As in previous years, it brought together over 40 leading research policy makers, funding agency managers, academics and industrialists, as well as over 40 observers, from Europe and Japan. The topic was: "Boosting Innovation: Policy initiatives and measures in the EU and Japan". The event came at an important time, as both the Horizon Europe proposal on the EU side, and the 6th S&T Basic Plan (2021-2025) in Japan, are under preparation.
In her welcome remarks, EU Ambassador-designate to Japan H.E. Patricia Flor highlighted the importance of the EU-Japan Research and Innovation collaboration in the context of the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement and the Economic Partnership Agreement, two landmark agreements, that were signed in Tokyo on 17 July 2018. Mr. Jean-Eric Paquet, Director General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission presented the Comission proposal for Horizon Europe – the next EU research and innovation programme (2021-2027). Other policy briefs were delivered by Mr. Yoshio Yamawaki, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and S&T (MEXT), Mr. Takahiro Ueyama, Executive Member of the Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI) and Ms. Eva Kaili, MEP and Chair of the Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA), European Commission. After introductory remarks by representatives of key STI institutions in Europe and Japan, the discussion followed, with an active participation of a number of other influential actors in STI.
On 7 October, Director-General Mr. Jean-Eric Paquet participated in the S&T Ministerial Roundtable on the theme "The Role of STI for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)", where he delivered a statement on the SDG related developments in the EU. On the same day, Director-General Mr. Jean-Eric Paquet and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) President Prof. Michinari Hamaguchi, witnessed by MEXT Minister Mr. Masahiko Shibayama, EU Ambassador-designate to Japan H.E. Patricia Flor, and European Research Council (ERC) President Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, signed an agreement that will allow Japanese researchers who participate in JST-funded projects to visit ERC projects in Europe. More information about this agreement is available at:
On the margins of the 15th STS forum that took place in Kyoto, 7-9 October, Director-General Mr. Jean-Eric Paquet also met representatives of Japanese ministries, research funding agencies and other key STI stakeholders in Japan, with whom he discussed ways to strengthen EU-Japan research collaboration in a wide range of scientific fields, mainly under Horizon 2020 and its successor - Horizon Europe.