Published on 16 February 2018
Tsukuba University

On 1st February, Université Paris-Saclay signed an MOU with Tsukuba University, which is located at the heart of Tsukuba Science City.

A cross-disciplinary university at the centre of a scientific city

Founded in 1973, Tsukuba University is one of the best 10 universities of Japan. It stretches over more than 250 hectares within Tsukuba Science City, north-east of Tokyo, which is home to over 30 % of the country’s national research centres. In total, 19 000 Japanese and international researchers and over 18 000 students live in Tsukuba, benefitting from the influence of several universities such as Tsukuba University.

Boasting three Nobel prizes (Sin-Itiro Tomonaga and Leo Esaki in physics in 1965 and 1973 respectively, and Hideki Shirakawa in chemistry in 2000), the university specialises in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine, and has among its alumni over a dozen Olympic medallists. In view of the forthcoming Olympic and Paralympic games organised in Japan in 2020, the university also developed in 2014 one of the world’s key centres of excellence for sports education – the Tsukuba International Academy for Sport Studies (TIAS), which offers a Master’s programme in Sport and Olympic Studies. Also renowned for its internationalisation efforts, Tsukuba University has won several national funding programmes, such as the Global 30” and Super Global University Project”. For the latter, Tsukuba University obtained a “Type A funding”, limited to 13 élite universities of Japan aiming to rank among the top global 100 by 2023.

A MOU to develop collaborations with all Université Paris-Saclay member institutions

Several member institutions of Université Paris-Saclay have ongoing research collaborations with Tsukuba University, such as Université Paris-Sud within the international associated laboratory for Nuclear Structure Problems (2015-2018). Drawing on from collaborations with laboratories of the ENS Paris-Saclay, its president, Pierre-Paul Zalio, along with the vice-president for research, Keitaro Nakatani, met with the president of Tsukuba in 2016 as well as with representatives of the chemistry and art design departments.

In order to strengthen these ties, the president of Université Paris-Saclay, Gilles Bloch, visited Tsukuba University in May 2017 with the director of international development, Guillaume Garreta. On this occasion, he visited the world-class International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine. Furthermore, the EPAPS local development authority (Etablissement public d’aménagement Paris-Saclay) and the technology-transfer organisation SATT Paris-Saclay (Société d'accélération du transfert de technologies) welcomed last December representatives of the Ibaraki prefecture, the local authority of the innovative campus of Tsukuba, in order to discover French public measures established to encourage start-up creation and spin-off.

In the continuity of the internationalisation strategy led by Université Paris-Saclay, the MOU signed this day will give a framework to and help develop student exchanges and research projects. The common fields of interest discussed are environmental and climate science, agricultural science, nanoscience and nanotechnology, as well as state-of-the-art engineering.