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UC and partners to play significant role in strengthening Australia-Japan scientific relationship in 2022

Kalyx Jorgensen

22 December 2021: The University of Canberra will host a symposium to promote areas of mutual scientific interest between Australia and Japan.

The support of the Australia-Japan Foundation will enable University of Canberra Professor Dr Ashraf Ghanem to deliver the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Alumni Association in Australia (JSPSAAA) Symposium in 2022, bringing together early to mid-career scientific researchers from Australia and Japan.

The symposium will be hosted by the University of Canberra, in partnership with the Australian Academy of Science, JSPSAAA, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and the Embassy of Japan in Australia.

Key goals of the symposium include showcasing science and innovation within the Australia-Japan scientific partnership, strengthening the bilateral relationship and providing opportunities for international networking.

Professor Elaine Sadler, Foreign Secretary of the Australian Academy of Science, highlighted the ability of events like these to promote research capability internationally and grow research networks.

“The symposium will showcase Australian and Japanese research and build a better understanding of our respective capabilities in leading edge science and technology,” she said.

“Scientists who present at this meeting will have the opportunity to have their papers published in scientific journals, and the young researchers in attendance will be able to build and expand their international research networks.”

The conference has previously taken place in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021 through various funding and hosting arrangements, with much success.

Over 150 people are expected to attend next year’s event, with various speakers from Japan and Australia to present at the symposium hosted here in Canberra. A hybrid option of face-to-face and virtual attendance has also been considered, pending international travel arrangements.

Ambassador of Japan to Australia, Mr Shingo Yamagami emphasised the already strong networks between the scientific communities in Japan and Australia and said that the symposium would build on these ties.

“Making full use of the strong Japan-Australia networks built by the JSPS Alumni, the symposium is a great opportunity to enhance the Japan-Australia partnership in the field of science and technology,” he said.

On the ideal outcomes of the symposium, Mr Yamagami said, “researchers in attendance will be able to create or deepen people-to-people links with their Japanese peers, especially for those in the early or mid-stages of their careers”.

Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF) Chair, Mr Bruce Miller AO believes the symposium will further promote science and research collaboration and knowledge-sharing between Australia and Japan.

“The AJF is pleased to support this project, which aligns with our objective to promote Australian expertise in scientific research, technology and innovation through alumni engagement and public outreach activities. The symposium will be an opportunity to promote awareness of the opportunities and benefits of scientific collaboration with Japan, and promote Australia as a priority partner for Japan in science and innovation.”

Dr Ghanem thanked the AJF for its investment and looks forward to kicking off the planning process shortly.

“I’m very thankful for the AJF providing this opportunity. The JSPSAAA is an excellent forum to increase awareness and collaboration between Australia and Japan – something the AJF is a phenomenal champion of”, he said.

“I would also like to extend my thanks to previous funders and hosts of the symposium and to the University for their support - this will be the fifth year this event has been held and it has continued to grow because of these investments”.

The symposium is expected to take place in May 2022. Researchers interested in attending can contact to express their interest.