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UZH and ETH Meet with the Japanese Ambassador for a Trilateral Exchange

The Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland, Yoshinori Fujiyama, paid a visit to Zurich’s university hub. The trilateral meeting with UZH President, Michael Schaepman, and his counterpart from ETH, Joël Mesot, reflects the growing ties in education, research, and innovation between the two largest Swiss universities and Japanese research institutions.

Bridging national boundaries, advancing research together

The presidents and Ambassador Fujiyama discussed current as well as potential future collaborations and the importance of Swiss-Japanese cooperation in advancing research. Following the meeting, a representative of the Japanese Embassy attended the public lecture «Navigating Japan’s Geopolitical and Economic Landscape», organized by the Europe Institute at the University of Zurich (EIZ). Renowned businessman Dr. Sachio Semmoto shared his perspectives on Japan's approach to challenges such as persistent inflation, low wages, and aging demographics, while shedding light on opportunities in the technology space, including Japan’s role in the contentious race for advanced semiconductors. 

Both Japan and Switzerland are highly developed and innovation-driven countries that are facing similar societal challenges. The growing ties in research and education between UZH and Japanese universities are a testament to these commonalities. Apart from a lively student exchange on all levels, UZH researchers are currently participating in research collaborations with more than 50 Japanese institutions, promoting research and innovation together in fields such as medicine, law, and biology.

Research for society

As part of the multi-faceted collaboration between UZH and institutions in Japan, members of the UZH Executive Board regularly participate in the “Science and Technology in Society” (STS) Forum. Christian Schwarzenegger, Vice President Faculty Affairs and Scientific Information, will be representing UZH at the 20th Annual Meeting, which takes place from 1 to 3 October in Kyoto this year. By connecting distinguished scientists, business leaders, and policymakers from all over the world, the STS Forum enables a fruitful exchange on global topics such as climate change, big data as well as the preservation of natural resources. 

UZH and Kyoto University: A strong partnership

Researchers at UZH have particularly close ties with the Kyoto University, which has been a strategic partner of UZH since 2020. The shared goal is to advance their ambitious research efforts and ultimately make progress in tackling some of society's most pressing issues. Since establishing the partnership, researchers from both institutions have engaged in a lively exchange in various areas of research, including stem cell medicine, evolutionary biology, law, and artificial intelligence. 

To further enhance the partnership, the two universities introduced a joint strategic symposium. It took place for the fourth time in Kyoto in March this year and intensified the exchange between researchers from Kyoto and Zurich, covering topics around the use of data in the social and natural sciences.

Exploring trilateral synergies between the University of Tokyo, ETH and UZH

The trilateral gathering marked the first joint encounter between UZH and ETH alongside a diplomatic counterpart. It reflects the longstanding relationships between the two universities with Japanese institutions. Being pivotal research hubs in Switzerland, ETH and UZH have a range of collaborative partnerships.

Later on this year, from 16 to 17 October, researchers from both universities will come together with experts from the University of Tokyo and representatives from the private industry. The Trilateral Symposium in Zurich aims to foster and intensify the cooperation between Japanese and Swiss academia and industry, covering various topics around science and technology. UZH will contribute its extensive expertise to the symposium, featuring esteemed professors such as Kentaro Shimizu in the field of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, Laura Baudis in Particle Physics, and Claudio J. Tessone in Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies.

Viviane Gao