On 13 March 2017, a delegation led by Naokazu Yokoya, the president of the NAra Institute for Science and Technology – NAIST, was welcomed by Gilles Bloch, president of Université Paris-Saclay (UPSaclay), and Pierre-Paul Zalio, president of ENS Paris-Saclay (ENS-PS).
A young Japanese higher education institution undergoing transformation
Created in 1991, of a similar size to that of ENS-PS, and offering Master’s and PhD courses in information science, biological sciences, and materials science with a focus on integrated research and collaboration with industry, NAIST is in the process of reorganising its existing structure towards a unique graduate school system, to reinforce cross-cutting research.
A history of exchanges as a foundation for increased cooperation
Within the framework of longstanding collaboration between researchers at NAIST and UPSaclay member institutions, such as the ENS Paris-Saclay (MOU and Exchange Agreement), and following the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding in December 2017 between UPSaclay and NAIST, a delegation was welcomed at Université Paris-Saclay to enable researchers from the NAIST Graduate School of Materials Science to meet with key counterparts.
After the visit of the UPSaclay campus and the worksite of ENS-PS whose buildings are to be delivered for the 2019-2020 academic year, the NAIST delegation was welcomed at ENS-PS to discuss current and future collaborations with UPSaclay member institutions. Among notable cooperation with NAIST is the new International Associated Laboratory NanoSYNERGETICS (2018-2021) (see our article), coordinated by Keitaro Nakatani, vice president of research at ENS Paris-Saclay and led by Rémi Métivier from the Supramolecular and Macromolecular Photophysics and Photochemistry Laboratory (PPSM). Also, the PHC Sakura programme “Spatio Temporal Manipulation and Analysis of Biological processes using Multimodal Polymer Nano-Systems" involving Université Paris-Sud (Institut Galien of the Institute of Molecular Sciences in Orsay - ISMO IGPS) and ENS-Paris-Saclay (PPSM). Ties are also strong in agronomics.
Furthermore, since 2012, there have been a dozen missions by researchers or international relations representatives yearly between NAIST and UPSaclay, as well as PhD and student exchanges between the two institutions. To foster these exchanges, future agreements are under preparation, such as a double-degree PhD agreement, which will rely on the many scholarship programmes offered by both the Japanese and French governments, as well as programmes such as the Jean d’Alembert programme for researchers, UPSaclay international Master’s scholarships for incoming students, and outgoing research grants.