The International Institute for Sustainability with Knotted Chiral Meta Matter (SKCM2) is funded by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s (MEXT) World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI).
The WPI, which began in 2007, supports the development of “globally visible” research centers that are hosted by various universities in Japan. The main missions of WPI centers are 1. “World-leading scientific excellence and recognition,” 2. “Global Research Environment and System Reform,” and 3. “Values for the Future.”
MEXT uses these missions to evaluate each WPI center. The aim of the first mission is to generate world-class interdisciplinary science, which may be assessed by metrics such as research impact and the disciplinary diversity of research teams. The aim of the second mission is to create a globalized research environment that will lead to reforms of the host institute. This may be assessed by metrics such as the presence of foreign researchers and efforts to make institutional systems that are effective, proactive, and agile. The aim of the third mission is to be future-oriented in terms of society as well as for the future of a WPI center. This may be assessed by metrics such as demonstrating the societal value of basic research and efforts to ensure that the center is self-sufficient and sustainable after the initial WPI funding period.
As of 2022, SKCM2 joins 16 other WPI Centers located throughout Japan. These interdisciplinary centers are grouped into 4 broad research categories: Origins, Life, Materials/Energy, and Measurement.