On behalf of the organizing committee, it is my greatest pleasure to welcome all participants to the 16th RIES-Hokudai International Symposium, "術" [jutsu]. This year’s symposium is joined with the 6th International Symposium of the Nano-Macro Materials, Devices, and System Research Alliance, and is organized by the Research Institute for Electronic Science (RIES) of Hokkaido University. It is also co-organized by Fivestar Association, the Nano-Macro Materials, Devices, and System Research Alliance, and the Network Joint Research Center for Materials and Devices, which is composed of five national university-attached institutes including RIES, the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials at Tohoku University, the Chemical Resources Laboratory at Tokyo Institute of Technology, the Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research at Osaka University, and the Institute for Materials Chemistry and Engineering at Kyushu University.

RIES has organized this series of international symposia since 1999 and starting in 2001 the theme of each symposium has been symbolized by a single "Kanji" (Chinese character). The theme selected for this year’s symposium is "術" [jutsu]. In Japanese, the character "術" generally denotes "technique", "art", "trick" and "strategy". These themes are not only strongly related to a variety of research fields, including the Material and Molecular Sciences, Photonics and Optics, the Life Sciences, and the Mathematical and System Sciences, but also to fields straddling their boundaries. Technological breakthroughs often involve wonderful tricks of scientific ingenuity, and these techniques represent a collective set of arts that are necessary for developing all research fields. Carefully designed research strategies also lead scientific projects to realize their full success. In addition to the central role that "術" plays in expanding our scientific knowledge, it is also an essential topic in organizing and promoting interdisciplinary research for establishing new collaborative research fields.

In this symposium, fourteen invited speakers will present their latest research associated with this year’s theme "術" along with poster presenters. I hope that each participant has active interdisciplinary discussions and relationships during this symposium and starts collaborative research in the near future. Finally, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the invited speakers, and to all participants for joining this symposium.

Sincerely yours,

Hiromichi OHTA