Prof. Mihara gave a keynote speech at the Japan-Germany Economic Symposium on May 25, 2022.
The Japan-Germany Economic Symposium (Wirtschaftstag Japan) has been held annually since 2002 as part of "Japan Day" in Dusseldorf – a celebration of unique culture and encounters. The theme of this year is "New Materials for Sustainable Future Development, Utilization, and Recycling". Tokyo Tech was invited to give a keynote speech following the one in 2019.
Prof. Mihara, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, talked about Tokyo Tech research strategies – especially Holistic Life Science (HLS) and the bio-strategy based on it – and discussed global movement in genetic engineering, bioenergy, bioplastics, and agricultural engineering, as well as the efforts of Japan and concrete research examples at Tokyo Tech thereof.
The symposium was held face-to-face this year, and approximately 240 people attended. In addition, a networking party was held after the event, possibly an attempt to put the pandemic behind us . Although Prof. Mihara, did not travel to Germany and participated in the symposium online due to COVID-19, the participants seemed to be very interested in the efforts and achievements of Tokyo Tech, an institute with a close connection to the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW).
Tokyo Tech and RWTH Aachen University annually hold a joint workshop to deepen exchange and cooperation in research areas of interest. In 2021, the event was held online on December 1, 2 and 10 with hydrogen as the theme.
Hydrogen is attracting attention around the world as a renewable energy source, and Germany presented its national hydrogen strategy in June 2020. Big projects are underway in Germany to realize this strategy. Clusters4Future, for which RWTH Aachen University has been adopted, is one of them. At Tokyo Tech, there are many researchers — such as those in the InfoSyEnergy Consortium and Laboratory for Zero-Carbon Energy — who carry out research related to hydrogen.
Consequently, both universities had high expectations for a workshop on this theme. Most of the participants in the workshop were people in industry and academia in Japan and Germany, but many people from Thailand also participated, and it is clear that the theme was of global interest.
On December 1, keynote speeches and the session on hydrogen generation and production were held, and about 130 people participated. On December 2, the session on hydrogen storage and transportation was held, and about 90 people participated. And on December 10, about 80 people participated in the session on application and utilization. With active discussions in each session, the workshop was a success. Tokyo Tech ANNEX Aachen will continue to support the building of cooperative relations with RWTH Aachen University and industries.
On November 13, Tokyo Tech Vice President for International Affairs Jun-ichi Takada and Tokyo Tech ANNEX Aachen Director Tatsuya Mizukoshi participated an online event organized by the German Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) Alumni Association (JSPS Club), a group whose mission is the promotion of scientific exchange between the German-speaking area and Japan. With approximately 60 persons attending the event, Tokyo Tech and RWTH Aachen’s active cooperation received wide attention.
Held to highlight the cooperative relationships between RWTH Aachen University and Japanese universities and research institutions, the event kicked off with a welcome by Professor Heinrich Menkhaus of JSPS Club. RWTH Aachen University Rector Ulrich Rüdiger, Consul General of Japan in Düsseldorf Kiminori Iwama, and Lord Mayor Sibylle Keupen of the City of Aachen each gave opening remarks.
RWTH Aachen University Professor Jun Okuda, who previously managed the university’s exchanges with Japanese institutions, discussed the history of RWTH Aachen’s strategic partnerships with Japan. He noted that while the university has fostered exchanges with Japanese universities for many years, RWTH Aachen places great importance on the relationship it has with Tokyo Tech.
Subsequently, ANNEX Aachen Director Tatsuya Mizukoshi and Professor Sven Ingebrandt, who is currently in charge of RWTH Aachen’s exchanges with Japanese universities, introduced cooperation between the two universities. Following their talk, attendees inquired about the universities’ interaction with companies as well as about frameworks for cooperation in the field of medicine. In addition, AGIT, the regional business development company in Aachen, and Aachen-based research institutes of Japanese companies shared valuable perspectives on how to advance research collaboration with RWTH Aachen University.
