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Secretary General Laidmets in Japan: international research cooperation is the key to sustainable future

11. October 2019 - 11:12

Secretary General Mart Laidmets was this and last week in Japan to attend the Science and Technology in Society Forum and the 10th EU-Japan research policy forum. He met the Vice Minister of Education of Japan Makoto Fujiwara, the rector of Kyoto University and the management of Tōkyō University.

The importance of cooperation on research between Estonia and Japan was assured at the meeting with the Vice Education Minister of Japan, said Mart Laidmets. “Japan has great potential for cooperation with Estonian partner from areas of research, higher education and private companies. Estonia and Japan lie far from each other geographically, yet our cooperation demonstrates the importance of each other for solving common challenges,” said Laidmets after meeting Fujiwara. “We discussed how to strengthen contacts and cooperation, because there is clear common interest between Estonian and Japanese partners. Japan appreciated highly Estonia’s achievements in e-governance and digital transformation in education, on the other hand there is great potential for research cooperation,” said Laidmets. Expectations for cooperation between universities is high and thus options are sought to strengthen it, said Laidmets. Additionally, topics related to PISA tests and cooperation in education.

Laidmets participated in the panel on cyber security at the Science and Technology in Society Forum in Kyōto and delivered a speech on Estonian research policy. Inter-university cooperation was discussed at the meetings with the managements of Kyōto and Tōkyō universities.

Laidmets also met Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, the President of the European Research Council to discuss the latest ERC-related developments, future perspectives and research grants as well as Estonian researchers’ participation in ERC activities and financing. Cooperation possibilities between Estonia and Japan in the fields of education, research, youth affairs and language were explored with Väino Reinart, the Estonian Ambassador to Japan.

Laidmets visited the  Sasazuka Junior High School in Shibuya, Tōkyō, Japan where he met education officials of Shibuya, who have been to Estonia for multiple study visits. According to them, Estonia offers great example because of its digital transformation and smart solutions in education.

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