KEK was selected for “the Program for Promoting the Enhancement of Research Universities " by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2013. The aim of the program is to acquire human resources of research management (including URA: University Research Administrators) and to facilitate reforms of research environments.
URA stands for University Research Administrator. URA is a specialist who engaged in planning and managing research activities as well as promoting the utilization of research outcomes by working together with researchers.
■Definition of URA according to Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
URA is a personnel specialist engaging in enhancing research activities of researchers and strengthening R&D management by planning and managing research activities as well as promoting the utilization of research outcomes (That doesn’t mean URA is only engaged in administrative procedures with respect to research) by working together with researchers (URA is positioned as a specialist apart from researchers who exclusively engages in research itself) at universities, etc. The responsibility of URA includes planning research projects with researchers, examining the compliance of projects with laws and ordinances, proposing research projects and making negotiations concerning them, accounting and managing facilities for research projects, managing the flow of research projects, applying for patents, summarizing research results and promoting research outcomes. (Excerpt from MEXT open recruitment information page)
READ was organized in KEK as a central department to accomplish the Program for Promoting the Enhancement of Research Universities offered by MEXT in 2013. URAs (University Research Administrator) dedicate their expertise to the enhancement of research capabilities and provide support to research projects and researchers in cooperation with other involved departments in KEK.
Open Innovation Promotion Department was established in April 2019 as a fully featured team to strengthen relationships among university, industry and governmental institutes. The functions related various collaborative projects, intellectual properties and technology transfer are integrated in the new department.