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Joint Research

To implement Joint Research smoothly, it is necessary that both a company and the University maintain the recognition that they are each subject to a spirit of mutual respect and equality. In line with this spirit, Tohoku University proactively promotes Joint Research with companies and other entities as cooperative research and development activities between industry and the University.

  • We accept researchers to the University from companies that intend to implement Joint Research at the University's facilities.
  • Companies and the University can implement research by dividing the work.
  • Joint research companies bear direct and indirect expenses necessary for implementing Joint Research (cooperative R&D expenses).
  • Companies undertaking Joint Research have top priority when using the intellectual property created during Joint Research.

Considering Researchers at Tohoku University and Research Themes for Joint Research

If you have already chosen the researchers at Tohoku University for Joint Research, please contact the researchers and confer with them concerning the theme, research fund, research period, and any project details.
If you do not know a researcher's contact information, feel free to contact us with the relevant details by e-mail.
International Cooperation Division

If you seek Tohoku University researchers to improve your research project, the University may be able to introduce the ideal personnel for your project. Please send us an outline of your project by e-mail or letter. Our international coordinator will support you to the best of our ability.
International Cooperation Division


The necessary documents are the “Joint Research Application” and the “Joint Research Agreement (sample).” Please prepare them and submit at the acceptance window of the relevant faculty.

The acceptance window will check the documents thoroughly. When both parties could agree and accept upon the content of them, then they would accept the Joint Research.

However, when there are significant differences on how to handle intellectual property rights from the University sample, the Office of Cooperative Research and Development will review them. In some cases, the company and the International Cooperation Division may have to meet for beneficial talks. After negotiations, if they reached an agreement, the acceptance window will start the preparation procedure to officially accept the Joint Research..

Conclusion of Agreement and Commencement of Research

When acceptance has been granted on a faculty level, the faculty concludes a Joint Research Agreement between the company and the University. A single agreement can cover a research over a period of years. Finishing the agreement within a single fiscal year is not necessary.

Research starts on the date the agreement is concluded.

Payment of Research Funds for Joint Research

Basically, the research fees are paid by the joint research company to a designated bank when the payment slip arrives from Tohoku University. The fees include direct expenses for implementing the research and indirect expenses (cooperative research and development expenses equivalent to 10% of the direct expenses, which we use for maintaining the system of cooperative research and development). When the company sends its research staff to the University, the acceptance fee is 420,000 yen annually (210,000 yen per six-month payment period) per researcher. This system began in FY 2005.

Handling of Research Results (Intellectual Property Rights)

Inventions created during Joint Research are shared by both the company and the University according to the ratio of the contribution to the invention. The University corresponds flexibly with company requests, such as transfering university-owned shares and exclusive licensing.