Friday, 26. August 2022 - 14:00

OIST and Keio University partner

Joint Press Release

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology School Corporation and Keio University signed an Agreement on Scientific and Academic Cooperation on August 26, 2022. The purpose of this partnership will contribute to the advancement of science and technology through the collaboration and cooperation in the spirit of mutual reciprocity.

The two parties will engage in the following areas:

  1. Mutual exchange of faculty, researchers, and other staff of research support and administration.
  2. Implementation of joint academic programs between graduate schools, and mutual support for education and human resources development;
  3. Collaborations in joint research activities etc.;
  4. Mutual use of research equipment and facilities;
  5. Mutual use of academic materials, publications, and other information;
  6. Best practices regarding technology transfer and entrepreneurship development; and
  7. Other areas where both parties agree as necessary to achieve the purpose of this agreement.

The two universities have been deepening exchanges for several years. In January 2021, students of Keio University’s School of Medicine participated in the internship at OIST, followed by the first event of OIST-KEIO SHOWCASE TALK held at OIST in April of the same year. The second and third showcase events were held in October 2021 and June 2022, respectively, with researchers from both universities deepening their understanding of each other's research through presentations and discussions and building their professional networks.

 “Founded in 1858, Keio University is the oldest higher education institute in Japan — while OIST has been in existence for only a little over a decade and is the newest,” reflected OIST President Peter Gruss. “However, both of our institutions have world-class scientists conducting cutting-edge research. We are looking forward to leveraging these mutual strengths and generating many opportunities for collaboration. Overall, we are excited to partner with Keio because we have a common vision for solving domestic and global challenges through cross-disciplinary research.”

In August 2022, when the agreement was signed, a summer camp was held for a week and a half at OIST for 18 first- and second-year students of Keio University’s School of Medicine, who learned what it might be like to earn a doctorate in an international environment through hands-on training in OIST laboratories, lectures, English classes, and interaction with OIST students, research interns, and faculty members.

On the last day of the summer camp, a "Flash Talk Contest" was held, in which participants gave three-minute presentations in English on what they discovered at OIST.

Some of the feedback received from the participants included; "I attended the camp to gain knowledge outside of clinical research. I was able to find role models by directly interacting with researchers who conduct basic science. Also, hearing people from different countries communicating with each other in English despite their different accents made me more confident in my English and helped me become more proactive in engaging in conversations."; "I was impressed by the high level of diversity at OIST and the strong connections between people. I could also see that they enjoy their research. I think I could only have gained this kind of experience here."

Mr. Tatsuo Kawasaki, a Keio alumnus and trustee of OIST, helped the summer school come to fruition through his support and sponsorship. After the Flash Talk contest, Mr. Kawasaki said to the participants, "A good leader, whether in science, business, or medicine, is someone who influences and motivates others. In order to do that, your ability to communicate plays an important role. What you experienced at the OIST summer camp will definitely be a positive factor in your future career."

President Kohei Itoh of Keio University commented, “As Japanese unique graduate university, OIST attracts the world's top researchers and students, and is a kind of shining star in the Japanese academic world, contributing to the development of science and technology worldwide. Keio University has also been pursuing the mission set out by its founder, Yukichi Fukuzawa, of making ‘Keio a leader of society.’ Through collaboration, cooperation, and friendly rivalry between two universities, we hope to present a new model of graduate school collaboration to the world and thereby contribute to the further promotion of academics by producing outstanding researchers.”

Based on this agreement, the two universities will continue to discuss further collaboration.

■Brief introduction of OIST  

OIST was founded in 2011, by the Japanese government to contribute to science and technology worldwide, attract leading researchers from Japan and abroad to conduct high-quality research, advance the development of a world-class research hub, and nucleate a knowledge cluster that will catalyze technology transfer and industrial innovation in Okinawa. As a pioneering graduate university, its mission is to conduct research that bridges disciplines to explore new frontiers of scientific knowledge, educate a new generation of scientific leaders and be a catalyst for an innovation hub in Okinawa.  www.oist.jp/

■Brief introduction of Keio University 

Established in 1858 by Yukichi Fukuzawa as a small school of Western learning, Keio has a history as Japan’s very first private institution of higher learning. Over 160 years since its founding, Keio has thrived under its founder’s motto of jitsugaku, or empirical science, as it continues to transform Japan as a modern nation through contributions to education, research, and medicine.  www.keio.ac.jp/en/

By Tomomi Okubo


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