The single-track flow of innovation from basic research to application research, development research, and commercialization has now ended, and there emerges a need to develop a multi-track and fast-paced innovation system consisting of cross-field research and development and the feedback of commercialization needs into basic and application research. The division of responsibilities between universities and industry, with universities specializing in basic research and with companies specializing in application and development, is growing more sophisticated and complex. What is important in this context is to assign creative efforts regarding research themes, curriculums, and the management of faculties and departments to individual universities and to achieve overall diversity through competition. In the transition to incorporated national universities, it is strongly hoped that universities will reaffirm their founding principles and that they will restructure themselves to become distinctive universities, such as by achieving world-class standing in certain fields if not in all fields.
The Center's mission is to actively foster the development of complex polymeric materials based on multiple phases with significant structure at the nanometer scale. Developments will be realized not only in the area of macromolecule design, process innovation and improvements, but also in the fundamental sciences behind the kinetics and phase transformation of these structured polymeric materials. Research in this area is very much interdisciplinary and collaborations across sciences and engineering fields are a given. Beyond a primary mission of fostering research in nanostructured polymers, the Center faculty takes an active role in the education and training of professionals. Products of the center include educational workshops, commercial software, digital instruments, product formulations, scientific publications, and technical proprietary know-how and technology transfer with industry.