Program Director Koji KAYA

From the director
 The twenty-first century has been called the "era of prediction", and the need for the computational science to make this a reality is acknowledged worldwide. Computational science is based on theory, but underlined by experimental data, and this link between theory and experiment is vital for the future of science and technology.
 In particular, a lead in the development and use of supercomputers is vital for Japan's international competitiveness. It has been given the status of a National Critical Technology in the third Basic Program for Science and Technology, and MEXT is promoting it under the title of "Next-Generation Supercomputer Project". RIKEN has been entrusted with the construction of the project, and has responsibility not only for its research and development, but for promoting its basis, computational science.
 This project requires not only world-class hardware, but also research and development of leading-edge software. We aim to make possible simulations which use the next-generation supercomputer to its fullest potential by developing application software to synthetically understand natural phenomena, the “grand challenge applications”.
 From October 2006, in close collaboration with other institutions, we at RIKEN started the "Research and Development of Next-Generation Integrated Life-Science Simulation Software", a "grand challenge application" for the life sciences, to make full use of the power of the Next-Generation Supercomputer and enable ground-breaking new simulations.
 This will establish computational science as a new methodology for the life sciences, and we are determined to bring about breakthroughs. At the same time as its development, we also plan to distribute the software to industry in order that these results may be used in real-world applications, and contribute to the success of the next-generation supercomputer.

Next-Generation Integrated Simulation of Living Matter Project Outline

    The "Next-Generation Supercomputer" project, began in 2006 by MEXT, is a close collaboration between government, industry, and academia centered on RIKEN under a MEXT initiative, and carried out in a unified way in order to maintain Japan's lead in a wide range of fields including science and technology, academic research, industry, medicine, and pharmacy. It has the following objectives:
  • Develop a world-leading and maximum performance "Next Generation Supercomputer";
  • Develop and distribute software to make maximum use of the Next Generation Supercomputer (the "Grand Challenge Applications");
  • Construct a world-class supercomputing research and education base centered on the Next Generation Supercomputer.
    The RIKEN Wako Institute has been selected as the research and development base for "Grand Challenge Applications" in the life sciences, and is carrying out research and development for the "Next-Generation Integrated Simulation of Living Matter".
    This promotes the research and development of simulation software which helps understand phenomena from molecules to entire organisms. We are trying to develop simulation software both from an analytic approach, where we will study phenomena through basic principles, and a data-analysis approach, where we will attempt to discover new processes and laws by analyzing large quantities of experimental data.
    Core viewpoints set in order that this project contributes to life science are:
  • Development of application software aimed at use in the completed supercomputer.
  • Long-term "grand challenges" aimed at the construction of a basis for future life science unifying experiments and computer simulations to gain new knowledge for the first time.

  • Administration (As of October 1, 2008)