Imperial and University of Tokyo to lead cleantech revolution

30 May 2023 | Network Updates | Update from Imperial College London
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

Imperial and the University of Tokyo have announced a major new strategic relationship for cleantech and energy research.

The partnership was announced by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at a UK-Japan business forum ahead of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima.

The partnership builds on major industry-research centres in climate repair and energy systems that both partners have with Hitachi Ltd.

The Presidents of Imperial and the University of Tokyo signed the agreement ahead of the G7 Summit, witnessed by the executive chairman and the chief technology officer of Hitachi.

All three organisations have an ambition to create a sustainable society and accelerate the transition to zero pollution.

The wide-ranging partnership will see scientists from Imperial and the University of Tokyo work closely together on research projects and new technology in areas such as energy, decarbonisation and climate repair.

The two prestigious universities will bring together world-leading academics, industry, government, and other stakeholders to ensure that the most promising breakthroughs are rapidly scaled to realise potential global benefits more quickly.

Earlier this month, the UK and Japan renewed the two countries’ longstanding Science and Technology Agreement for the 21st Century, with a focus on innovation and game-changing new technologies.

The renewed deal opens up more opportunities for close collaboration to bring cutting edge new technologies to market and could focus on priority areas such as cleantech.

The landmark strategic relationship is a significant step forward for UK-Japan science in cleantech and sustainability.

Minister of State at the UK Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, George Freeman MP, said: “Harnessing science and technology (S&T) through global collaboration is key to solving the most pressing challenges facing our planet. That’s why I’ve made clear the UK is committed to deepening our global impact through deeper strategic collaboration with R&D powerhouse economies like Japan – with whom I signed our new S&T Cooperation Implementing Arrangement in Tokyo last week following the G7 Science Summit.”

“This partnership between Imperial College London and the University of Tokyo – two of the world’s top universities in the field of S&T – to tackle climate change through green Cleantech technology is another part of our UK/Japan collaboration, and a concrete example of how we can use science and technology as a force for global good and help unlock the UK as a global science superpower.”

Professor Hugh Brady, president of Imperial, said: “Tackling the threat of pollution and climate change is the greatest global challenge we face. Achieving net-zero will require an enormous step-change in our economy, industry and society. Science and innovation have a vital role in accelerating the world towards this goal. This landmark new partnership in cleantech can be a catalyst for new discoveries and breakthroughs that can lead us to a sustainable future.”

Professor Teruo Fujii, president of the University of Tokyo, said: “The strategic relationship we signed centers on the promotion of energy transition. We will bring together knowledge and promote the creation of cleantech innovations that will lead to the building of a sustainable society. I am confident that our collaborations will contribute to creating a better society on a global scale.”

Dr Itaru Nishizawa, CTO of Hitachi, said: "It gives me great hope to see the University of Tokyo and Imperial College London, two universities with a strong track record of working with industry, enter a strategic relationship focusing on the energy transition. The realisation of carbon neutrality, one of the major challenges for 'humanity as a whole' requires a comprehensive transition of 'society as a whole'. Hitachi has a strong relationship with both universities, and I believe we can contribute to enhancing a fruitful and meaningful collaboration between the two universities as they embark on this new endeavour."

This article was first published on 25 May by Imperial College London.

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