Project Description

Membrane technology is highly valued as one of the key solutions to tackling energy, water and CO2 issues, which are the main challenges that need to be overcome in order to attain the SDGs and realize a carbon neutral society. In order to advance membrane research on a global scale, Kobe University’s Research Center for Membrane and Film Technology set up an international consortium called the Membrane International Consortium on Research and Education. Currently 15 global renowned membrane research facilities have joined the consortium under official signed MOUs.

In accordance with Kobe University’s Vision 2030, the project aims to promote co-research and co-authored publications particularly on SDG-related topics via collaborative activities under the consortium. In 2022, the project was awarded with the Kobe University Strategic International Collaborative Research Grant (Type B: Fostering Joint Research) for a 3 year period under the title of ‘Advancing the Realization of SDGs and Carbon Neutral Society via the Collaborative Activities under the Membrane International Consortium on Research and Education’. To achieve the project goal, we are currently implementing the following kinds of activities:

-Organizing an international workshop on membranes at Kobe University for research and educational exchange purposes (iWMK)
-Inviting world famous scholars to give plenary lectures to students
-Hosting scholars from our academic partners for co-research and scientific exchange
-Actively applying research and innovation funds to enhance co-research
-Joining the world’s major conferences on membranes, the environment and energy in order to promote Kobe University’s academic achievements, as well as to collect information on global trends in membrane research
- Developing new academic links with other highly valued membrane research facilities worldwide to expand the MICRE network

These activities will not only enhance membrane-related co-research achievements but will also greatly strengthen Kobe University’s global presence through their international contribution towards attaining the SDGs and realizing a carbon neutral society.

Gas Permeation Test Equipment
Hollow Fiber Membrane Fabrication Equipment


International Workshop on Membrane in Kobe (iWMK)

Comments from the Project Leader

Professor MATSUYAMA Hideto (Advisor to the President and Director of the Research Center for Membrane and Film Technology)

Professor MATSUYAMA Hideto (Research Center for Membrane and Film Technology)

Membrane studies are highly valued as one key academic field for achieving the SDGs, particularly those that are related to the environment, energy and industrial innovation. As the first and the largest university-based membrane research facility, Kobe University’s Research Center for Membrane and Film Technology has focused on international collaboration since its establishment. The Membrane International Consortium on Research and Education (MICRE) was started as the center’s major initiative. Over years of effort, we have built up the network to include 15 renowned membrane research centers worldwide (as of Oct 2022). Although this is perhaps the world’s largest faculty-driven membrane consortium for academic purposes, we are still expanding the network. MICRE is expected to accelerate the worldwide co-research and educational collaboration on membrane studies.


International Collaboration

Our international collaboration activities under MICRE cover co-research, professional development and student education.


At the moment, 13 co-research projects are in progress with our academic partners worldwide including the University of Arkansas (USA), University of Technology Sydney (Australia), Victoria University (Australia), Tiangong University (China), Nanjing Tech University (China), Zhejiang University (China), Universiti Teknologi of Malaysia (Malaysia), Chung Yuan University (Taiwan), National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan), National University of Taiwan (Taiwan), East China University of Science and Technology (China), and Universitas Syiah Kuala (Indonesia).

In the past 3 years 97 co-authored publications have been published (with 20 of these ranking within the top 10% in the field of chemical engineering).

Faculty Development

Another focus of international collaboration is the development of faculty specializing in membrane research and education. Since 2015 we have hosted more than 100 scholars from our academic partners. We also sent a number of young researchers and students overseas for professional training.

Student Education

To expand and deepen students’ global outlook, we have invited world famous scholars to give a wide variety of academic lectures. We also organize events such as poster presentations and discussions during our annual international workshop for enhancing students’ academic exchanges. In the past 3 years, over 100 students have gained valuable learning opportunities by participating in our activities.


The Membrane International Consortium (as of Oct 2022)

Information on related research facilities