Two initiatives for the promotion of International Research on Micro and Nano technologies between France and Japan have been established by the Institute of  Industrial Science (IIS) of the University of Tokyo and CNRS. In a first stage, IIS and CNRS have decided to establish a joint laboratory in Tokyo in 1995 : the Laboratory for Integrated  MicroMechatronic Systems (LIMMS/CNRS-IIS).

Based on this first successful experience on collaborative research, IIS and CNRS have extended their collaboration by the creation in CIRMM-CNRS in 2000 (Center for International Research on Micromechatronics). In these two collaborations supported by the INSIS institute ST2I department of CNRS, the IEMN has intensive actions and a crucial role.
The LIMMS, fully operational since January 1995, hosts researchers and post-doc fellows in IIS where they perform highest level research together with their Japanese colleagues by exploring the frontiers of micro and nano systems and their application in biology, communication systems, optics, and instrumentation.
Since 1995, LIMMS has already hosted many permanent researchers as well as post doc fellows for 2-4 years stay duration, most of these researchers coming from CNRS laboratories. As a recognition of this more than 10 years long successful collaboration, the LIMMS has become, in June 2004, the first international research unit of CNRS in Asia. Vincent AGACHE (2004-2005) and Olivier DUCLOUX (2008-2009) have been in LIMMS as postdoctoral fellows. Dominique COLLARD, DR CNRS has joined again LIMMS in August 2005 in order to develop techniques for successful manipulation of maipulating single molecules and nanowires using micro and nano-tweezers produced by etching in silicon micromachining. From Sept 2007, D. Collard is LIMMS director and the laboratory has been renewed for a new 4 years term until March 2012.
The second collaboration, CIRMM-CNRS has two goals. The first is to host Japanese researchers in CNRS Laboratories in France to perform Research Topics on Micro-Nano Systems. This represents a mirror activity of LIMMS and permits to extend collaborations initiated in Japan. Six Japanese researchers have been hosted in this initiative. The second goal is to maintain/initiate a networking activity to initialize and organize collaboration with other European countries with a view of establishing European Community Projects.
This activity led in creating the Group of International Research GDRI-NANO and Microsystems “NAMIS” in November 2005.
This network groups together the CNRS laboratories with the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland), the University of Freiburg (IMTEK)  (Germany), the University of Tokyo (Japan), the National University of Seoul (South Korea) and VTT (Finland). This GDRI is directed by Alain BOSSEBOEUF (DR CNRS, IEF-Orsay).