Bristol and Kyoto join forces to tackle the planet’s 21st century challenges
Press release issued: 12 January 2012
Helping to prevent disasters around the world is one of the key research areas to be addressed by an international partnership between Bristol University and Kyoto University.
Initial areas of research which have already been identified include volcanology, flood risk management and geotechnical earthquake engineering, coordinated by the University of Bristol’s Cabot Institute and Kyoto’s Disaster Prevention Research Institute.
Translational medicine, the transformation of laboratory findings into new ways to diagnose and treat patients, will also be a focus of the on-going relationship, enabling both universities to share knowledge and help to improve patient treatment.
Following the formalization of the relationship between the two leading universities, academics will explore opportunities to work together in the fields of chemistry and social sciences.
Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, said: “As an internationally leading research University, we understand the importance of working with strategic global partners in order to meet the demands and complexities of the 21st century. The projects we have planned with our colleagues at Kyoto University are very exciting and will potentially have a significant impact worldwide.”
Kyoto University is well-regarded for its academic excellence, and is one of the most prestigious universities in Japan. A top-level delegation visited Bristol in July to find out more about the University’s expertise in environmental change, nuclear research and composite materials.
The team, led by Professor Kiyoshi Yoshikawa, Executive Vice-President for Research, saw how the University's National Composites Centre is putting the region at the forefront of innovation in high-tech materials, and is a leading example of collaboration between universities and industry.
The team was also impressed by the groundbreaking work being carried out by the Cabot Institute, which is developing risk and resilience models for major catastrophes, linking the environment, critical infrastructure and the insurance industry.
Professor Yoshikawa said: “Kyoto University is delighted and honoured to have this opportunity to further expand our collaboration with the excellent people at Bristol University. The agreement aims to contribute to the realization of a safe and peaceful world through enhancing our understanding of health and the environment.
"Those aims are very close to Kyoto University’s heart, as our mission statement declares our intention to strive towards ‘harmonious co-existence within the human and ecological community on this planet’. We are very excited, therefore, to conclude this MoU with the world-class Bristol University.”
Professor Guy Orpen, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at the University of Bristol said: “This partnership aims to tackle some of the life-changing challenges that are likely to have a major impact on the future of the planet. The importance of working with academic colleagues elsewhere in the world has never been more apparent.
“It’s a unique relationship which we hope will harness the research excellence at both institutions, ultimately leading to collaboration with industry partners.”
The University of Bristol will run a series of workshops in Kyoto during April 2012, examining translational medicine and disaster prevention.
There is also the opportunity for researchers to get involved in Kyoto University’s Hakubi Project, which is a new initiative to foster and support young researchers who have been identified as intellectual leaders of the future.