Synergistic partnership between two globally ranked research universities located in island communities
Joint Press Release - The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa have agreed to a new partnership that will allow students and faculty to participate in research and educational opportunities between the two institutions.
OIST President and CEO Karin Markides and UH President David Lassner signed a memorandum of understanding on November 19, in Honolulu, that formalized the agreement between UH and the OIST.
The collaboration has been lauded by top U.S. government officials.
“As we navigate the complexities of global environmental and energy challenges, collaborations like this epitomize the strength of the U.S.-Japan relationship. This partnership symbolizes our shared commitment to tackling global challenges and stands as a shining example of how cross-border cooperation can drive our understanding and solutions in critical fields,” said U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel.
Ambassador Emanuel has been very supportive of partnerships between U.S. and Japanese educational institutions that address pressing issues of concern to both nations.
UH Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno visited the OIST campus in January 2023 and began facilitating the collaboration. As globally ranked research universities located in island communities, both UH and OIST are committed to conducting research that matters to those communities.
“We are very excited to partner with an institution that has grown into one of the top research universities in the world. I believe that the combination of our varied and shared strengths will provide lasting benefits to our students and faculty,” Bruno said. “We have identified key areas of collaboration that fit well in a natural way, including marine sciences, medicine, renewable energy and sustainability.”
Several of OIST’s faculty and staff have either spent time at UH Mānoa or have existing collaborations with researchers at UH. OIST leaders have shown interest in several fields such as medicine, microbiome research and the ways in which UH Mānoa is fostering entrepreneurship among students and faculty.
“This collaboration marks a significant milestone in strengthening academic collaboration between our faculty and students, and public-private-university partnership between our complementary local clusters. By combining our strengths and resources with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, we aim to advance research, education, innovation and outreach to new heights,” said Karin Markides, OIST President and CEO. “We look forward to the exciting opportunities and breakthroughs that will emerge from this synergistic partnership.”