Tokyo Tech staff members joined RWTH Aachen University’s "RWTH Go Abroad Fair," held online on November 2. It was the fourth time for the Institute to be involved in the RWTH Go Abroad Fair since first participating in it in 2018. This year, 30 students attended the information session conducted by Tokyo Tech. International Student Exchange Division staff members shared an overview of the Institute, described various short-term exchange programs open to RWTH Aachen students, and explained the current situation regarding travel to Japan. The director of ANNEX Aachen then introduced a virtual campus tour using Tokyo Tech VR. During the Q&A, students inquired about courses and research activities at the Institute, as well as about living expenses and Tokyo Tech dormitories. As in previous years, RWTH Aachen students’ questions demonstrated a high level of interest in studying at the Institute. As restrictions on international mobility are further eased, Tokyo Tech looks forward to welcoming RWTH Aachen students to its campuses at the earliest opportunity.
The 2020 RWTH – Tokyo Tech Joint Workshop was held between November 2020 and February 2021 as a series of online mini-workshops organized around five sub-themes within Medical Technology and Digital Life Science.
Twenty-one researchers from Tokyo Tech, RWTH Aachen University (RWTH Aachen), and Forschungszentrum Jülich participated in the series.
To deepen exchanges between researchers at the three institutions and to promote to a wide audience the research activities at each, the 2020 Joint Workshop welcomed 219 attendees, including fellow researchers from the speakers’ institutions and company representatives.
● November 20 “Big Data for Life Science”
● December 17 “Microscopic and in vivo Imaging”
● January 22 “Nanomedicines”
● February 24 “Neurology”
● February 25–26 “in silico, AI, AR in Life Science”
Co-organized by Tokyo Tech ANNEX Aachen and RWTH Aachen, the Joint Workshop is held annually with the aim of accelerating collaborative research between Tokyo Tech and RWTH Aachen as well as with research institutes such as Forschungszentrum Jülich, other universities, and companies in Germany.
In 2020, each workshop session began with a briefing by representatives of the two universities on funding opportunities in Japan and Germany for international joint research collaboration. Researchers’ presentations were followed discussions between researchers of Tokyo Tech, RWTH Aachen and Forschungszentrum Jülich regarding possibilities for future collaborative research.
Going forward, Tokyo Tech ANNEX Aachen will continue to encourage exchange between researchers of Tokyo Tech, RWTH Aachen, and Forschungszentrum Jülich and to support the acquisition of funds for collaborative research.
The RWTH-Tokyo Tech Joint Workshop on Medical Technology and Digital Life Science, originally scheduled for June 2020 as a two-day in-person event, is underway online as a series of five mini-workshops organized around sub-themes within Medical Technology and Digital Life Science.
The first mini-workshop, “Big Data for Life Science,” was held on November 20, and introduced the following research:
●“AI-Proteomics: Elucidation of something unknown of the life through high performance proteomics”
Associate Professor Nobuhiro Hayashi, School of Life Science and Technology, Tokyo Tech
●“Proteomics/peptidomics approaches for identification of mediators involved in the cardiorenal cross-talk”
Professor Joachim Jankowski, Institute for Molecular Cardiovascular Research (IMCAR), RWTH Aachen
●“Big Data for human gut microbiome”
Associate Professor Takuji Yamada, School of Life Science and Technology, Tokyo Tech
●“Shaping of immune responses by the gut microbiota”
Dr. Oliver Pabst, Institute of Molecular Medicine, RWTH Aachen
The Joint Workshop is intended to accelerate collaboration between Tokyo Tech and RWTH Aachen as well as with other universities and businesses in Germany. The first mini-workshop began with a briefing by representatives of the two universities on funding opportunities in Japan and Germany for international joint research collaboration. Following the research presentations, participants discussed possibilities for future collaboration. Approximately 50 persons joined the workshop.
The next mini-workshop in the series, “Microscopic and in vivo Imaging,” will be held online on December 17.
