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Bristol-Heidelberg-Kyoto symposium strengthens trilateral collaboration

Signing the Memorandum of Understanding

Signing the Memorandum of Understanding to promote the objectives of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation. From left: Professor Minoru Tamura (Botanical Gardens of the Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University), Professor Simon Hiscock (University of Bristol Botanic Garden) and Professor Markus Koch (Botanical Garden and Herbarium, Heidelberg)

Delegates at the Bristol-Heidelberg-Kyoto symposium

Delegates at the Bristol-Heidelberg-Kyoto joint symposium

11 November 2015

The University of Bristol hosted a successful Bristol-Heidelberg-Kyoto joint symposium last week. Its aim was to strengthen tripartite partnerships between the University of Bristol, the University of Heidelberg and Kyoto University.

The three universities are world-leading institutions in research and education in Britain, Germany and Japan. There have been ongoing efforts to foster bilateral collaborations among the three universities by organising international symposia and forming inter-university consortiums. First Bristol and then Kyoto hosted bilateral symposia in 2013 and 2014 to explore and facilitate joint research agendas, while Heidelberg and Kyoto have continually extended and intensified their bilateral collaboration in many fields since 1990.

This month’s joint symposium has broadened the existing bilateral frameworks and explored new possibilities to promote academic exchange and collaborative research in strategic areas common among the three universities. Around 100 attendees took part in workshops exploring plant sciences, chemistry and materials, healthy living and active ageing, global political economy and migration, and gender in popular culture/intimacy in the public sphere.

The joint symposium has initiated active collaboration and formed intellectual links across the three universities. One such example is an agreement between the University of Bristol Botanic Garden, the Botanical Gardens of the Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University and Botanical Garden and Herbarium, Heidelberg to form a partnership to promote the objectives of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC).

Botanic gardens are recognised as critical institutions in the GSPC. It is hoped that the new partnership will facilitate the exchange of information and ideas to promote education and awareness about plant biodiversity, share expertise and technical advice and work towards exchanging staff and students. To this end, the Directors of all three botanic gardens signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the Life Sciences Building during the symposium.

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