Tokyo Tech News
Tokyo Tech is a founding member of the ASPIRE (Asian Science and Technology Pioneering Institutes of Research and Education) League, a consortium of leading sci-tech universities in Asia that includes Tsinghua University, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).
As in the past, the ASPIRE Forum 2015 was comprised of three main parts:
Tokyo Tech's attendees to the July 23 Symposium and Vice Presidents and Senior Staff Meeting included Executive Vice President for Education and International Affairs Toshio Maruyama, Vice President for International Affairs Hidetoshi Sekiguchi, and ASPIRE League Secretariat member Professor Hisakazu Mihara, dean of the Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology.
The theme for the 2015 Forum was "Smart Green Cities." In a presentation entitled "Planning Towards Smart and Resilient Cities: Challenges of the Japanese Cities," Professor Norihiro Nakai from Tokyo Tech introduced the newest energy technologies used in Japanese cities and discussed Japan's energy situation since the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. Nakai is the dean of the Graduate School of Decision Science and Technology.
The ASPIRE League has supported collaborative research between its member universities since 2011 with grant funding from Tokyo Tech. Through these grants, faculty members of Tokyo Tech, acting as principal researchers, conduct collaborations with co-researchers from the ASPIRE League. At the 2015 Symposium, reports on collaborative research projects were shared by grant recipients Professor Yuji Wada of the Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, and Associate Professor Nobutaka Nakashima of the Department of Biological Information, Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology.
A total of 28 students — representing ASPIRE League member universities and the IDEA League consortium of European universities — participated in the Student Workshop. During the program, students attended lectures and visited facilities related to the forum's theme. In addition, the students took part in HKUST's Innovation & Entrepreneurship Training Camp, where they participated in sessions related to the market positioning of and value proposition in start-ups, business plan drafting, pitching skills, and financing.
On the final day of the ASPIRE Forum, Student Workshop participants made group presentations, pitching innovative technologies for "Smart Green Cities" to an audience of the ASPIRE League member universities' vice presidents. Tokyo Tech students were among the awardees for best innovative idea, best presenter, and best group presentation.