The Keihanshin Consortium for Fostering the Next Generation of Global Leaders in Research (K-CONNEX) was launched in February 2015 with funding from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), for the purpose of “Building a consortium for developing human resources in science and technology”. The consortium consists of Kyoto University, Osaka University, and Kobe University as its core members, and also incorporates the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and the Kansai Economic Federation (Kankeiren) in the Kansai area. This consortium aims to establish a novel framework that enables to develop human resources who lead the next generation research as distinguished young researchers through collaboration of academia and allied sectors.
In spite of the recent increase in the number of PhD holders since the introduction of the policy of prioritizing graduate schools in Japanese universities, we have encountered a serious problem in the conventional system in fostering the young PhD holders as the next-generation researchers. Since 2011, it has been strongly recommended to establish an improved system including an increase in number of the stable posts and the promotion of more affordable mobility under an environment with high flexibility and support.
In response to such an urgent request, MEXT and JST selected 4 different proposals for consortium projects. Among them, our K-CONNEX is characterized by the partnership among three major universities along with allied sectors in Kansai area to achieve nurturing of the next-generation researchers. Although the positions provided by this project are small in number, we believe that those who are appointed as K-CONNEX faculty will carry out outstanding research under the support from this fund and will hopefully be leading researchers in the near future.
All the members of K-CONNEX are willing to support the young researchers to fulfill their goal as the next-generation researchers. Any positive support and suggestion will be highly appreciated.
The three universities, which are located in the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe area, have actively collaborated as attested by the large number of joint papers published. They have also created integral innovations in the Kansai Innovation International Strategic Comprehensive Special Zone. The consortium will dispatch a new model for supporting cultivation of young researchers by making use of the geographical advantages of Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe.
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The logotype of K-CONNEX was created based on two motifs. One is an “asterisk”. The asterisk is a “small star” and represents young researchers. Customarily in academia, an asterisk symbolizes “a statistically significant difference” and is also a symbol of multiplication. The other motif is an “arrowhead”. The sharp edges of the arrowhead represent “prominent researchers”. Flying arrows also project an image of “sending research and results to the target in an appropriate manner”. With the two motifs, the logotype of K-CONNEX represents “prominent researchers enhancing each other synergistically”.
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