Strenghening ties with academia

An important aspect of ITER’s scientific program revolves around the development of collaborative and training activities with academic and research organizations in the Members. A significant expansion of these activities occurred on Christmas Eve when ITER Director-General Osamu Motojima signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Tohoku University on Scientific, Academic and Educational Cooperation, the first such agreement established with a Japanese university.

Tohoku University, founded in 1907 and based in Sendai in northern Honshu, is one of Japan’s leading universities, with approximately 6,000 staff and 18,000 students.

At the signing ceremony for the Memorandum of Understanding, held in Tokyo on the afternoon of 24 December, DG Motojima was joined by Prof Susumu Satomi, President of Tohoku University and Mr Kanji Fujiki, Deputy Minister of MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) in expressing the need to expand ties between the ITER Project and academic institutions, with their deep expertise in many areas of science and technology of importance to the success of ITER. The agreement will promote opportunities for collaboration between the university’s researchers and ITER scientists and engineers, and will also open the possibility of Tohoku students carrying out research projects at the ITER Organization as part of their training.

At the celebration which followed the signing ceremony and a series of presentations on the ITER Project’s construction, technology and science activities, several members of ITER staff had the opportunity to meet senior academics from Tohoku and discuss possibilities for future collaboration.