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Visit to Slovenia for research exchange and university-industry collaboration

  • December 15, 2017
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  • Keywords: International relations

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Professor OGAWA Matsuto (Executive Vice President in Charge of Research and University-Industry Cooperation) visited several universities and research institutes in Slovenia on November 13 and 14. Located in Central Europe between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia has a long history and diverse natural environment. The country has also seen steady economic growth while maintaining high industrial standards.

On the first day, Professor Ogawa visited Prof. Dr. Igor Papič, Rector of the University of Ljubljana, one of our partner institutions. The meeting was also attended by Mr. FUKUDA Keiji (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at the Embassy of Japan in Slovenia) and Prof. Dr. Matjaž Krajnc (Vice-Rector), and all parties agreed to promote the cordial relationship between our institutions. Following this, Professor Ogawa visited the University of Ljubljana Faculty of Engineering and met with Prof. Dr. Gregor Dolinar (Dean of the Faculty), and Prof. Dr. Sašo Blažič (Deputy Dean of the Faculty and Head of Research). As well as discussing further mutual student exchange, he also gave a lecture on university-industry cooperation for the faculty and staff of the Faculty of Engineering, introducing examples of Kobe University’s strategic research projects, policies for creating innovation, and research funds acquisition.

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The following day, Professor Ogawa visited the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the University of Maribor, located in Slovenia’s second largest city Maribor to the north of the capital Ljubljana. The University of Maribor is Slovenia’s second oldest university after the University of Ljubljana, and it is strengthening its ties with Japanese research institutions, particularly in natural science fields. Professor Ogawa met first with Prof. Dr. Borut Žalik (Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), then Prof. Dr. Marjan Mernik (Deputy Dean of the Faculty and Head of Research) gave Professor Ogawa a tour of five research laboratories. After this, Professor Ogawa gave a lecture to faculty and staff introducing Kobe University and the University’s university-industry collaborations in research. The lecture was followed by questions from the audience, demonstrating their interest in our University. Kobe University and the University of Maribor will now work towards an inter-university academic exchange agreement and starting research exchange.

During his visit to Slovenia, Professor Ogawa also visited the Jožef Stefan Institute and Technology Park Ljubljana. At the Institute, Prof. Dr. Jadran Lenarcic (Director of the Jožef Stefan Institute) introduced him to the Institute’s programs, international projects and collaboration with Japanese institutions, and they discussed competitive research funds and researcher career paths. At Technology Park Ljubljana, General Manager of the Technology Park Mr. Iztok Lesjak gave an overview of the organization and its collaboration with Japanese businesses, followed by an introduction to Kobe University from Professor Ogawa and a discussion about incubation programs.

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Supported by the Embassy of Japan in Slovenia, Professor Ogawa followed a tight schedule during his brief but fruitful visit to Slovenia. We look forward to further developments in the creation of an academic network through collaboration and exchange with Slovenian universities and research institutes.

(International Affairs Planning Division)