President's Message
– New Beginnings –

 

 

 

 

President of SICE: Masayuki Fujita

 This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Society of Instrument and Control Engineers (SICE), which was founded in September 1961 and started its operations in January of the following year. It is a year of new beginnings. However, we seem to be standing at the crossroads of a great era: a pandemic caused by the spread of a new coronavirus infection, which started around the end of 2019,  is still sweeping the world. We are now at a crossroads in our lives.

Japan's science and technology, after a period of following the West and focusing on selectivity and concentration, has begun to work toward the solution of societal issues. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011, exactly 10 years ago, was one of the triggers for these efforts. In 2012, the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) launched the CREST project, "Creation of Fundamental Theory and Technology to Establish a Cooperative Distributed Energy Management System and Integration of Technologies Across Broad Disciplines Toward Social Application," to address climate change issues caused by global warming and energy issues aimed at realizing a decarbonized society. Many SICE members have played a central role in this project, demonstrating leadership in promoting research both domestically and internationally, promoting interdisciplinary research, strengthening international collaboration with overseas institutions, and leading the mechanism for creating innovation through system buildings.

Since 2016, the Cabinet Office has been advocating the vision of a future society called "Society 5.0", which is a super smart society that combines cyber and physical (real world) space in an advanced way, with the aim of both solving societal issues and achieving economic development. Among the projects with this super smart society in mind are the "Realization of a Super Smart Society" area of the JST-Mirai Program, and the "Tokyo Tech Academy for Super Smart Society" (Tokyo Institute of Technology), an outstanding WISE graduate program of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). SICE members are also playing an active role in these programs. Prior to this, in 2004, our Society had already proposed the technology vision "SICE City" for the creation of a new society and living space. This was indeed an anticipation of this super smart society. It is hoped that SICE will contribute to the construction of Cyber Physical Systems, which is a sophisticated fusion of cyber and physical spaces.

In 2020, the Basic Act on Science and Technology was fully revised into the Basic Act on Science, Technology and Innovation. The law calls for the creation and utilization of comprehensive knowledge, including the humanities and social sciences, and the creation of innovation aimed at the values of a human-centered society. A committee on Cyber-Physical & Human Systems (CPHS), a human-centered cyber physical system, has already been organized by the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) and is being discussed at international conferences. It is encouraging to see that this pioneering research on CPHS is being actively pursued within SICE. In line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth by the United Nations, a redesign of society as a whole is underway in order to realize Society 5.0. As pointed out in the book "Online First" recently published by the University of Tokyo Press, it is essential to overcome the barrier of the information society (Society 4.0) in Japan, which is not necessarily mature yet, and to push forward with the digitalization and its deployment in the real world, which is the premise of the future society, Society 5.0.

It is said that the Industrial Revolution began with control. However, the impact of mankind on the global environment has been so great that a new age called the Anthropocene has been proposed for our planet. As we face such a turning point in time, SICE, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, is expected to fulfill its important responsibilities in the field of science, technology, and innovation, focusing on measurement, control, and systems. The challenge to open up the post-corona and post-anthropocene era that will surely come has already begun. Rather than trying to return to the way things have always been, I would like to open a new door and make a new beginning toward the future.


Masayuki Fujita
(Tokyo University)
 

Members

  • 4,246 Regular Members
  • 361 Student Members
  • 173 Supporting Members (218Financial Units)
    (Apr. 10, 2021)

We are waiting for you to join us.