Tokyo Tech News
"We encourage you to collaborate with peers and professors from around the world. The innovations for better living in our post-corona world are yours to discover." Such was the conclusion of a joint message to students from the vice presidents of the ASPIRE League, which comprises Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Tsinghua University, and Tokyo Tech.
The message was adopted at the July 2, 2020 ASPIRE League Vice Presidents and Senior Staff Meeting (VPSSM). Annually organized as part of the ASPIRE Forum, this year's meeting was held online due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19. Reflecting on the first half of 2020, the vice presidents took turns sharing their respective universities' experiences and responses to the pandemic. They highlighted activities in areas such as student and faculty support, online education, applied research and innovations, and community outreach.
Emphasizing the continuing necessity of international cooperation despite the heightened mistrust of globalization that has accompanied the pandemic, Tokyo Tech Executive Vice President Tetsuya Mizumoto declared, "No limitations and restrictions should be imposed on international cooperation in the field of science and technology, and this is where the ASPIRE League can play a critical role."
Collaboration in research and education across national borders has been central to the ASPIRE League's mission since its founding in 2009. From FY 2011 through FY 2019, the ASPIRE League Research Grant supported a total of 26 research projects involving 52 researchers from the League's member universities. Since FY 2019, the League is promoting joint research through its Partnership Seed Fund to foster sustainable multilateral research collaboration within the League and build on the research strengths of member universities. Attendees to the July 2 meeting examined proposals and selected new research projects to be funded under the 2020 Partnership Seed Fund cycle.
In addition, delegates participated in a virtual signing ceremony to extend the Memorandum of Understanding on the Implementation of the ASPIRE League. As Tokyo Tech will continue to serve as chair university for the ASPIRE League in 2020–2021, Mizumoto invited representatives of the member universities and their students to Tokyo Tech for ASPIRE Forum 2021.