The 2nd German-Japanese University Presidents’ Conference held at Kyoto University (March 29-30, 2012)

The 2nd German-Japanese University Presidents' Conference was held at Kyoto University on March 29 to 30, 2012. The conference was held for the HeKKSaGOn University Consortium, which consists of six leading research universities from Japan and Germany: Kyoto University, Osaka University, and Tohoku University from Japan, and Heidelberg University, Göttingen University, and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology from Germany. The first conference was held at Heidelberg University in July 2010. The second conference was originally scheduled to be held in 2011, but was postponed due to the Great East Japan Earthquake. In consideration of the disaster and acknowledgement of the responsibility of academia in addressing disaster-related issues, "Global Change and Adaptation" was adopted as the theme of the second conference. The conference aimed to serve as a platform for the HeKKSaGOn member universities and their partners in the government and industrial sectors to develop and enhance their network for research and education cooperation.

The event was also part of the official celebrations to commemorate of 150 years of Japanese-German friendship, and involved more than 120 participants, mainly researchers from the HeKKSaGOn member universities. Support for the conference was provided by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

The first day of the conference opened with addresses by President Hiroshi Matsumoto of Kyoto University, Rector Bernhard Eitel of Heidelberg University, Dr. Yuichiro Anzai, president of the JSPS, Dr. Takahiro Shinyo, former ambassador of Japan in Germany, and Dr. Alexander Olbrich, German consul general for Osaka-Kobe. Following the welcome addresses, Prof. Motoyuki Ono, director of the Josai Center for Graduate Studies of Josai University, and former president of the JSPS gave a keynote lecture titled "Challenges for University Reform and Presidents' Leadership." The first day was concluded with a welcome reception, which was also attended by delegates from the German Chamber of Commerce and Merck KGaA.

The morning of the second day comprised ten sessions on various research topics, including life science, material science, and education policy. Several new research networks were established during the sessions' active discussions. The results of each session were reported at the plenary session that afternoon. The plenary session also included discussions to define the issues which will be the focus of future HeKKSaGOn Consortium activities, and the signing of a joint statement by the members, which detailed the consortium's objectives for this and subsequent conferences.

The Japanese-German University Presidents' Conference will be held alternately in Germany and Japan every one and a half years by the HeKKSaGOn University Consortium member institutions. The 3rd conference is scheduled to be held at Göttingen University in September 2013.

From left, Rector Eitel, Heidelberg University, President Matsumoto, Kyoto University, Prof. Dr. Volker Saile, Chief Science Officer, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, President Akihisa Inoue, Tohoku University, Prof. Hiltraud Casper-Hehne, Vice-President, University of Göttingen, President Toshio Hirano, Osaka University (in HeKKSaGOn order)

Venue, 29th

Plenary Session, 30th

Signing of Joint Statement


HeKKSaGOn stands for University of Heidelberg, Kyoto University, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Tohoku University in Sendai, University of Göttingen and Osaka where are the place or name of Six Universities.