On May 18, 2023, the "RENKEI Seminar: ISPF accelerating Japan-UK scientific collaboration" was held on Mita Campus. This seminar took place immediately after the G7 Science and Technology Ministers' Meeting. It included an overview of the International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF), a new research fund launched by the UK Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. This was followed by a discussion on the possibilities for cooperation in science and technology between the UK and Japan through RENKEI (Japan-UK Research and Education Network for Knowledge Economy Initiatives).
Since starting its activities in 2012, RENKEI has been a platform for twelve universities in Japan and the U.K. to promote cooperation and personnel development in science and technology. Recently, it was decided that Keio University would join RENKEI as a new member.
RENKEI focuses on four areas: transformative technology, health, resilient climate, and nurturing young talent. Participants in the seminar's roundtable panel session included Keio University Vice-President Motohiro Tsuchiya, Tohoku University Executive Vice Presidents Toshiya Ueki and Motoko Kotani, Professor Deborah Riby of Durham University, and Professor Patrick Degenaar of Newcastle University. Panelists engaged in an enthusiastic discussion about the future of RENKEI, covering topics such as Japan-UK joint research in the four focus areas, training young researchers, and the importance of real-world implementation of research findings.