Welcome Message
from Center Director

The ‘Creating Industry through Research and Development of Compact and Lightweight Electrification Systems’ project, which Akita Prefectural Government applied for with the participation of Akita University, was approved by the Cabinet Office in January 2020. In April 2021, the Joint Research Center for Electric Architecture was established at Akita University as an organization jointly operated with Akita Prefectural University.

To recap the timeline of events in Akita Prefecture, the population of the prefecture fell below 1 million in April 2017. Akita Prefecture’s economy was once said to account for “1% of Japan’s entire economy,” but 20 years ago it accounted for “0.8% to 0.9% of Japan’s economy,” and more recently it accounts for “0.6% of Japan’s economy.” Looking at the circumstances as a breakdown by each industry, the percentage of secondary industries, which includes the manufacturing and construction industries, has been decreasing year by year.

Under these circumstances, seven years ago, a venture company in the prefecture at the time made a groundbreaking invention related to motor coils. In 2018, this breakthrough sparked efforts to focus research on the electrification of aircraft systems, and thus the Akita Research Initiative (ARI), which has five workshops, was established by bringing together professors from Akita University and Akita Prefectural University. This led to what is now the Joint Research Center for Electric Architecture.

The center consists of four departments: the R&D Department, the Prototype-Testing Department, the Regional Talent Development Department, and the Management-and-Planning Department. Furthermore, as a major testing and research facility, the Evaluation Laboratory for Next Generation Motors was opened in April 2022 by renovating what was formerly Tanehira Elementary School in Yuwa, Akita City.

The main feature of this facility is that it has enough space to install a full-size power distribution line for a single-aisle passenger aircraft, and by being able to support future power grid verification tests including those of aircraft, it can be used to conduct performance evaluation tests, endurance tests (environmental resistance tests) for motor-driven devices, and system tests using the grid (transmission lines). In addition to using the facility to facilitate research at the Joint Research Center for Electric Architecture, our goal is to make it one of the leading electrification test bases in Japan by having companies both within and outside Akita Prefecture use it.

Akita Prefecture is a region rich in renewable energy, and electrification shares a close relationship with this. By sharing new knowledge obtained at the center with local companies and advancing this knowledge yet further, we will play an important role in realizing the future vision of Akita Prefecture.

Junichi Sakaki,
Director of the Joint Research Center for Electric Architecture

電動化システム共同研究センター長 榊 純一

About Our Slogan

Our slogan “Giving Akita Wings” carries the meaning of developing talent and revitalizing the region to fly high with Akita Prefecture and the people of Akita. The word “Wings” used in our slogan refers not only to aircraft that are the focus of the research and development efforts of the Joint Research Center for Electric Architecture, but also to the potential of Akita Prefecture and the people of Akita. It is our goal to develop both the region and its people.