Bristol-Kyoto symposium aims to boost UK-Japan links

A university will this week welcome 90 academics from a single Japanese institution in what thought to be the biggest international symposium of its kind held in the UK.

January 8, 2013

The event, being held between 9 and 11 January, will bring delegates from Kyoto University to the University of Bristol to discuss how both institutions can share knowledge, resources and links with industry.

Collaborative research between the two institutions already ranges from economic theory and English literature to predicting natural disasters and methods to heal wounds through artificial skin.

The two-day symposium hopes to build on the achievements of existing projects as well as develop new relationships, share practice in supporting innovation and provide opportunities to attract external investment and set up staff and student exchanges.

The symposium is partly sponsored by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s Building Global Engagements in Research programme, which seeks to build capacity within UK research centres for international engagement.

Alongside academics from both institutions, Keiichi Hayashi, the Japanese ambassador to the UK, and Bristol mayor George Ferguson are both set to attend the event.

David Willetts, the universities and science minister, said: “The UK enjoys a long-term strategic science and technology relationship with Japan.

“Both our countries recognise that such international cooperation underpins economic development and delivers progress on the major challenges faced by our societies. I hope that this relationship will continue to grow and strengthen in the coming years,” he said.

Speaking ahead of the event, Lars Sundstrom, professor of the practice of translational medicine and director of the Severnside Alliance for Translational Research, a partnership between Bristol and Cardiff University, highlighted the value of such events in developing findings into new treatments.

“This also brings us in direct contact with Japanese companies that work with Kyoto University, thus extending our reach and building privileged links with the Japanese medical device industry which we could never do on our own,” he said.

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