In 2012, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology in Japan (MEXT) launched a 5-year program, called the “X-ray Free Electron Laser Priority Strategy Program”. One of its biggest projects is the “Rapid Structure Determination System for Drug-target Proteins Using the X-ray Free Electron Laser" project (abbr.: SACLA-SFX project) directed by Dr. So Iwata.

The SACLA Science Research Group, RIKEN, plays a crucial role at the core of the project, which involves a team of more than 10 of the most powerful organizations (in structural biology, and engineering) in Japan. The strong collaboration between these organizations and RIKEN, including beamline research and development groups, will promote the development of femtosecond crystallography systems using “SACLA” XFEL.