Masafumi Ata Ph.D.

Position Department / Business Unit
Senior Researcher Technology Information Department, Research Policy Survey Office
Institution Disciplines
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Nanoparticles
City State / Provence
Chiyodaku Tokyo
Country Website

Since August 2004, with the objective to create a place and a network for sharing information related to societal impacts of nanotechnology, Dr. Ata initiated and has operated the open forum entitled Nanotechnology and Society at the Tokyo headquarters of AIST gathering regularly experts from government, academia, industry and business in Japan and overseas.

Together with his colleague Ms. Yumi Negami, he leads the forum, which to date has hosted six round-table discussions. For further information on the round-table discussion and registration, please contact Details of the symposium as well as presentation materials from past round-table discussions are also available on the AIST website (

In conjunction with the above forum, he organized and coordinated the first Symposium Nanotechnology and Society together with AIST Vice President Kazunobu Tanaka. The symposium was held on February 1 2005 at the Keidanren Kaikan with the co-sponsorship of AIST, the National Institute for Materials Science, the National Institute for Environmental Studies, and the National Institute of Health Sciences, and the support of Nikkei Nanotechnology, the Nanotechnology Business Creation Initiative, METI, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and Ministry of Environment. Dr. Hiroyuki Abe member of the Council for Science and Technology Policy of the Cabinet, gave a welcome address at the symposium and Dr. Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, president of AIST, presented the keynote speech. The event was the first comprehensive symposium in Japan focused on the societal impacts of nanotechnology organized under the joint cooperation of these government ministries and national research centers. Under a similar framework, he intends to organize a similar event next year to obtain further fruitful content to support Japan’s nanotechnology strategy.

Dr. Ata is a member of the Nanoparticle Safety Meeting Group of the METI, a member of the Societal Impact Working Group within the Policy Research Group of the METI, and an associate member of the Nanotechnology Standardization Policy Board of the Japanese Standards Association.


Dr. of Science, Kyushu University, in 1987

Career Highlights

From 1989, after serving as a fellow on the Ministry of Education’s Panel for the Promotion of Science, he engaged in private-sector R&D focused on recording media, display devices, energy devices, and carbon-based nanotechnology among other areas. From 1996, for three years he headed a project under the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth, where in 1999 he became principle researcher. From 2002, he was a visiting professor for the New Materials Creation Project at Tsukuba University’s Center for Tsukuba Advanced Research Alliance. In March 2004 he retired from the private sector, and on April 1 he began his current work in nanotechnology strategy at the Tokyo headquarters of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

1987/4~ Independent Administrative Institution; Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Invited Researcher, Molecular Science
1989/6~ Sony Corporation Research Center, Molecular Device Research Laboratory. Recording Media, 1990~ Fullerene Materials
1995/4~ Sony Corporation Research Center, Environmental Research Laboratory, Senior Scientist. Nanocarbon Materials
1997/4-1999/3 Foundation of Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE), Senior Scientist, Project Reader. Photocatalyst and Photovoltaic Devices with Nanocarbon Materials
1999/4~ Sony Corporation Frontier Science Laboratories, Principal Scientist, Project Leader, New Energy System using Nanocarbon Materials.
2002/4~ Sony Corporation Materials Laboratories, Head of π-Electron Materials Laboratory. π-Electron Devices using Nanocarbon Materials
2002/4~ TARA Center, University of Tsukuba, Invited Professor,
2004/4 ~ AIST Tokyo HQ, Senior Researcher, Nanotechnology Strategy

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