Japanese Nippon Foundation sign letter of intent with Robert Gordon University Aberdeen
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06 September 2017Robert Gordon University (RGU) and the Nippon Foundation of Japan have signed a Letter of Intent under which they will collaborate in areas of strategic significance in ocean innovation.
The agreement, which was announced at RGU today (Tuesday, September 5) will see the Nippon Foundation and the university continue to develop their relationship, which began with the delivery of the first summer school for Japanese students in 2016.
The Nippon Foundation (NF) is an independent, non-profit, grant-making organization founded in 1962 and has carried out various activities in more than 100 countries to date. The Nippon Foundation Ocean Innovation Consortium was launched in Japan in 2016 encompassing university, industry and public agency partners with the aim of developing people for different aspects of offshore development.
The offshore sector in Japan is expected to grow to 50 trillion yen (£370 billion) by 2030, and the Consortium aims to increase the number of offshore engineers to 10,000 by that time, representing a five-fold increase from the current 2,000-plus.
It is hoped that the relationship with RGU can support the training of skilled personnel for this market.
Among the Japanese delegation at the signing was Dr. Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman, The Nippon Foundation; Mr. Koji Tsuruoka, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary; Mr. Mitsuyuki Unno, Executive Director, The Nippon Foundation; Mr. Jotaro Horiuchi, Minister, Japanese Embassy; and, Mr. Masanori Yoshida, Head of the Office of Marine Development Capacity Building, The Nippon Foundation.
Dr. Sasakawa said: "As I stepped onto the RGU campus this morning, I felt the vibe that RGU is a future-looking university and at the same time is very active and engaged in trying to lead on that future.
"I would like to especially look to RGU to take the lead role so that RGU and the Nippon Foundation, hand in hand cooperate not only in educating students but also strengthening and deepening our partnership with industry.”
The signing coincides with the final week of the Nippon Foundation Ocean Innovation Consortium Summer School 2017 at RGU, which has seen the students studying different aspects of marine engineering before putting some of that theory into practice at the DART drilling simulation suite at RGU.
The group also spent five days at the subsea training and trials facility, The Underwater Centre, in Fort William, as well as taking part in a packed cultural itinerary.
The students’ will head to the Offshore Europe conference at the city’s Exhibition Centre this week where they will have the chance to meet and network with industry professionals from across the world.
Commenting on the Letter of Intent and the strengthening of the relationship with the Nippon Foundation, Donella Beaton RGU’s Director of Business Development, said: "RGU has built up a very good working relationship with the Nippon Foundation over the past few years and I am delighted to see this recorded and developed through the signing of the Letter of Intent”.
Principal of RGU, Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, added: "International links are very important for universities and I am very pleased that RGU will be able to contribute to the training of personnel for Japan’s offshore sector”.