On 5th February 2010 the Oxford – Kyoto University Collaboration Forum was held jointly by the Office of Society-Academia Collaboration for Innovation (SACI) and the Innovative Collaboration Centre (ICC) of Kyoto University and the University of Oxford at the New Biochemistry Building of Oxford University. The forum was part of “the Project for the Strategic Development of Industry-University-Government Collaboration (the Strategic Development Program)” of the Japanese Government’s MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology).
The forum was organised following the agreement of future collaboration between the two universities made by President Hiroshi Matsumoto of Kyoto and previous Vice Chancellor John Hood of Oxford in October 2008. Their objective was to develop an alliance between the two universities and work towards the collaboration between industry and academia.
Notable members that were present at the forum include Executive Vice-President Professor Kohei Shiota and Professor Keisuke Makino (Director General of SACI, Vice-president) of Kyoto University, and Vice-Chancellor professor Andy Hamilton, Professor Ian Walmsley (Pro-Vice Chancellor of Research) and Dr. Heather Bell (Director of International Strategy) of Oxford University.
Following a welcome by Professor Shiota and Professor Hamilton, the morning session began with a focus on Chemical Biology, headed by six speakers, covering their latest research. This was followed by more informal discussions on potential collaboration themes. In a similar format, the afternoon was spent covering Medical Biology, with seven speakers contributing throughout the session.
The forum concluded with a summary meeting to discuss possible strategies for future collaboration. Both parties highlighted the importance of working with strategic global partners in order to meet the demands and complexities of 21st century scientific developments.