Since its establishment in 2014, Hitotsubashi University Institute for Advanced Study of Social Sciences has played a role as a base for promoting world-leading research at the university. Eight years after its establishment, the world is facing many more complex and difficult-to-solve problems, such as the rapid progress of globalization and global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, I feel that the quality of human resources that society requires us to develop has changed significantly since our establishment.

While inheriting its history and tradition as an outstanding academic community, Hitotsubashi University will continue to strive for greater diversity (internationalization and diversification) in order to enable proactive efforts to resolve these issues. We have decided to launch a project called HIAS BRIDGES with the aim of creating a cross-disciplinary research environment that is not bound by a specific field, and a base for a group of cutting-edge researchers who are active in that field and are open to the world. HIAS BRIDGES consists of the following two projects, with the goal of strengthening HIAS into a “base of social science” where top-level researchers form a multi-layered research network.

The first is to train outstanding young researchers mainly in the strategic priority areas of the university (Economics/Business Administration/Accounting/Finance/Vocal Music/International Relations/Psychology/Data Science/Global Law). “HIAS BRIDGES Next” aims to foster the next generation of young researchers by hiring them at HIAS on a large scale and providing an environment where they can concentrate on their research. The second is the “HIAS BRIDGES Distinguished” project, which aims to further deepen and sophisticate research at HIAS by inviting world-class researchers to HIAS internationally and conducting joint research with HIAS researchers. The first batch of HIAS BRIDGES students have already arrived, and through this project, many young and prominent researchers from around the world have gathered at Hitotsubashi University, transcending borders, nationalities, generations, and gender barriers. I strongly hope that the university will further enhance its individuality and appeal as an academic community where diverse talent gathers, and that its outstanding results will be disseminated to society.