenants are world-leading, Wolf Prize-winning University of Tokyo Distinguished Professor Makoto Fujita, an academic group centered on Project Professor Sota Sato, and private companies led by Japan’s three largest analysis instrument manufacturers.
  • Architectural design aims to promote ideal OI transcending academic and corporate boundaries through the use of various technologies and devices throughout the entire floor and continuous daily conversations and exchanges of information. With LAB LIVING, a large collaborative space for open discussion and relaxation, it will include a glass-paneled lab zone for academia and private companies.

Large-scale, precision analysis equipment will be installed in FS CREATION, with JEOL’s nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer (NMR), Rigaku’s X-ray diffractometers (XRD) and SHIMADZU’s mass spectrometer (MS) instruments lined up together.

Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City has advanced public-private-academia collaboration under the three themes of health and longevity, environmental harmony, and new industry creation. FS CREATION is opening with the belief that the Kashiwa-no-ha area should strengthen its role as a base for new industry creation and aims to become an OI research environment ideal for the life sciences.

Participants in FS CREATION will be, from academia, Distinguished Professor Makoto Fujita’s research lab, Project Professor Sota Sato’s social cooperation program Integrated Molecular Structure Analysis Laboratory and the Division of Advanced Molecular Science, Institute for Molecular Science’s special research group (Fujita Group), and from the industry field, the three largest iconic Japanese analysis instrument manufacturers: SHIMADZU CORPORATION, JEOL Ltd. and Rigaku Corporation.

This industry-academia collaboration for OI, FS CREATION, will become the world’s only integrated molecular structure analysis base capable of one-stop molecular structure analysis using the crystalline sponge method as a core technology.

■ Background to Establishment of FS CREATION

The University of Tokyo promotes acceleration of OI through industry-academic co-creation and works to contribute to solving social issues and for economic growth. Accelerating innovation requires the proper fusion of academic knowledge and companies’ latent potential, so ecosystem construction envisaging commercialization from the R&D stage is important.

Mitsui Fudosan has advanced Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City, which has been involved in this issue, by advocating new industry creation through collaboration between public-private-academia. Distinguished Professor Makoto Fujita came to the decision to open this base in Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City upon coming to share its vision.

Universities were facing the issue of struggling to progress OI research due to a lack of research facilities, but this facility is expected to solve this problem and become an OI role model going forward.

A revolutionary step in OI activities already achieved at FS CREATION is tenancy of Japan’s three largest analysis instrument manufacturers. Analysis instruments such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers (NMR), X-ray diffractometers (XRD) and mass spectrometers (MS) are essential analysis instruments, and the data obtained from them by different manufacturers will be integrated and used for analysis on the research side. This time, the establishment of the world’s first one-stop base of this type assembling Japan’s three largest analysis instrument manufacturers means the manufacturing side can propose integrated structural analysis solution measures, and furthermore, can add academia to confront issues that are difficult to solve. Looking ahead, collaboration between the manufacturers raises expectations of new industry creation related to molecular structural analysis.

■ Design of the FS CREATION Space

FS CREATION has been set up in a private facility (MITSUI LINK-Lab KASHIWANOHA 1) on grounds outside the university, and the space has been designed to stimulate industry-academia collaboration. The floor design, the most distinctive feature of this base, was realized by incorporating the ideal OI research base into the architectural design and combining the wisdom of architects and scientists.

  • The central, large collaborative space LAB LIVING is roughly split into zones for relaxation, holding open discussion and seminar rooms, forming a place for industry researchers to meet.
  • Glass paneled academic and private company labs have been set up in an open space continuous daily conversations and information exchanges will promote OI transcending academia and industry.
  • Moreover, Japan’s three largest analysis instrument manufacturers will open a joint lab, taking down the walls between them. This will promote collaboration between the companies.

■ The University of Tokyo-Mitsui Fudosan Industry-Academia Co-Creation Symposium (May 27, 2022)

To commemorate the opening of FS CREATION, the University of Tokyo and Mitsui Fudosan will hold an industry-academia co-creation symposium. Looking ahead, while incorporating various researchers and companies on the floor, including young, independent principal investigator groups from academia and pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturers from industrial fields, a life science ecosystem linking R&D to social implementation will be built, promoting the Kashiwa-no-ha area as a life science research base.

Mitsui Fudosan and the University of Tokyo operate the Mitsui Fudosan The University of Tokyo Lab outside the Kashiwa-no-ha area as well, strengthening a broad collaboration that started in July 2020.

■ Mitsui Fudosan Group’s contribution to SDGs

The Mitsui Fudosan Group aims for a society that enriches both people and the planet under the principles of coexist in harmony with society, link diverse values and achieve a sustainable society, and advances business with an awareness of the environment (E), society (S) and governance (G), thus promoting ESG management. By further accelerating its ESG management, the Group will realize Society 5.0, which the Japanese government has been advocating, and contribute significantly to achieving the SDGs. Additionally, the Group formulated the following Group guidelines related to “Realize a Decarbonized Society” and “Diversity & Inclusion Promotion” in November 2021. The Mitsui Fudosan Group will continue to work toward solving social issues through neighborhood creation.

Group Action Plan to Realize a Decarbonized Society
Diversity & Inclusion Promotion Declaration and Initiative Policy

* The initiatives covered in this press release are contributing to four of the UN’s SDGs.

Goal 3 Good Health and Well-Being
Goal 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Goal 11 Sustaibale Cities and Communites
Goal 17 Partnerships for the Goals