The first Joint Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between Japan and the EU

June 16, 2011

  1. European Commission Director-General for Research and Innovation, Robert-Jan Smits, and Ambassador for Science and Technology cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Makoto Yamanaka today co-chaired the first Joint Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Japan since the new bilateral Science and Technology (S&T) Cooperation Agreement entered into force on 29 March 2011. The Committee addressed key areas of mutual interest with a view to strengthening and deepening science and technology cooperation between the EU and Japan.
  2. Mr. Smits and Ambassador Yamanaka believe: the cooperation between the European Union and Japan under the new agreement will benefit both sides greatly, as will the collaboration in the two research fields we addressed today: low carbon societies/technologies and critical raw materials.
  3. In the joint press statement of the EU-Japan Summit Meeting in Brussels on 28 May, it was confirmed that the EU and Japan will deepen and broaden the scope of their cooperation, taking advantage of the S&T agreement.The first Committee meeting had a fruitful discussion toward cooperation in areas of low carbon societies/technologies, such as photovoltaic cells and the storage of energy, and critical raw materials. Both parties also discussed such areas as natural hazard prevention, climate change research, ICT, large research infrastructures including accelerators, as well as researchers' international mobility.
  4. Joint cooperation in science and technology between the two global partners, Japan and the EU, can pave the way for creating a new generation of green and smart technologies. The first EU-Japan project under the agreement, on highly efficient solar cells, held its kick-off meeting in Madrid in Spain earlier this month. This project, co-funded by Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and the European Commission, is developing photovoltaic cells that promise to achieve a cell conversion efficiency of more than 45%, the highest efficiency in the world.
  5. The Committee welcomed cooperation efforts in the field of aeronautics. Next month a joint call for proposals between the European Commission and Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will be published in this area. Topics to be addressed in this joint call are aeronautical communications, anti-icing systems, surface heat exchangers for aero-engines, engine ceramic bearings and high-speed aircraft.

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