Working group within MEXT’s Panel of Experts meets for the first time to begin verifying methods of structure and management

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo (March 10 edition). Read the original here.

Points of discussion are put together in order to prepare a report for July

Within the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)’s Panel of Experts for the ILC is the Working Group for the Verification of Methods of Structure and Management (Chief: Shoken Miyama, former director general of the National Observatory of Japan). They held their first meeting on March 9th, where they confirmed points of discussion regarding the structure and management of the international research organization that would be necessary to run the ILC. They will also debate the surrounding residential environment and societal infrastructure needed for that organization. They will discuss and analyze specific organization structures in order prepare a report for July.

Each working group within the Panel of Experts was set up to work through crucial challenges indicated by the Science Council of Japan to MEXT. This working group is the fourth such group, and is made up of 14 researchers and other experts.

At the meeting held on the 9th, the working group members also confirmed their points of discussion going forward. They will analyze and verify models for organizations that will prepare for the ILC, approaches, governance during the construction and operation phases, and financial models.

The working group will deliberate on the involvement of Japanese research organizations, universities, and industry should an international research facility be placed in Japan, as well as compare examples of already-existing large international projects. They will also project how the population will change, and debate what societal infrastructure and other measures (residential development, education, healthcare) would be needed to prepare the surrounding area.

Before the meeting, Masanori Yamauchi, director-general of KEK, explained the preparatory organizations and deliberation structure at KEK for the ILC. Sachio Komamiya, director of ICEPP at University of Tokyo, talked about the current status of deliberations at the ILC organization (LCC) and international organizations above it. One participant said, “We must have international human resources that can manage an international research organization.”

The candidate site for the ILC is in the Kitakami mountains of Iwate Prefecture, and it will be a linear particle collider that will uncover the origins of the universe and mysteries of elementary particles. The Japanese national government will decide whether or not to host the project after the Panel of Experts is done their review and debates, and that decision should take place at the end of 2017 to sometime in 2018.

Chief Miyama said, “The ILC will need internationally-minded management and leaders. There were a lot of important things that participants pointed out, and I’d like to deepen the debate at our next meeting.”