OIST Center Stage in Kyoto
For the last 10 years, OIST Board of Governors Member Koji Omi has brought the world’s most influential scientists and scientific states-people to Kyoto for the Science Technology in Society Forum. This year over a thousand delegates from around a hundred nations celebrated the 10th anniversary of this prestigious event. In his opening speech, Prime Minister Abe focused on the contributions of Japan to science and technology, and he specifically referred to OIST: “I’m determined to turn Japan into a country where innovation takes place easily. As much as the global society is in need of Japan’s wisdom, our nation also requires the world’s knowledge. One example of this is the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University. I would like researchers and students from around the world to continue joining OIST. Mr. Omi is a founding father of this university. It will be almost two years since the establishment of the OIST Graduate University. It will continue to grow together with their researchers from nearly 30 countries and students from 23 countries. I believe this is exciting.”
President Jonathan Dorfan, Provost Robert Baughman, and Vice President Neil Calder for Communication and Public Relations took every opportunity to explain OIST’s progress and future to the delegates, many of whom were intrigued to know more about OIST following the Prime Minister’s speech.
In the plenary session “Research and Innovation,” Ichita Yamamoto, Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy and Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs, also spoke in support of OIST. He highlighted the Comprehensive Science and Technology Initiative Strategy to make Japan the “most innovation-friendly country in the world” which requires international innovation hubs with world-class research environments. OIST, he said, was recently established as an interdisciplinary and international graduate university in which more than half of the faculty members and students are non-Japanese and English is the language for research and education.
President Dorfan was also able to discuss possibilities of collaboration with the French Minister of High Education and Research, Geneviève Fioraso, and the South African Minister of Science and Technology, Derek Hanekom. He also spoke at the Presidents’ Lunch, which brought together many university presidents from all over the world.
OIST was very much center stage at STS Forum Kyoto 2013.