Professor Hirotaka Nakano,
Director, Cybermedia Center, Osaka University
Since being founded in April 2000, the Cybermedia Center has been proactive and deepened its involvement in a wide range of areas. These efforts are characterized by our drive to integrate the provision of information services into education and research. More specifically, in addition to the novel findings achieved by our seven research divisions―Information Education, Multimedia Language Education, Large-Scale Computational Science, Computer-Assisted Science, Cyber Community, Advanced Network Environment, and Applied Information Systems―we have achieved genuine progress in the establishment, operation, and promotion of high-performance computers, educational computers, and our intra-university network. A distinguishing feature of the Center is that teachers at the forefront of research are also the driving force behind our various services, enabling us to make significant advances. In addition, the Center engages in a number of support activities that contribute to the local community. In recognition of our continued efforts to promote the information sciences, in 2010 we were certified as a “Joint Usage/Research Center for Interdisciplinary Large-scale Information Infrastructures” by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, allowing us to carry out our activities in an official capacity. Within this interdisciplinary framework, eight information foundation centers work together as an influential networked group, and are expected to produce outstanding results, transcending the boundaries of single universities. We are committed to upholding the fundamental principles of our Center that provided the basis of this certification, and we will promote relevant policies.
Now, over 10 years after establishing the Center, it has become clear that certain roles and activities are in need of updating. An assessment by an outside party was implemented in 2009, and we were given a number of recommendations including to reinforce the collaborative effort between different research divisions, to improve service assessments from a user perspective, to efficiently promote our services with limited resources, and to clarify the roles of the Center. On the basis of this advice, we have established policies to remain ever vigilant about respecting the viewpoints of researchers and of service users, both inside and outside our university; to provide services and build systems based on a broad pan-university perspective; and to support the various communities that drive informationalization.
Given the current state of affairs inside and outside our university, we believe that there is increasing demand for more informationalization throughout our university and for cultivation of research areas that leverage our Center’s characteristics. In response to these new and changing demands, there is no shortage of programs in which our Center is able to contribute, including proposals for new information foundation systems and the design of university institutions dedicated to informationalization. We are committed to making our best efforts to increase the Center’s range of contributions, regardless of our prospective future roles. We would like to thank you in advance for your kind support in these endeavors.
Greetings from Director (Hirotaka Nakano)