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Content - Swiss-Japanese science cooperation strengthened

  • March 09, 2018

Swiss-Japanese science cooperation strengthened

Tokyo (SCCIJ) – Switzerland and Japan will further intensify their scientific and technological exchanges. This is the result of the fourth meeting of the joint committee for cooperation in these areas between the two countries. The committee is comprised of Swiss and Japanese delegates from funding agencies and educational research institutions. Their meeting culminated in a Memorandum of Cooperation signed by Swiss National Science Foundation and the Japan Science and Technology Agency. They intend to further extend and facilitate direct collaborative efforts in these areas.

Memorandum signing in Tokyo

Fourth joint committee meeting

Since the signing of the agreement between the Swiss Federal Council and the government of Japan on scientific and technological cooperation in 2007, cooperation in the fields of research and innovation between the two countries has increased significantly, the Swiss government said in a press release.  

At the fourth meeting of the joint committee for scientific and technological cooperation between Switzerland and Japan at the Mita Conference Hall in Tokyo, steps were taken to further strengthen the already well-established direct cooperation between the various research funding agencies and gauge additional possibilities for cooperation.

Meeting of the joint committee for scientific and technological cooperation between Switzerland and Japan in Tokyo (click to enlarge)

Meeting of the joint committee for scientific and technological cooperation between Switzerland and Japan in Tokyo (click to enlarge)

Memorandum of Cooperation

The event was opened by Takeshi Nakane, Ambassador for Science and Technology Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and Ambassador Mauro Moruzzi, Head of International Relations at the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), the Science and Technology Office Tokyo (STOT) of the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan reported.  

The Memorandum of Cooperation was signed by Jean-Luc Barras (Swiss National Science Foundation) and Mariko Kobayashi (Japanese Society for Promotion of Science). The Japanese delegation comprised also representatives from the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), as well as Japan’s leading research institutions and funding agencies.  

The ground was also prepared for a joint project call to be launched by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) in spring. The members of the Swiss delegation were also able to sound out further possibilities for cooperation with representatives from the Japanese institutions.  

Travel grants to young researchers

Japan is one of the most important Asian partner countries for Swiss researchers. Between 2013 and 2017 Swiss researchers from over 160 SNSF-funded projects worked with researchers from Japan. Particular attention is given to enabling young researchers to travel: So far over 200 Japanese researchers have been able to conduct research at Swiss universities for a limited time thanks to the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.  

Since 2014 the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) has offered travel grants to young researchers from Japan in cooperation with JSPS. Since 2008 the ETH Zurich has been the Leading House for cooperation between Swiss universities and researchers with Japanese partners.  

In the period 2017-2020 the ETHZ is taking on that role also for China, South Korea and the ASEAN member states, and has further expanded the existing measures and instruments to promote bilateral scientific cooperation.  

Parallel visit of Swiss State Secretary

There is also close direct cooperation between universities and research institutions from Switzerland and Japan; there are currently over 60 partnerships between Swiss universities and partner institutions in Japan.  

The State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation, Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, was also in Tokyo at the same time to attend the second International Space Exploration Forums (ISEF2). During the event he held talks with Yoshimasa Hayashi, the Japanese minister for education, culture, sport, science and technology.    

 

Text: SCCIJ with material of the Swiss Federal Government; Photos: Science and Technology Office Tokyo (STOT) at the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan

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