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Kyoto University, Osaka University, and Kobe University Joint Symposium held


On Friday, November 13, the Kyoto University, Osaka University, and Kobe University Joint Symposium (sponsored by Nikkei Inc. and the Japan Center for Economic Research) was held in Chuo-ku, Osaka as part of the annual "Kansai Economist Meetings." Under the theme of “Kansai-led Creation of the Future – Innovation in the Era of COVID-19,” presidents from the 3 universities and representatives from the industrial circle had an active discussion on the role of industry and academia of the Kansai region in a post-COVID-19 society.

First, FUJII Tatsuro (Managing Executive Officer, Nikkei Inc. Osaka) spoke about the significance of this symposium and his hopes for the revitalization of the Kansai area through industry-academia collaboration.

Next, IETSUGU Hisashi (Chairman and CEO, Sysmex Corporation) and TAKAHASHI Machi (President/Co-CEO, Stroly) introduced their companies, speaking about their endeavors, collaborative efforts with universities, and future prospects in the era of COVID-19.

Then university presidents MINATO Nagahiro (Kyoto University), NISHIO Shojiro (Osaka University), and TAKEDA Hiroshi (Kobe University) spoke about endeavors at their universities both during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

In the panel discussion, participants discussed the role of the university questioned during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the revitalization of the entire Kansai region through close collaboration between Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe cities by utilizing their individuality.

President Nishio stated that as a number of ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) arise as a result of the novel coronavirus rapidly spreading worldwide, we cannot go through this COVID-19 crisis unless these issues are solved. Social science researchers should take the initiative in solving these issues while involving those in natural science fields.

During the discussion about human resources development, President Nishio said that it is important to develop doctoral degree holders with a high level of expertise, flexibility, and a wide perspective through university-company collaboration in drastic changes in industrial and societal structures.

Finally, attendees re-acknowledged the challenges to be addressed by the Kansai region — that is, to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and successfully hold the 2025 Osaka, Kansai Expo.

This year, some 890 individuals (including those who visited the venue) participated in the symposium, which was streamed online to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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