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Strengthening collaborations between EU and Japan

Leading researchers from Europe and Japan working with graphene and related materials (GRMs) gathered together in Barcelona this spring.

25th August 2017

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Barcelona

Civil Engineering, Medical/Hygiene

The international workshop was held at Casa Convalescència, Barcelona, and was an ideal opportunity for researchers to delve deep into key scientific questions. The workshop aimed to identify common research themes that are of interest to both Japanese and European research communities and could be strengthened by collaboration.

Stephan Roche (ICN2 Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Spain), one of the European co-chairs of the meeting, and deputy WP leader of the Graphene Flagship Spintronics WP, was pleased with the productive discussions during the meeting. “We discussed new results on high quality, complex GRM-based heterostructures obtained in EU and Japan, and could therefore envision potential scientific collaborations between us,” he said.

Key focus

A key focus of the workshop were the in-depth discussion sessions on critical goals and outstanding research questions. Toshiaki Enoki (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan), one of the Japanese co-chairs of the meeting, said that these discussions were important for identifying the different areas of expertise and areas of potential collaboration.

“We had intensive discussion in the meeting, which offered opportunities to share our research interests. There is great scope for deep collaboration in GRM research between Japan and EU. For example, in Japan, we have strong activity in hexagonal boron nitride and black phosphorus” he said.

Riichiro Saito (Tohoku University, Japan), one of the Japanese co-chairs, is Project Leader of SATL, a cross-Japan collaborative project investigating the synthesis, properties, applications and theories of layered materials including graphene and hexagonal boron nitride. “As group leader of the SATL project, it was an excellent opportunity to understand the status of EU Flagship activity and plan possible international collaborations,” he said. “It is definitely useful to strengthen collaborations by meeting several contacts in such a workshop, compared with one-to-one contacts.”

Supporting new collaborations

The possibilities for supporting new collaborations between European and Japanese researchers were also explored at the meeting. “New exchanges and material supply possibilities were discussed at the workshop,” said Roche. “I plan to send a PhD student to Tokyo for initiating a collaboration using the mobility grant made available by the Flagship.”

The Graphene Flagship Mobility Grants are available to support students and young researchers spend time in labs abroad. The first Mobility Grant was awarded to Isabella Vacchi, a PhD candidate at CNRS, France, for her research visit to Kyoto, Japan.  

The Graphene Flagship maintains strong collaborations with researchers in Japan, Korea and the US. A third EU-Japan meeting is planned for next year.

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