The National Institute of Natural Sciences (自然科学研究機構 Shizenkagaku kenkyuukikou?) (NINS) is an inter-university research institute corporation consisting of five member institutes: the National Astronomical Observatory (NAOJ), the National Institute for fusion Science (NIFS), the National Institute for Basic Biology (NIBB), the National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS), and the Institutes for Molecular Sciences (IMS).
NINS was established in April 2004 to bring about further development of the natural sciences in Japan.
The five institutes established under NINS are Japan’s main centers of academic research in their respective fields. These institutes cooperate actively as a base for interdisciplinary research in natural science with universities, university-affiliated research institutes, and inter-university research institutes to promote the formation of new research communities.
NINS established the Research Cooperation and Liaison Committee under the authority of the President, to discuss and plan matters of research cooperation. It has also established the Research Cooperation and Liaison Office, which is in charge of implementing plans made by the Research Cooperation and Liaison Committee. The Research Cooperation and Liaison Office has set “Imaging science” and “Hierarchy and Holism in Natural Science” as themes for cooperation across fields, and is promoting symposiums and other projects under these themes.