Provost Minato and NSTDA, LIPI, MJIIT representatives discuss STI cooperation for SDG achievement (16 January 2018)

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have become widely recognized as common targets for international development, but there is little communication between universities, academic societies, or researchers with regard to the most effective means of achieving them.

On 16 January 2018, Kyoto University organized a roundtable discussion on the theme of "Shaping New Horizons for Japan-ASEAN Science and Technology Cooperation towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals " . The meeting provided an opportunity for its participants to exchange thoughts and ideas about Japan and ASEAN science, technology, and innovation (STI) collaboration for the SDGs, exploring ways in which stakeholders can collaborate to work towards them. In addition to Kyoto University, participants were invited from the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) in Thailand, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) in Indonesia, the Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT), and Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).

The discussions focused on: (1) ways in which stakeholders can effectively promote research for the SDGs, (2) efforts that can be made to connect research outcomes to social implementation to achieve the SDGs, and (3) the necessity of restructuring research frameworks and approaches to achieve these goals.

The participants recognized four common agenda items in shaping new horizons for Japan-ASEAN science and technology cooperation towards the SDGs, summarizing them as the "Four 'E's":

  1. E nsuring the diversity of STI research activities for the SDGs, including not only the promotion of applied research toward social implementation, but also the enrichment of curiosity-driven basic research on inclusive scientific issues based on the SDGs
  2. E ndeavoring to pursue diverse approaches to social implementation of research output through STI cooperation with various stakeholders, such as community stakeholders, the private sector, NGOs, governments, and social scientists
    (Discussions included bridging the gap between STI activities and social implementation, social and economic analyses of outcomes, and the national R&D institution role as technical support provider to stakeholders.)
  3. E xpanding the promotion of region-based collaborative research towards inclusive STI for the SDGs, rather than bilateral cooperation
  4. E ducating the next generation of leaders about STI for the SDGs to promote Japan-ASEAN science and technology cooperation towards the SDGs

The roundtable helped the participants develop a shared awareness of new research frontiers in the ASEAN region, in which Japanese and ASEAN scientists can work together with various stakeholders to drive innovation.

These research areas include curiosity-driven scientific research on local resources and materials, applied research on appropriate technologies and systems, and pilot projects to develop the implementation of research outcomes consistently and effectively towards the SDGs.

The participants also reaffirmed the importance of further expansion and promotion of region-based research collaboration and human capacity development through the Japan and ASEAN Science, Technology, and Innovation Platform (JASTIP) in order to increase their potential STI contributions to the SDGs.

For the list of participants and other details, see:

Brief report: "Diverse Approaches to Contributing to SDGs through STI Cooperation" (PDF)

Provost and EVP Minato

During the discussion

Discussion participants and observers

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