On Thursday, January 23rd, the “Science, Technology and Innovation Symposium” was held at the Japanese embassy in London, England. This symposium was held to mark 150 years of technology exchange between Japan and England and was held as a joint effort between the Japanese embassy in England and Ritsumeikan University. Although similar events were also held with Tokyo University, and Kyoto University, this was the first time a private institution such as Ritsumeikan University has participated in such an event.
To open the symposium, Ambassador Hayashi Keiichi and Omi Koji, Founder and Chairman of the Science and Technology in Society Forum (STS), spoke about how we must move to create a sustainable future, the great significance of Japan and England working together for a common goal, as well as the current state and future expectations of scientific technologies in the 21st century. From there, Ritsumeikan University Chancellor Kawaguchi Kiyofumi addressed the symposium regarding the role and mission educational and research institutions such as universities have by stating “it is the mission of private universities to face the various issues in our societies and create viable solutions. To this end, it is more important than ever to go beyond the borders that entrap us and create connections with people and institues from around the world.”
The symposium was made up of three sessions, with the goal of these sessions being the transmission of state of the art research activities from Ritsumeikan University as well as English university and private sector researchers and the exchange of ideas pertaining to Japan and England’s problem awareness with concern to the creation of new scientific technologies. From Ritsumeikan University, Professor Dr. Konishi Satoshi, Associate Professor Dr. Minemoto Takashi, and Professor Dr. Okubo Takeyuki, all from the College of Science and Engineering, each gave presentations on their various research. Each session had roughly 120 people in attendance.
Following the symposium a reception was held where pianist Mori Maiko (Ritsumeikan Keisho Senior High School graduate, Royal College of Music graduate) and violinist Matsuka Hikaru (Ritsumeikan Uji Senior High School graduate, current student at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama) gave a performance while participants carried out further conversations regarding the topics of the day.
Within the “R2020,” which is the name for Ritsumeikan’s mid-term plan, it states that the university must work towards becoming a “Ritsumeikan like research university.” What this “Ritsumeikan like” means is we must face the various problems with our societies, and constantly consider how our research and methodology can be connected to the future of society, humanity, and the world at large, all while producing expert researchers who are able to explain these efforts to society. Also, in May of 2011 Ritsumeikan established a London office at SOAS, London University. One of the goals of establishing the office within SOAS, London University was to create a new network throughout England by sharing Ritsumeikan’s research findings with English universities, researchers, graduate students, industry, and more. This symposium helped greatly in reaching this goal by helping to build new connections between Ritsumeikan and England based institutions. A similar research forum is shedualed to be held at the Indian Institute of Technology; IIT in February of this year.
・Dr. Konishi Satoshi（Professor, College of Science and Engineering）
“Micro-machines for Bio & Medical Applications”
・Dr. Eric Yeatman, Imperial College
“Micro-engineered Sensors for Efficient and Sustainable Systems”
【Session 2：Solar Cells】
・Dr. Minemoto Takashi（Associate Professor, College of Science and Engineering）
“Future Challenges of Compound Thin Film Solar Cells”
・Dr. Robert Miles, Northumbria University
“Advances in Making Low Cost Solar Cells Using Inorganic Materials”
【Session 3：Disaster Prevention】
・Dr. Okubo Takeyuki（Professor, College of Science and Engineering）
“Research & Development for the Protection of the Kiyomizu-dera Area from Fires Triggered by Earthquake in Kyoto”
・Dr. Dina D’Ayala, UCL
“It’s Broken, Can We Fix it? Applicability of Conservation Principles in Post-earthquake Reconstruction”