Governor Denny Tamaki Visits OIST
September 13th 2019: OIST was pleased to host Mr. Denny Tamaki, Governor of Okinawa Prefecture. Arriving in the morning, he was welcomed to the campus by the children of OIST’s Child Development Center (CDC) with a line of high fives before he was brought to the main laboratory hub via the Tunnel Gallery.
OIST is home to around 200 members of staff of Okinawan origin. The Governor met with some of these employees, as well as students and entrepreneurs in residency from the OIST Startup Accelerator Program and the OIST incubator. Each member had chance to introduce his/her activity to Governor Tamaki.
Governor Tamaki was then shown around some of OIST’s labs - his first visit to the OIST campus since being elected governor in October 2018. Governor Tamaki saw the OIST’s state-of-art research facility and joined in a hands-on demonstration by Prof. Kenji Doya, the leader of Neural Computation Unit, where he talked about his research on reinforcement learning by using smartphone shaped robots.
After signing the OIST “golden book”, Mr. Tamaki gave a short speech in which he expressed his gratitude to the late Prof. Sydney Brenner for his achievement in helping establish OIST, and proposed the creation of a memorial bust of the former President of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Promotion Corporation (OIST P. C., 2005 - 2011).
OIST President Peter Gruss followed with a greeting in the local Uchinaaguchi dialect before talking about the importance of innovation and OIST’s contributions to Okinawa through research, community outreach activities and business development, as part of its future strategic development plan. President Gruss said “We would like to work and collaborate in order to mutually secure the future of Okinawa's prosperity”.
Governor Tamaki responded, “The President has just reported to us that the development of OIST would be important for the development of Okinawa. Let us work together to create a society for the sake of global prosperity from here in Okinawa.”