On 31 October-1 November, Kyoto University and the University of Zurich (UZH) jointly held the 2nd Kyoto-Swiss Symposium at the International Science Innovation Building on the Yoshida Campus.
The 1st Swiss-Kyoto Symposium was held in Zurich in November 2013, and researchers from the two institutions have since collaborated in a variety of fields, including life sciences, plant biology, and anthropology. Several of these projects have received support from funding programs, such as Kyoto University’s SPIRITS Program (Supporting Program for Interaction-based Initiative Team Studies) and the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research program of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).
The 2nd Symposium aimed to consolidate and build on the existing KU-UZH collaborations, as well as to create new opportunities for researchers to meet, share knowledge, and explore possibilities of cooperation in new areas.
Day one began with remarks by KU President Juichi Yamagiwa and Professor Christoph Hock, UZH’s vice-president for medicine and science. There then followed an address by the honored guest, Dr Matthias Frey of the Science & Technology Office Tokyo of the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan.
Following these speeches, Dr Kayo Inaba, Kyoto University’s executive vice-president for gender equality, international affairs, and public relations, presented an overview of her university, including the status of its recent collaboration with UZH. Dr Yasmin Inauen, director of UZH’s International Relations Office, then introduced her own university.
Dr Nagahiro Minato, Kyoto University’s executive vice-president for research, planning, and hospital administration, delivered a keynote lecture entitled “A Breakthrough in Human Cancer Therapy”, drawing on his twenty-plus years of research experience in the field. UZH Vice-President Christoph Hock then gave a keynote based on his own field of research specialization: “Antibody Therapy of Alzheimer’s Disease”.
Research sessions, held in parallel on the afternoon of the first day and the morning of the second day, investigated the following topics:
Primate Morphology and Behavior
Plants in Changing Environments: Systems in Action
Digital Society and Big Data Era
Investigations into the Disciplines of Japanese and East Asian Art Histories
Regenerative Medicine for Cardiac and Neural Diseases
In each session, researchers from both institutions gave presentations, shared their latest findings, and explored possibilities for collaboration. Some of the sessions included laboratory tours, and one featured a trip to the Kyoto University Museum.
On the afternoon of the second day, results of the two days’ parallel sessions were reported in a wrap-up session, and the symposium was brought to a close with remarks by UZH Vice-President Christoph Hock and Professor Masao Kitano, Kyoto University’s executive vice-president for education, information infrastructure, and evaluation.
In total, approximately 150 researchers, students, and staff of the two universities attended the symposium, which is anticipated to lead to significant new developments in research collaboration.