Institute of Innovative Research, 
Tokyo Institute of Technology.



Initiatives for Overcoming Disasters Caused by COVID-19 at the Institute of Innovative Research


Infectious disease COVID-19, caused by a new type of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), has driven major cities around the world into lockdown, threatens human life, and has led to various social crises. The question of how to counteract the virus with science and technology is truly an urgent research subject matter for universities to address. While the center of the research against viruses lies in pharmaceutical and medical science, there are also plenty of issues that should be dealt with to counter the viral scourge through the integration of different fields and the collaboration of a wide range of science and technology.

"Research Organization for Immediate Response to Social Issues" (tentative name)

The Institute of Innovative Research (IIR) proposes the establishment of a "Research Organization for Social Issues Immediacy" (tentative name) to promote research on important social issues. There will be a short-term focus of one year for applied research and a mid-term plan of about three years for basic research so that the IIR will be able to respond rapidly to social issues, such as disasters caused by COVID-19.

"Research Project for Overcoming Coronavirus Disasters"

"Research Project for Overcoming Coronavirus Disasters" addresses issues related to COVID-19, and is the first concrete research project of the abovementioned "Research Organization for Social Issues Immediacy". The Project was launched on June 5, 2020 with 18 research themes led by the faculty members of IIR (see "Research Themes" below). We are currently seeking collaboration between themes, external funding, and collaboration with companies. Proposals for new research teams are also welcome. Those working on these research themes are not only eligible for support from universities and the institute, but they are also strong candidates for the "WRHI International Joint Research Promotion for Overcoming the Coronavirus Disaster", which is introduced in the next section.
*We have 19 research themes from September 10, 2020.
*We have 20 research themes from October 29, 2020.
*We have 21 research themes from February 15, 2021.

"WRHI International Collaborative Research Promotion for Overcoming Disasters Caused by COVID-19"

Tokyo Tech World Research Hub Initiative (WRHI) is currently providing financial support for 3 research projects that have been selected for “WRHI International Collaborative Research Promotion for Overcoming Disasters Caused by COVID-19”.

Research Themes

Diagnosis, Antiviral Drugs, and Vaccines: Seven Cases

  • Chemically modified fluorescent immunosensors
  • A diagnostic device for SARS-CoV-2 with a one-dollar/one-minute sample
  • Biological detection methods using MRI/NMR probes
  • Inhibitors for bioactive proteins derived from SARS-CoV-2
  • Innovative RT-PCR method for SARS-CoV-2
  •   Two other cases (to be announced later).

Virus Removal and Inactivation: Six Cases

  • Rapid and non-contact inactivation of coronaviruses with low-temperature plasma
  • Highly structurally controlled porous carbon material and its application to remove toxic substances
  • Examination of highly sanitary DLC coating
  • Antiviral material using borophene
  • An air purification device with large capacity
  • Growth inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2

Medical Devices: Four Cases

  • Magnetically levitated centrifugal blood pumps for ECMO and its multifunctional use
  • Flexible near-infrared image sensors
  • Remote vital sensing
  • Calibration of odor delivery system for anosmia diagnosis

Work Style Reform: Two Cases

  • Video conferencing service that allows multiple conversations
  • Technology that contributes to the improvement of the telework environment

Future Projections: One Case

  • Observation of social and economic phenomena in the spread of COVID-19 and future predictions based on models

New Normal: One Case

  • Human nature and altruism in a post-corona society