RENKEI Researcher Workshop and Steering Committee was held at Newcastle University

The Japan-UK Research and Education Network for Knowledge Economy Initiatives (RENKEI) held a three-day researcher workshop at Newcastle University beginning on December 2. Following the event, RENKEI held its Steering Committee Meeting on December 5. Executive Vice President Toshiya Ueki represented Tohoku University along with accompanying students and faculty members.

RENKEI is a bilateral university network made-up of 12 members, 6 from Japan and 6 from the UK. The group conducts joint research and knowledge exchange to help develop talented individuals. Since last year, its members have focused on "Climate Change" and "Health" as two priority areas in which they are seeking to create new joint research, to foster industry collaboration, and to create a system which will nurture future leaders within society.

Approximately 40 young, mid-career, and senior students and researchers from RENKEI member universities attended the researcher workshop on climate change. Participants were separated into groups, without regard to seniority or to background, in which they examined sub-themes related to climate change. Students and researchers enthusiastically discussed the nature of their own research and potential future joint research efforts.

On the third day of the workshop, students and researchers made a 5-minute pitch on future joint research plans from a range of different sub-themes. RENKEI awarded seed funding to two groups: the "Improved Water Management - A Citizen Science Co-Design Approach" group, of which Associate Professor Daisuke Komori of the Graduate School of Engineering is a member. The second group awarded was the "Community-based Forest Management Under a Changing Climate in Japan: Evidence Through Experimentation" group, in which Assistant Professor Yoshiya Touge, also of the Graduate School of Engineering, is a participant.

There were 30 participants from member universities in attendance at the RENKEI Steering Committee Meeting. Participants consisted primarily of vice presidents and other executives with responsibilities for international affairs.

At the meeting, Professor Brian Walker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, and Mr. Matt Knowles, who will assume the position of Director of the British Council Japan in January 2020, spoke about their expectations for RENKEI's future activities.

Thereafter, the Steering Committee delivered a report on the climate change researcher workshop and announced plans for subsequent researcher workshops to be held next year. Participants exchanged opinions on the direction of future activities, including that of the two workshops.

The next researcher workshop on climate change will be held from June 22 to 24, 2020, at Kyoto University, and a Steering Committee Meeting will be held at the same venue on June 25. In the autumn, a researcher workshop on the issue of health will be held at Nagoya University.

News in Japanese


• RENKEI's official name is the Japan-UK Research and Education Network for Knowledge Economy Initiatives.
• Launched in 2012, RENKEI promotes partnerships between the UK and Japan in industry and higher education with the aim of developing future leaders in both societies. RENKEI encourages and facilitates collaborative research initiatives, the sharing of knowledge and cooperation with industry in the development of human resources in pursuit of this goal.
• The British Council acts as the secretariat of RENKEI.
• Member Institutions: 12 Universities from Japan and UK (Japan) Tohoku University, Nagoya University, Kyoto University, Osaka University, Kyushu University, Ritsumeikan University (UK) University of Edinburgh, University of Leeds, University of Liverpool, Newcastle University, University of Nottingham, University of Southampton


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