Kavli IPMU Staff Recognized at the University of Tokyo’s 2016 Special Business Innovation Prize

December 20, 2016
Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU)


Administrative staff members of Kavli IPMU, represented by Rieko Tamura of the institute’s International Relations and Research Support section, have been awarded the University of Tokyo’s 2016 Special Prize for Business Innovation. The team consists of 20 specialized administrators that took part in the “Win-Win Project towards University Globalization.”

The Special Business Innovation Prize is awarded by the University’s Division for Operational Improvements, and recognizes staff from each department that are implementing business reform ideas and excellence.

Kavli IPMU planned and implemented two programs: “Lunchtime English Training” and “Language Exchange with IPMU Researcher.” These programs raised the English proficiency of administrative staff, and reduced inefficiencies around English language-related tasks.

“Language Exchange with IPMU Researcher,” in addition, is a program carried out between staff and Kavli IPMU researchers from abroad. A win-win program recognized by the award, the exchange is an opportunity for the researchers to improve their knowledge of Japanese language and culture.

The award ceremony was held on December 16 (Friday) at the University of Tokyo’s Yasuda Auditorium. The University’s President and Executive Director honored five groups, including Kavli IPMU.

In receiving the award, Kavli IPMU’s specialized staffer Tamura said: “The initiatives are a new type of language exchange program for Japanese staff and foreign members that is free and not time-consuming. It provides a platform for participants to be driven into a situation where they can speak English and Japanese.

“They can also experience one-to-one conversations, and create a more open workplace by engaging in fun assignments with a language exchange partner. I expect this win-win program will be adopted widely in other departments.”