Tokyo Tech International Student Exchange Division staff members joined RWTH Aachen University’s "RWTH Go Abroad Fair," held online on November 26. Institute representatives shared presentations on international exchange programs open to RWTH students and answered students’ questions. RWTH Aachen students typically have a high level of interest in Japan, and in previous years, many participants visited the Tokyo Tech booth at the event, which had been held in person. This year, 52 students attended Tokyo Tech’s online presentations. Though mobility between Germany and Japan is difficult at present, Tokyo Tech staff members were encouraged to learn that RWTH Aachen students continue to be interested in studying at the Institute, and Tokyo Tech looks forward to welcoming them to campus at the earliest opportunity.
Tokyo Tech’s participation in the Go Abroad Fair was organized through Tokyo Tech ANNEX Aachen.
From January 13 to 17, Tokyo Tech's School of Materials and Chemical Technology, together with RWTH Aachen University (RWTH Aachen), held a Joint Student Exchange Workshop. In preparation for the workshop, six Tokyo Tech students participated in an outbound student exchange program to Germany, where they visited RWTH Aachen, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, and Forschungszentrum Jülich. The program was supported by Tokyo Tech's Center for International Education under FY2019 funding for promotion of international education programs (ANNEX activities category).
Joint activities for Tokyo Tech and RWTH students were conducted on the campus of RWTH Aachen on January 15 and 16. On the first day, to encourage Tokyo Tech students to study abroad at the university, Bettina Dinter of RWTH Aachen International Office briefed the Tokyo Tech student delegation on the university's support services and scholarships for international students. Later, RWTH faculty members and Tokyo Tech School of Materials and Chemical Technology Professor Masahiko Hara provided lectures on projects related to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
On the second day, the RWTH Aachen and Tokyo Tech Joint Student Exchange Workshop was held. Based on the lectures of the previous day, the workshop focused on problem solving around the SDGs. It was conducted with student participation both in person and in real-time online. It included the Tokyo Tech students who had traveled to Germany as well as those who participated by videoconference from Japan.
A Tokyo Tech student participant commented, "Experiencing the research environment in Germany and collaborating with RWTH Aachen students was intellectually stimulating. I was able to think about my future career and take note of both the skills I already possess and those I need to develop."
Tokyo Tech ANNEX Aachen is actively promoting student exchanges between Tokyo Tech and RWTH Aachen.
Professor Detlef Stolten, Director of Energy and Climate Research IEK-3: Techno-Economic Systems Analysis at Forschungszentrum Jülich visited Tokyo Tech on December 5 and 6 to exchange opinions on the differences in systems analysis between Japan and Germany and share ideas on hydrogen and fuel cells. Stolten explained that the May 2019 Tokyo Tech-RWTH Joint Workshop on Sustainable Energy inspired him to make the visit.
Stolten is a leading expert in the field of the systems analysis of renewable energy and fuel cells and is affiliated with RWTH Aachen. He is a key person in the partnership between the two universities in this field. Stolten was accompanied by colleague Mr. Bastian Gillessen of IEK-3: Techno-Economic Systems Analysis.
While on campus, the two participated in discussions with School of Engineering Professors Tomohiro Nozaki and Tetsuya Suekane on December 5 and Professors Hidenori Kosaka and Mamoru Tanahashi on December 6. Additionally, the two met with Professor Manabu Ihara of the School of Materials and Chemical Technology. The two-day visit is expected to lead to further collaboration between Tokyo Tech, Forschungszentrum Jülich, and RWTH Aachen.
On November 18, Professor Heinz Pitsch of RWTH Aachen University gave a lecture at Tokyo Tech organized by Tokyo Tech's Graduate Major in Energy Science and Engineering. Pitsch had previously given a talk at the Tokyo Tech-RWTH Aachen University Joint Workshop on Sustainable Energy held at RWTH Aachen in May 2019.
