Imperial strengthens academic and industry ties with Japan

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

Imperial celebrated its growing Japanese ties with a series of events in Tokyo and Osaka.

Japan is one of the College’s closest collaborators in academic research and industry partnerships.  

In Tokyo, Imperial hosted a Net Zero and Healthy Future symposium with the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the Tokyo Medical and Dental University to bring together research leaders to discuss global challenges. 

Academics from Imperial and Japan highlighted how research can enable better healthcare in the future - from prevention, through disease management and better pandemic preparedness. Vice Provost Mary Ryan and Professor Ricardo Martinez-Botas, research director of the Imperial-MHIET Future of Boosting Innovation Centre, also led a session around net zero and sustainability. 

Speaking at the symposium, President Hugh Brady said: “International collaboration is essential and Japan has long been an important partner for Imperial across research and innovation.   
“I am proud of the 1,400+ academic papers Imperial researchers have co-authored with colleagues at Japanese institutions in the last ten years, and of our partnerships with businesses headquartered in Japan, which include some of the world’s most admired brands.

"Working with industry we can tackle major challenges around pollution, climate, health sustainability and energy.”   

U7+ Alliance 

Tokyo also hosted a meeting of the U7+ Alliance, an international alliance of university presidents, of which Imperial is a founding member. This year’s G7 summit is being held in Hiroshima. 
The presidents of the U7+ universities formally committed to take action to support the G7 agenda and contribute to fostering a more peaceful and secure world through research, education and public engagement during this week’s U7+ Presidential Summit at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan.  

These commitments were outlined in the U7+ Tokyo Statement: Universities as Engines of Innovation for Peace and Security, which was unanimously adopted by the presidents. The statement was delivered to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on in his capacity as G7 host for 2023. 

Imperial has a long and successful history of collaborating with Japanese academics, institutes and industry. There is also a growing community of almost 1,000 Imperial alumni in Japan. 

Speaking of this community, President Brady said: “Every time I meet our alumni I am inspired by their stories of entrepreneurship, innovation and determination to improve our world.” 

Imperial is committed to strengthening its academic partnerships with institutions in Japan and already works closely with many partners such as the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University and Tokyo Institute of Technology. 

Imperial has founded an international cyber security centre with partners in Japan and the US. The Centre – which involves Keio University and Kyushu University in Japan – brings together world-leading experts to tackle growing and emerging global challenges in cyber security. 

In Tokyo Imperial hosted an event for its Japanese alumni where President Brady updated the community on some of the major projects taking place with Japanese partners, and spoke about how Imperial’s alumni continue to make vital contributions to the College’s goals.

Strong industry partnerships 

Imperial has worked with more than 25 leading Japanese businesses in the past decade in projects worth approximately $17 million. The trip was an opportunity to explore new connections and forge new partnerships as well as consolidate and strengthen existing ones. 

One of those includes Hitachi who recently launched a new joint research centre with Imperial to tackle key challenges in decarbonisation and climate repair. The organisations are working together on research projects, reports and white papers on the technologies needed to achieve net zero and will help train the next generation of net-zero scientists and engineers.   

In 2020, Imperial and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) launched a new research centre to improve turbocharger design and develop cleaner engines. The MHIET-Imperial Future Boosting Innovation Centre carries out detailed research on state-of-the-art turbocharger and exhaust energy technologies to improve engine performance and operation, and enable low carbon engine technology. 
Imperial also has strong ties with Osaka-based pharmaceutical company Shionogi, who have partnered with the Centre for Bacterial Resistance Biology (CBRB), formerly the CMBI, to target biological mechanisms linked to antimicrobial resistance. 

Professor Brady and Professor Ryan chaired a meeting with the Japan Bioindustry Association, a non-profit bioscience organisation, among leaders from ten Japanese pharmaceutical companies who shared their priorities to work with Imperial.

Professor Brady said: "Imperial has a rich expertise in medicine and life sciences and our research interests overlap and align closely with major pharma in Japan. We are committed to investing our time and efforts in helping to strengthen these relationships." 
Professor Brady added: “By combining our academic resources and expertise with industry’s capacity to drive forward real-world advances, we can tackle the greatest challenges facing industry and society.” 

Find out more about the ways Imperial is working with industry to solve global challenges

This article was first published on 21 March 2023 by Imperial College London.

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