セクション

The 1st Kyoto University and Saudi Universities Research Collaboration Workshop 挨拶 (2012年11月7日)

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. My name is Hiroshi Matsumoto, president of Kyoto University, and on behalf of the university, I'd like to thank all of you for your participation in this, the 1st Kyoto University and Saudi Universities Research Collaboration Workshop. I would like to express my particular thanks to Dr. Essam Bukhary, cultural attaché of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, as well as everyone from both within and outside of Kyoto University who has put so much effort into making this workshop possible.

Since it was founded 115 years ago, Kyoto University has sought to provide its scholars with a rich academic environment centered on open-minded dialogue and free thinking. In alignment with the City of Kyoto's heritage as traditional seat of knowledge and culture, and also a modern and outward looking international city, we have cultivated a distinctive academic philosophy of "self-reliant learning," through which we have endeavored to advance innovative research grounded in robust moral ideals.

As a modern higher education institution dedicated to the pursuit of a harmonious and stable global society, international cooperation and exchange are vital components of Kyoto University's operations. To that end we are actively engaged in providing our students and researchers with experience abroad, as well hosting students and researchers from our international partner institutions. We also regularly hoist international symposia in Japan and overseas, and play active roles in several international university associations.

Our international activities in recent years have included concerted efforts to enhance our cooperative relationships with institutions in the Middle East. Perhaps most notably, we have regularly participated in the International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education-the IECHE-which has been held annually in Riyadh by the Ministry of Higher Education of Saudi Arabia since 2010. A Kyoto University delegation has been honored to attend all three of the exhibitions which have been held thus far, and through our participation, we have made significant inroads in strengthening our relationships with Saudi Arabia. Thanks to the opportunities presented by the International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education, we currently working towards promising relationships with Salman bin Abdulaziz University, King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals, and King Abdulaziz University.

The IECHE also enabled our Graduate School of Agriculture to conclude an academic exchange agreement with The College of Sciences and Humanitarian Studies of Salman bin Abdulaziz University. That agreement, which was concluded in June of this year, was the first agreement between our university and an institution in Saudi Arabia. We are also in the final stages of negotiating an university-level agreement with King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

This October, Professor Tomoaki Kunugi a specialist in nuclear engineering from our Graduate School of Engineering and two of his colleagues visited the Center of Excellence in Desalination Technology at King Abdulaziz University. I heard that they were highly impressed with the cutting-edge research facility, and that their visit has resulted in several joint research proposals. A joint research project in the engineering field is also about to be launched.

Kyoto University is meeting point for researchers with diverse academic backgrounds, and approaches, and today we are joined by scholars in the fields of energy science, environmental protection, and information and communications technology. I have no doubt that this workshop will provide fertile ground for new opportunities for joint research and other forms of collaboration.

On the first day of the workshop, we will have specialized sessions for each respective field, and the scholars from both sides will have the opportunity to learn about the research currently being undertaken at universities in Saudi Arabia and at Kyoto University. On the second day, we will show you our laboratories at Kyoto University, so that you can see our research methods first-hand.

I am sure that the following two days will seem to pass very quickly, but I know that they will provide all of us with a wealth of opportunities: to learn, to lay new plans, to make new partners, and to form new and lasting friendships.

Thank you very much for your kind attention.