JANET Forum 2018 held at INSA-Lyon

The 2018 Japan Academic Network in Europe (JANET) Forum was held at Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon (INSA Lyon) in France, on November 22 - 23. Seventeen representatives from Tohoku University were in attendance, including President Hideo Ohno and Executive Vice Presidents Tadahiro Hayasaka and Toshiya Ueki.

JANET is a network of Japanese universities and academic institutions with offices in Europe. Through their annual forums, they share information and jointly promote their exchange and collaborative activities. The 2018 Forum was organized by Tohoku University and hosted by INSA Lyon. Both institutions have enjoyed a mutual academic exchange agreement since 2004.

Before the forum began, an information session introducing the exchange programs available at various Japanese universities attracted more than 100 local French students.

Forum President_Ohno

President Ohno opened the forum proper by acknowledging the 160th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between France and Japan, adding that he hoped the forum would similarly "provide a framework for effective and close cooperation between universities and academic institutions in both countries".

Following another address - this time by INSA-Lyon President Eric Maurincomme, - two discussion sessions were held under the theme of "Networking and Collaboration for the Future."

Opening_President Maurincomme

In each session, case studies of how Japanese universities have expanded their activities in France were introduced. Funding opportunities for collaborative research in Japan and Europe were also discussed, as were French policies on higher education and research.

Professor Tetsuya Uchimoto of Tohoku University's Institute of Fluid Science and Professor Gael Sebald delivered a presentation on the ELyT Project, a cooperative undertaking by Tohoku University, INSA Lyon and other partners.

At the closing of the forum, EVP Ueki spoke of the benefits of both competition and collaboration among universities. "In order to respond to the many complex global problems we face, we need people of different backgrounds and skillset to come together to create new knowledge and innovation. While healthy competition brings out the best in each of us, it is necessary on occasion to join hands, to establish strong relationships. We hope that through JANET, we will continue to introduce ideas on initiatives and collaboration between Japan and countries in Europe."


On the second day, there was also a practical workshop on the activities of Japanese universities' overseas bases. In the first half, Atsuho Maeda, Deputy Director General of JETRO Brussels, gave a lecture on the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into force in May 2018. In the latter half of the meeting, detailed discussions were held on the possibility and feasibility of jointly establishing and sharing the use of overseas bases.

JANET (Japanese Academic Network in Europe)
JANET is a loose network of universities and academic institutions in Japan that have liaison offices or education/research bases in Europe. Members seek to share information on their academic efforts in Europe, in order to jointly cooperate in their European endeavors, and to enhance the overall presence of Japanese academia in Europe. The group's inaugural meeting was held in November 2015, while the first JANET Forum was organized by the University of Tsukuba and held in July 2016 at the Free University of Berlin. The second JANET Forum was held in November 2017 at University of Freiburg, with Nagoya University as the organizer.


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