State Secretary Hirayama in Japan for a working visit and the inauguration of a new Swissnex location

From 30 September to 3 October, the State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation, Martina Hirayama, will visit Japan with a high-ranking scientific delegation. The inauguration of the new Swissnex site and consulate in Osaka on 30 September will be one of the highlights of the trip. Several meetings at ministerial level are on the agenda. Ms Hirayama will also take part in the Science and Technology for Society Forum in Kyoto. On 1 October, the visit will culminate in the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation to strengthen existing ties between Switzerland and Japan in all areas of research.

The opening of a new Swissnex site in the dynamic Kansai region is an important step in consolidating scientific relations between Switzerland and Japan, not least in view of the next World Expo, which will be held in Osaka in 2025. Swissnex is the Swiss global network connecting Switzerland and the world 20th in education, research and innovation. One of the aims of the new consulate will be to support more projects between universities, research institutes and start-ups in the two countries in order to meet the challenges of tomorrow. The inauguration ceremony will take place on 30 September, with Ms Hirayama and numerous Japanese representatives attending. It will focus in particular on innovations and trends in sustainability, and will feature nine Swiss start-ups.

Science and Technology Forum and signing of Memorandum of Cooperation

On 1 October, the delegation will be in Kyoto for the Science and Technology for Society (STS) Forum. Launched by the Japanese government in 2004, the annual STS Forum brings together a large number of ministers and representatives of the scientific community from around the world for high-level discussions on science, technology and innovation. On this occasion, Ms Hirayama will participate in a ministerial round table to discuss in particular the topics of open science and brain circulation. Several meetings at ministerial level and with the two main bilateral research

A key partner in Education, Research and Innovation

Switzerland and Japan enjoy excellent relations in the field of research and innovation. Since the signing of the Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement in 2007, the two countries have steadily intensified cooperation through governmental initiatives and direct cooperation projects initiated by research and innovation players and the private sector. The two countries share many areas of common interest, such as an ageing population, energy transition and digitalisation. Within the framework of the Swiss National Science Foundation’s funding instruments, Japan is Switzerland’s most important research partner in Asia: since 2016, almost 450 projects have involved collaborating with Japanese researchers.