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President Yamagiwa attends 6th Japanese-German University Presidents' Conference (12–13 April 2018)


05 Jun 2018



      On 12–13 April 2018, a Kyoto University delegation attended the 6th Japanese-German University Presidents' Conference, held at Osaka University. The group was comprised of President Juichi Yamagiwa and Executive Vice-President Kayo Inaba (gender equality, international affairs, and public relations), along with 32 faculty and staff, and two students.

      The sixth Conference was themed "Enhancing social impact and visibility through the next phase of collaboration". Approximately 200 attended from the six member institutions of the HeKKSaGOn German-Japanese university network (details below).

      The HeKKSaGOn Presidents' Conference was inaugurated in 2010, and has since been alternating between Germany and Japan, each meeting held by one of the six member universities. This sixth gathering marked a major milestone in the consortium's history, with every one of the member institutions now having hosted one meeting.

      The plenary session on the first day opened with addresses by President Shojiro Nishio of Osaka University, Executive Director Norifumi Ushio of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Vice President Thomas Hirth of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and Consul General Werner Koehler of the Consulate-General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Osaka-Kobe.

      These were followed by an overview of funding schemes for Japanese-German cooperation projects, presented by Mr Hideyuki Yamaguchi of JSPS; Ms Dorothea Mahnke of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD); and Dr Joerg Schneider of the German Research Foundation (DFG).

      A keynote lecture was then delivered by Professor Toshio Yanagida, director of the Center for Information and Neural Networks (CiNet), who presented his latest research in brain science, describing a novel approach that combines human brain imaging with information science.

      Next, HeKKSaGOn's eight working groups — collaborative research groups, each focused on a specific area of study — reported on their activities and achievements. The reports provided details of the active collaboration that has been ongoing in each group, such as organizing collaborative workshops.

      The first day closed with presentations from the presidents of the six participating universities. Speaking in the context of the Conference theme, the presidents shared their own visions for HeKKSaGOn's policies and initiatives as the network continues to develop.

      In the morning of the second day, a closed presidents' meeting was held to discuss HeKKSaGOn's future orientation. In parallel, eight working-group research sessions (including one by a new trial group on renewable energy) and a students' workshop took place, the latter focused on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

      A plenary session followed in the afternoon, where outcomes of the president's meeting, research sessions, and students' workshop were shared among all attendees.

      The two-day meeting concluded with the signing of a joint statement by the HeKKSaGOn university presidents, expressing their commitment to developing guidelines for the working groups and enhancing student exchange within the network.

      The next HeKKSaGOn Presidents' Conference is scheduled to be held at Heidelberg University in September 2019.

      President Yamagiwa delivers his presentation

      President Yamagiwa and two student participants from Kyoto University

      Closed presidents' meeting on the second day

      Conference participants

      About HeKKSaGOn

      HeKKSaGOn is a university consortium comprising six leading universities from Japan and Germany: Kyoto University, Tohoku University, and Osaka University from Japan, and Heidelberg University, Goettingen University, and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology from Germany. It was established in 2010 with the aim of enhancing academic exchange between Japanese and German universities, so as to facilitate the development and advancement of scientific knowledge in the two countries. The name HeKKSaGOn is derived from the locations of the member universities: Heidelberg, Kyoto, Karlsruhe, Sendai, Goettingen, and Osaka.

      Main activities include the regularly held Japanese-German University Presidents' Conference, collaborative research sessions, and summer school programs for doctoral students.

      Kyoto University serves as chair for the Japanese members and coordinator of network activities. Heidelberg University is the chair for the German side.

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      President Yamagiwa attends 6th Japanese-German University Presidents' Conference (12–13 April 2018)
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