Kyoto University and the University of Bordeaux enjoy a close institutional relationship, enabling cooperation in diverse fields of education and research. That relationship was consolidated with the conclusion of a general memorandum for academic exchange and cooperation in 2014, and the holding of two joint research symposia in May 2014 (in Bordeaux) and May 2015 (in Kyoto). Among the various collaborative research groups that were involved in the symposia, the group focusing on material science has made particularly notable progress. The success of that group was a major factor in the recent establishment of the International Associated Laboratory researching Chiral Nanostructures for Photonics Applications (LIA-CNPA), which is located at at the University of Bordeaux and supported by the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).
A kick-off meeting for the new laboratory was held at the University of Bordeaux’s European Institute of Chemistry and Biology (IECB) on October 2–3, 2015. The meeting featured a total of eighteen presentations by researchers from Kyoto University, Kumamoto University, and the University of Bordeaux. The program also included a signing ceremony for the conclusion of an agreement of cooperation between the five institutions involved in operating the new laboratory: Kyoto University, Kumamoto University, the University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux INP, and CNRS.
On behalf of Kyoto University, Prof. Michinori Suginome, deputy vice-president for education, was invited to the ceremony. Prof. Takashi Sagawa (Graduate School of Energy Science), Associate Prof. Kazuhiro Fukami (Graduate School of Engineering), and Prof. Suginome gave presentations on their current research. Professor Hiroshi Imahori (Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences [iCeMS]) also gave a lecture via Skype. Most of the scholars from Bordeaux were already familiar with their colleagues from Kyoto University through their experiences of visiting and working in Kyoto.
The launch of the new International Associated Laboratory is anticipated to draw wide attention from the international academic community, as it provides valuable opportunities for Japanese and French researchers and students to cooperate on internationally relevant cutting-edge research.