Japanese ambassador visited Galway for biomaterials event

Japanese ambassador Mari Miyoshi pictured with Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D Higgins.

Japanese ambassador Mari Miyoshi pictured with Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D Higgins.

Her Excellency Ms Mari Miyoshi, the Ambassador of Japan to Ireland, and Professor Nobuo Ueno, director of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science London, visited Galway yesterday to attend the NUI Galway-led ‘Ireland - Japan Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Meeting’ in the Hotel Meyrick, Galway.

Led by Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis, director of the Regenerative, Modular and Developmental Engineering Laboratory (REMODEL ), and investigator within CÚRAM, SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices, the conference is being held as part of the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI ) International Strategic Cooperation Award (ISCA ) Japan programme, which aims to strengthen and improve relationships between researchers in Ireland and Japan. The meeting will open with an address from Dr Jim Browne, president of NUI Galway.

Seven Japanese scientists with expertise in functional biomaterials, tissue engineering, nanotechnology and stem cell technology attended. They represented prestigious Japanese institutions including the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, and RIKEN. Also in attendance were delegates from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS ) in London, and from Science Foundation Ireland, who presented on joint funding opportunities between Ireland and Japan. This was complemented by presentations from leading researchers from NUI Galway and other Irish institutions.

Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis said: “Researchers from NUI Galway visited Japan for industry-academia seminars in May 2015 and this week’s meeting is a follow-up to those efforts. The meeting represents an excellent opportunity for Irish researchers to meet world leading scientists and develop new relationships.”

The ISCA Japan programme was established in March 2014 after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Taoiseach Enda Kenny exchanged visits and decided to increase cooperative efforts between the two countries, issuing the Joint Declaration for Partnership and Growth. Cooperation in Research and Development is a key element of the partnership.

The programme has been strengthening relationships between Ireland and Japan by providing framework for interaction between Irish and Japanese researchers, as the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries approaches in 2017. Eleven Irish institutes came together to form a consortium, which is led by NUI Galway.

A range of medium and large seminars and conferences have been held since March 2014, with a total of over 100 researchers and visiting partners, travelling in both directions.

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