Okinawa is the only prefecture in Japan that is located in the subtropical climate zone, and contains unique and diverse biological resources. Meanwhile, Okinawa is establishing itself as one of the most important and active genome research centers in the world. The Open Research Center was organized in 2010 under the Okinawa Intellectual Cluster Program launched by the prefecture; its aim is to fully utilize the existing infrastructures such as the genome sequencers. Three joint research projects are in progress in the following fields: 1) utilization of biological resources, 2) environment and energy, and 3) medical and health care. In that program, the prefecture is striving to construct open networks among industry, government, and academia, by linking them with cross-sectional collaborations. The prefecture of Okinawa thereby aims to form "intellectual clusters", each of which will become a driving force for sustainable and scalable research and development activities in Okinawa.