A Kyoto University delegation travelled to Hamburg, Germany, early June for the Universität Hamburg-Kyoto University Symposium 2017, held at co-host Universität Hamburg (UHH). The group was headed by President Juichi Yamagiwa and Dr Kayo Inaba, executive vice-president for gender equality, international affairs, and public relations, and consisted of 31 researchers and administrators in total.
The symposium aimed to initiate and develop collaborative research between the two institutions in six academic fields: manuscript culture, physics, law and economics, polymer chemistry, Japanese studies, and infection research.
A welcome dinner for the symposium was held on the evening of the 6th, opening with speeches by President Yamagiwa and UHH President Dieter Lenzen. Also in attendance at the dinner as honored guests were Mr Takao Anzawa, consul-general of Japan in Hamburg, Dr Jörg Schneider, head of the Division of International Affairs of Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), and Dr Keiichi Kodaira, director of the Bonn Office of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).
The symposium proper commenced on the following day with formal addresses by the presidents of both institutions, and also by HE Mr Takeshi Yagi, Japanese ambassador to Germany. A signing ceremony followed, concluding a memorandum for academic cooperation and exchange and a student exchange agreement between Universität Hamburg and Kyoto University. These agreements are anticipated to facilitate further expansion of collaboration, including student exchanges, between the two partners. The rest of the day was devoted to parallel research collaboration workshops and matchmaking sessions for the symposium's six fields of focus.
The second day consisted of a plenary session, in which representatives from each of the six research groups presented outcomes from their sessions of the previous day. All of the groups reported that they had found a number of promising collaborative topics to pursue, while some revealed that they had already established concrete proposals.
The symposium was then formally brought to a close with addresses from EVP Inaba and Dr Jan Louis, vice-president of UHH.
The symposium was highly successful in terms of establishing and deepening ties between researchers at the two institutions, and facilitating the establishment of new collaborative research projects.
A second joint symposium is currently being planned to be held at Kyoto University in autumn 2018.