OIST started as a bold idea, one that many considered an unrealistic dream, but, 10 years on, that dream is in motion, said Dr. Peter Gruss at OIST’s 10th anniversary ceremony.
The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University’s (OIST) 10th Anniversary Ceremony, which was held on May 22, 2022, brought together the Board of Governors, the Japanese Government, Okinawa Prefecture Government, representatives from throughout Japan and overseas, and the OIST community to celebrate the first decade of OIST’s journey. The ceremony was originally scheduled for November 2021, which would have coincided with the actual 10th anniversary but the decision was made to delay the ceremony due to the travel restrictions and for the wellbeing of the community. The ceremony included a video message from Japan’s Prime Minister, H.E. Fumio Kishida, who congratulated OIST for its success over the last decade, stated that he had great hopes for how OIST’s research will benefit society, and promised to support OIST as the institution grows in the future.
As part of the ceremony, a short film highlighted OIST’s journey and vision over the last ten years was created and screened.
The ceremony featured speeches from OIST President Dr. Peter Gruss, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Mr. Hiroyuki Hosoda, the Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs Mr. Kosaburo Nishime, the Governor of Okinawa Denny Tamaki, the Mayor of Onna Village Yoshimi Nagahama, and the CEO of Suntory Holdings Limited Mr. Takeshi Niinami.
The Keynote was delivered via video message by Dr. Venki Ramakrishnan, winner of Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2009) and Group Leader, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge. He highlighted that the wealth of a country largely depends on its knowledge and information of science, innovation, and technology, and that this knowledge was often more important than any other resources. His talk centered around the COVID-19 pandemic and how scientific research had played a key role in understanding the virus.
Violinist, OIST Foundation Music Ambassador and OIST Honorary Music Director Eiko Kano and pianist Karén Hakobyan opened and closed the ceremony with extraordinary music performances.
Speech quotes from the 10th Anniversary Ceremony
“What a journey OIST has made—what a journey we have made over the past ten-plus years. The journey started with a man and an idea. It was a bold idea, one that many people considered an unrealistic dream. But as we can see today, the dream is in motion! This miracle occurred through inspiration, boldness, trust in people, and a readiness to invest.” Dr. Peter Gruss, OIST President
“In 2019, among institutions, OIST ranked ninth. The success of OIST gives me a great pleasure. OIST continues to be the venue of global interactions. I would like to see the continuation of these contributions.” Mr. Hiroyuki Hosoda, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan
“Since the early days, OIST attracted the best faculty and students from around the world. OIST research and education are cross disciplinary and highly advanced. Recently, the Japanese government started to promote quantum research. OSIT was designated as one of the centers for quantum technology. Startups are springing to life with OSIT’s research outcomes. I hope OIST’s collaboration with businesses will be further enhanced so Okinawa people can benefit from OIST. I believe innovation is key.” Mr. Kosaburo Nishime, the Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs
“OIST has become a world class research institution. It has allowed dreams to be realized for children of Okinawa and inspired children to study at OIST and contribute to global society. The research on coral, seaweed, and wave-based energy generation has great potential to contribute to Okinawa.” Mr. Denny Tamaki, the Governor of Okinawa
“On behalf of Onna village, I would like to congratulate the 10th anniversary of OIST. Located in Onna village, OIST has attracted talents from all over the world. It has contributed to the promotion and self-sustaining development of Okinawa. Our village people have enjoyed exchanges with OIST. You’ve taught our kids about the fun of pursuing science.” Mr. Yoshimi Nagahama, the Mayor of Onna-son
“I’m proud to be involved with OIST in my current capacity. I always believed that science and business must partner together. We need to dream big. Japan has trained world class problem solvers over many decades. Innovation has been the bedrock of our economy and a key source of our competitiveness. I fear that Japan is at the risk of losing its edge. OIST plays a role that benefits the world, Okinawa, and Japan. While the road ahead is challenging, it also holds so much promise.” Mr. Takeshi Niinami, the CEO of Suntory Holdings LTD