About Phonics Center


Photonics Establishing a New Scheme of Industry-Academia Collaboration and Human Resources Development

Photonics is the science and technology concerned with interactions between light and matter. Seeing is the practice of photonics, that is, sensing light with the eyes is caused by interactions between light and photoreceptor cells. Products of photonics are ubiquitous in our everyday lives. In fact, we are all familiar with the science and technology of photonics through such products as cameras, optical disks, liquid crystal displays, solar cells, photocatalysts, and optical telecommunication system.

There are currently more than one hundred photonics-related labs at Osaka University. Over the years, numerous faculty, researchers, and students have pioneered cutting-edge photonics sciences and conducted their technological development. Owing to these advanced research activities and the on-campus transdisciplinary project called the Nanophotonics Research Initiative, in July 2007 MEXT selected Osaka University to head the Program for the Creation of Innovation Centers for Advanced Interdisciplinary Research Areas subsidized by special coordination funds for promoting science and technology. Under this program, Osaka University established the Photonics Advanced Research Center (PARC) through which the university and five photonics-related companies conduct wide-ranging interdisciplinary research based on nanophotonics, and plasmonics in particular, aimed at developing industrial innovations. In April 2011, construction of the Photonics Center Building was completed through a subsidy from METI. The building was configured with R&D labs for partner companies, with the goal of establishing a new model of industry-academia collaboration that we call an “interpenetrating partnership,” whereby the university and companies share physical space and the latest information on photonics science and technologies.

In addition to collaborating on projects with the five partner companies, the Photonics Center takes steps to ensure that research achievements produced at the center contribute to society. Machinery and software for the production of prototypes, including design, machining, trial production, analysis, observation, and evaluation, have been installed at the center as common facilities. Nicknamed the “Photonics Cannery,” these facilities are available for use by all members and companies active at the Photonics Center. We have also launched a unique project to assist researchers in developing their own products or starting a business. Start-up companies have been established for the planning, production, and sales of developed products, and some products developed jointly with partner companies have been placed on the market.

We are also working with overseas photonics-related research centers to build a network for pioneering advanced research and development. By conducting international exchange and collaboration on research through the deployment and acceptance of young researchers and graduate students in particular, we are working to develop global human resources capable of shouldering the next generation. By carrying out various R&D, human resources development, and other activities at these research centers, we hope to create an international hub for photonics education and research, transforming the hills of Senri into the “Photonics Hills” where photonics industries can spontaneously produce new innovations.

The Director of Photonics Center

Katsumasa FUJITA 

Professor, Department of Applied Physics, Graduate School of Engineering

Osaka University