The Joint Committee Meeting brought together representatives from a wide range of government agencies and research institutions in both countries to review the cooperation in the existing prioritized areas of cooperation, energy and the environment, nanotechnology and new materials, seafood safety, and polar and space research, and to discuss opportunities and priorities for future cooperation.
The cooperation in energy and the environment is substantial, involving a large number of institutions and companies within several disciplines from both countries. The Japan-Norway Energy Science Week, which will take place in Tokyo this year with main events on May 27th to 28th, will be an important arena to develop and strengthen already existing relationships, and to establish cooperation in new thematic areas and between new partners.
Cooperation in polar and space research is increasing, with activities in a number of areas including satellite earth observations, space physics, climate change, sea ice development and ocean acidification. Mobility of scientists as well as sharing of research infrastructure are important elements in developing the cooperation in polar and space research further. The cooperation in nanotechnology and new materials has been focusing on renewable energy applications. However, the recent dialogues between The Norwegian University for Science and Technology and the National Institute for Material Sciences on mobility toward the establishment of institutional collaboration and between the Norwegian Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) and Tohoku University on energy storage respectively have strengthened cooperation within these fields.
The Joint Committee Meeting gave positive appraisal of the developments in the cooperation in marine research in recent years, and recognized the Japan-Norway Marine Science Week which was held in Tokyo in June 2014 as a milestone in this cooperation. Based on the already strong cooperation in marine research, as well as interests expr essed by research institutions and companies, the delegations agreed to expand the existing prioritized area “seafood safety” to “marine research”.
To allow for further discussions on how both countries can benefit from stronger cooperation in marine research, and on future priorities and steps to increase cooperation in this field, the Research Council of Norway organized a marine research seminar on February 12th.