Ushering in a New Year of intensified EU-Japan cooperation in STI
EU News 21/2015
30 January 2015
On 22 January the Science and Technology Section of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Japan organised for the third time an S&T New Year's Reception. Close to 150 high-level guests represented all major stakeholders relevant for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in Japan, from Government Ministries and the Diet, through funding agencies, academia, to Japanese and European research institutions and industry conducting R&D in Japan. This prime STI networking event was also joined by representatives of the S&T Diplomatic Circle in Japan and EU Member States' S&T Counsellors.
Ambassador of the European Union to Japan Viorel Isticioaia-Budura stressed the growing weight and visibility of STI co-operation in EU-Japan relations. Mr. Sadayuki Tsuchiya, Deputy Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) presented recent major developments in Japan's STI landscape, reforms carried out in universities and the importance of strengthening international research co-operation.
Dr Kazuo Kyuma, Executive Member of the Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI), Cabinet Office, focused on the implementation of the Comprehensive STI Strategy and recent establishment of two major programmes, SIP and the ImPACT. Dr Kyuma recognised the importance of Horizon 2020 as a reference point in the preparations of Japan's next S&T Basic Plan that will start in FY2016. Professor Takashi Onishi, President of the Science Council of Japan (SCJ) also stressed the importance in international cooperation in S&T and highlighted recent initiatives of the Council related to the enhancement of research integrity in Japan, and SCJ's involvement in the permanent secretariat of Future Earth international research program for global sustainability.
Some important milestones for the EU-Japan STI collaboration in 2015 will include the elaboration of a possible Japanese scheme to provide financial support for the participation of Japanese researchers in Horizon 2020 open call projects; a possible cooperation agreement between the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and the European Research Council (ERC) on researcher mobility; the EU-Japan Summit in Tokyo and the Joint Committee Meeting on Scientific and Technological Cooperation in Brussels; the publication of the 2016-2017 Work Programme for Horizon 2020 in July and the annual EU-Japan Science Policy Forum in Kyoto in October.