Bern, 30.01.2023 – State Secretary Martina Hirayama opened the fifth meeting of the joint committee for scientific and technological cooperation between Switzerland and Japan on 30 January 2023. The meeting between the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs focused on Swiss–Japanese cooperation in research and innovation. In addition, the Swiss Polar Institute and the Japanese National Institute of Polar Research signed a memorandum of understanding.
The Swiss delegation consisted of high-ranking representatives of funding agencies and institutions from the higher education and research sectors. They received a Japanese delegation in Bern consisting of representatives from the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, as well as the most important research institutions and research funding agencies in Japan.
After the opening speech by Martina Hirayama, State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation, delegation participants exchanged views on the latest developments in the research and innovation landscape in Switzerland and Japan. The talks focused on the countries’ bilateral research and innovation cooperation as well as various possibilities to intensify and expand existing cooperation between researchers and research and funding institutions
Strengthening polar research
Japan is one of Switzerland’s main scientific cooperation partners in Asia. The two countries are pursuing many research areas of common interest, including in the ageing of society, the energy transition and digitalisation. In its capacity as Leading House for cooperation between Swiss science stakeholders and their Asian partners, ETH Zurich has also developed various cooperation instruments since 2008. The Swiss National Science Foundation has supported over 152 research projects involving Japanese researchers since 2016. There have been 231 Japanese recipients of Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists since 1962.
As part of the meeting, the Swiss Polar Institute and the Japanese National Institute of Polar Research signed a memorandum of understanding to further deepen cooperation in the field of polar research. HESAV, the School of Health Sciences in Vaud, also signed a memorandum of understanding with its Japanese partner, Teikyo University in Tokyo.
Osaka: new Swissnex location and Swiss participation in the World Expo
Switzerland maintains a Science & Technology Office at its embassy in Tokyo. The opening of a new consulate in Osaka marks another milestone in the expansion of Swissnex, the Swiss network for education, research and innovation. The new key location in the dynamic Kansai region, where Switzerland will take part in the OSAKA 2025 World Exhibition, has been up and running since the first half of 2022 and will be officially inaugurated in autumn 2023.