The ERATO research program is funded by the Japanese government. It is administered by one of the government-run public companies, JRDC, which under the STA, reports directly to the prime minister's office. There appear to be no similar programs in the United States. Each year the program selects four directors to run projects of their own choosing for five years with an annual budget of about 370 million (U.S. $3.6 million). Each director, with the help of the ERATO project office, organizes his effort from the beginning, namely, finding space to lease, recruiting staff and ordering equipment. Usually projects have been located near a university, company, or government laboratory. The ERATO process has changed very little from its inception, and its objectives today are the same as they were in 1981.

Typically, a project director, who works only part time on an ERATO project, organizes three groups, not necessarily located in same facility or even the same city. Each group then is headed by a group leader. While each project is managed according to the project director's wishes, common rules apply across all projects:

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Published: September 1996; WTEC Hyper-Librarian