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As of April 1, 2016
Organization structure of research units in AIST is flexible, and each research unit is autonomous. Research units of AIST are categorized into three types.
Research centers are limited-term (typically 7 years) organizations with clear goals. Research resources of AIST, such as budget and personnel, are strategically distributed, and research centers have priority to the resources.
Research institutes are basically bottom-up organizations. Research institutes aim to keep continuity of operation to implement medium- and long-term strategies of AIST. Research institutes are also expected to maintain technical potential of AIST and to develop new fields of technology.
Research laboratories are rather small units of limited terms. The purposes of research laboratories are to promote specific research projects, especially those of cross-fields. Some research laboratories also aim to meet immediate governmental needs.
AIST also has research supporting and administrative departments. The departments help research units to achieve AIST missions. All departments, as well as research units, are continuously evaluated by committees consisting of members from universities, private sectors and government agencies.