He was invited to the Institute by Professor Mamoru Tanahashi of the School of Engineering. Titled "Artificial Intelligence in Combustion Research: Knowledge and Understanding," Pitsch's lecture focused on machine learning and application of AI in the field of energy. More than 50 persons, including faculty members, researchers in the AI and IoT fields, and students attended.
A chair of the German Section of the Combustion Institute, Pitsch received the International Prize from the Combustion Society of Japan in 2019.
In cooperation with Tokyo Tech ANNEX Aachen, Tokyo Tech International Affairs Division and International Student Exchange Division staff members attended the "RWTH Go Abroad Fair" at RWTH Aachen University on November 18. This was the second time Tokyo Tech staff participated in the fair.
Aiming to encourage RWTH Aachen students to participate in study abroad at Tokyo Tech, the Institute's delegates held an information booth and also made a presentation on the Institute and its inbound student exchange programs. International Student Exchange Division staff and an RWTH Aachen student who had studied at Tokyo Tech explained the Institute's programs for international students and answered questions. Interest in study at Tokyo Tech was high: a total of 62 students visited the booth, while 42 students attended the Tokyo Tech presentation. According to an RWTH Aachen International Office staff member, 46 RWTH Aachen students applied to the office to participate in study at Tokyo Tech through the International Student Exchange Program for AY 2020.
As evidenced by the fair, many RWTH Aachen students are interested in Japanese language and culture and in studying in Japan. Such students register for the university's "BeBuddy" system, which provides support and general information for international students, and they specifically request to be paired with students from Japan.
Recognizing RWTH Aachen's extensive international student support services and excellent research environment, Tokyo Tech ANNEX Aachen aims to strengthen inbound and outbound student exchanges between Tokyo Tech and RWTH Aachen.
Dr. N. Jon Shah, an internationally-recognized authority on High-Resolution fMRI at 7T at Forschungszentrum Jülich, spoke at the Open Seminar organized by the School of Life Science and Technology on October 7. Forschungszentrum Jülich is a public research institute operating under the Helmholtz Association, Germany's largest scientific organization. It was involved in creating the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA), a research promotion body, and has close connections with RWTH Aachen. Tokyo Tech ANNEX Aachen aims to promote research collaboration with these organizations.
The seminar was realized following a visit by Shah to Associate Professor Hiroyuki Akama of Department of Life Science and Technology and the Institute for Liberal Arts.
The seminar was attended by approximately 30 persons and broadcast live from Ookayama to the Suzukakedai campus. Shah expressed hope that the seminar would lead to more joint research between Tokyo Tech and Forschungszentrum Jülich.
Associate Professor Sosuke Imamura of the Institute of Innovative Research gave a seminar at RWTH Aachen University on October 15. Under funding from the Research Abroad and Invitational Program for International Collaboration (special allocation for ANNEX activities), he was in Germany to conduct research at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf.
The seminar was one of RWTH Aachen's Fuel Science Center Seminars, which are open to the public. Ahead of the seminar, Imamura visited the university's Institute of Applied Microbiology. He exchanged ideas with researchers on the production of useful substances using microbes and inspected the culture tank and other research facilities.
In the seminar, Imamura spoke on "Underlying Regulatory Mechanism of Oil Accumulation in Microalgae to Enhance Its Biofuel Potential." Approximately 30 individuals from RWTH Aachen University and other organizations were in attendance. Imamura and attendees had the opportunity to discuss future prospects for collaboration based on the presentation, as well as the problems associated with large-scale production of algal oil, and how to reduce production costs.
Tokyo Tech ANNEX Aachen is grateful to RWTH Aachen for having provided this opportunity for Imamura to introduce his research. It is hoped that the seminar, and others like it, will lead to further collaborations between Tokyo Tech, RWTH Aachen, and other research organizations.
A Joint Workshop on Sustainable Energy was held on May 22 and 23 at RWTH Aachen University.
The second Tokyo Tech ANNEX was opened in March 2019 in Aachen, Germany.