Hirotaka Matsuoka, Ph.D.
Director of Waseda Institute for Sport Sciences
The Waseda Institute for Sport Sciences was established in 2006 as a constituent organization of the Faculty of Sport Sciences. Our mission is to further invigorate research into sports sciences, and to pass on the benefits of our research to society at large. To achieve this goal, the Institute’s main activities include carrying out research, publishing research results, hosting research seminars and providing lectures. The institute also acts as a contact point between Waseda University and external organizations, as well as receiving commissions and giving instruction in research and investigations.
As a seminar-style project aimed at giving contributing to society, the Institute has been offering the “Sport MBA (Master of Business Administration) Essence” since 2017. This is a non-degree education program for business persons who are interested in acquiring knowledge about sport management and business. It is also innovative that this is a joint project with the Institute for Business and Finance of Waseda University, and many graduates have already begun to play an active role in the sports industry.
The most important task of the institute is to promote research collaborations with various companies, local governments, government agencies, sports associations, etc. We have a track record of 20 to 30 joint research and commissioned research projects every year, and a total of more than 130 projects in the last five years. Most of the research results have been reported as publications in domestic and international academic journals and research presentations at academic conferences. At the same time, feedbacks have been given to partners in projects, and the research results were used as strategies and product development for new initiatives related to health and sports in companies, health promotion in local governments, and application in policies related to sports. Researchers at this center are engaged in such academic and socially contributing research activities. Approximately 170 researchers, including faculty members of the Faculty of Sport Sciences, visiting researchers, and invited researchers, belong to our institute.
Holding colloquiums on sport sciences is also one of the major tasks of this institute. We invite internationally active researchers from Japan and overseas to introduce our cutting-edge research findings. About 20 to 25 meetings are held every year at Tokorozawa and Higashi-fushimi campuses, and the total number of colloquiums has already exceeded 260. We provide cutting-edge knowledge and information on sports science not only to our researchers but also to students and the general public.
Waseda University was previously selected for the Global COE Program entitled “Sport Sciences for the Promotion of Active Life” by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Its base was established at the Institute for Sport Sciences. The success of the program has greatly demonstrated the research outcomes and further possibilities of sports science at home and abroad. As a result, in addition to domestic students, many excellent international students have gathered at the Graduate School of Sport Sciences and have been very active in the world after they obtained their doctoral degrees. The legacy of the Global COE Program has been also utilized in the Top Global University Project (SGU) “Health Promotion: The Joy of Sports and Exercise”. Through these activities, we are strengthening our partnerships with leading overseas universities and research institutes and expanding our global network.
Currently, Waseda is promoting the international development of its education and research with the goal of playing a role as “Asia’s leading university.” Sport science research has provided an important pillar for these efforts, and society has big expectations for us. In these days when the roles required of sports in society are diversifying, I believe that Waseda Institute for Sport Sciences will develop further and serve as a base for research that can promote our contribution to society.
(September 21, 2020)