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AIST History

The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) was reorganized and established in April 2001 upon the integration of the 15 research institutes of the former Agency of Industrial Science and Technology, the former Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and the Weights and Measures Training Institute under MITI. Some of AIST's parent institutions have a history of more than 100 years and have achieved many prominent accomplishments in technological development.

As a public research institute, AIST aims to function as a platform for developing technologies for innovation in Japan and to play a proactive role as an organization that directly promotes such innovations in industry.

Here is a list of themes which were chosen from the enormous amount of research results produced at AIST during its long history. Many research results can be seen on the touch screen.



  • "Tamamushi lacquer" technique that expands possibilities for lacquerware developed.
  • Database based on glaze/pigment test pieces constructed.
  • Manufacturing method for carboxylmethyl cellulose developed.
  • Wooden airplane "Hiryu" developed.
  • High-pressure hydrogen gas compressor with the aim of manufacturing light oil developed.
  • Successful trial manufacturing prototype of what was the largest ferrite single crystal at the time.
  • Japan's first transistor computer ETL-MARK IV completed.
  • Fluid pressure bulge-forming method for metal tubing that does not require machining developed.
  • Electronic translator "Yamato" developed.
  • PAN-based carbon fiber developed.


  • Successful trial manufacturing of Japan's first IC (semiconductor integrated circuit).
  • Senior Researcher Kondo discovers the phenomenon of the resistance minimum in magnetic dilute alloys.
  • Natural sweetener manufacturing technology using glucose isomerase developed.
  • Electronic beam exposure equipment used in ultra-LSI production developed.
  • Production method for indium tin-doped oxide(ITO) developed.


  • Hollow glass micro-spheres and "Shirasu" balloons developed.
  • Jacquard card automatic creation/control technology developed.
  • Ultra-precise balance for the international prototype kilogram developed.
  • Adsorbent for collecting uranium from seawater developed.
  • Josephson voltage standard system using quantum phenomena constructed.
  • Highly-efficient water conversion based on seawater distillation realized.
  • Strong permanent magnet using rare earth elements/cobalt compound developed.


  • XMOS transistor developed.
  • Water pollution simulation in Seto Inland Sea using large hydraulic model.
  • Geological map of volcanoes focusing on eruption history of active volcanoes published.
  • Peptide that lowers blood pressure discovered.
  • Spectral database for organic compounds published.
  • Amorphous solar cell developed.
  • Catalytic properties of gold nanoparticles discovered.
  • Three-dimensional loom that creates three-dimensional fabrics developed.
  • Anode alloys as the foundation for nickel metal hydride batteries developed.
  • Research on scanning tunneling microscopes.
  • Prototype for Josephson computer using superconductivity phenomena created.


  • Electro-abrasive mirror surface polishing technology developed.
  • NOx removal technology using photocatalysts developed.
  • Successful discovery/isolation of microorganisms that can analyze plastic.
  • Standards for life cycle assessment (LCA) established.
  • Mass production technology for synthetic smectite (clay mineral) developed.
  • Automation technology for welding/machining underwater developed.
  • High-performance photocatalysts developed in fine particle film fixation of titanium dioxide.
  • Humidity-controlling material using porous ceramics developed.


  • Technology that detoxifies abandoned/old weapons developed.
  • Ultra-high-temperature fixed point developed using metal-carbon eutectic.
  • Optical lithography technology that paves the way for ultra-high-density recording developed.
  • Inkjet technology that can jet ultrafine droplets developed.
  • Prototype for a desktop-type Josephson electrolytic standard system created.
  • Succeeded in making the highly precise Avogadro constant.
  • Technology for forming ceramic membrane at normal temperature (AD method) developed.
  • High-definition color LCD display driven by organic TFT developed.
  • The robot seal "Paro" with recognized therapy effects commercialized.
  • Revolutionary synthesis technology for single-wall carbon nanotubes developed.
  • Detailed risk assessment report that serves as guidelines for the use of chemical substances published.
  • Low-loss power device with the world's best performance developed.
  • Seamless geological map of Japan with a scale of 1/200,000 completed.
  • High-performance TMR element optimal for HDD magnetic heads developed.
  • Closed-type transgenic plant factory developed.
  • RT middleware that easily constructs robot systems developed.
  • Technology that produces methane gas from methane hydrates developed.
  • Clay film plastic composite material with high hydrogen barrier properties developed.
  • Ytterbium optical lattice clock developed.
  • Robot arm that supports daily life for people with upper limb disabilities developed.
  • Cybernetic humanoid HRP-4C "Miim" developed.


  • Automatic culture apparatus for human iPS cells developed.
  • Cybernetic humanoid HRP-4C "Miim" developed.
  • Model for a Sanriku earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region clarified.
  • "Neuro communicator" for communication through brainwaves developed.
  • Machine for making sherbet-type ice for seawater that retains the freshness of caught fish developed.
  • Infrared night vision camera that can capture color videos in the dark.
  • Adsorption capacity of Prussian blue cesium improved based on nanoparticles.
  • Compact radiation dosimeter for supporting people living in disaster-stricken areas.
  • Humanoid robot "Mahoro" for supporting drug discovery developed.
  • Music appreciation system "Songle" that automatically analyzes music developed.
  • Contribution to "extension of the continental shelf."
  • Recycling technology that implements high-accuracy collection of rare metals from urban mines developed.
  • Canine medicine using genetically modified plants as primary material developed.
  • Technology that visualizes living human iPS cells developed.
  • Robot that investigates the worksite for decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor developed.
  • Artificial bioluminescent enzyme with high intensity and superior light emission durability developed.
  • Mass production technology for single-wall carbon nanotubes developed.
  • Hepatic fibrosis testing technology using sugar chain markers developed.
  • Technology that promptly measures radioactive cesium concentration underwater developed.
  • Operation of the Tsukuba Innovation Arena (TIA-nano) begun.
  • Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute opened.
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