University of Tokyo: UTokyo and UNIDO further strengthen collaboration for inclusive and sustainable industrial development

The University of Tokyo (UTokyo) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have concluded a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with an aim to explore innovative technologies, new business models and institutional frameworks.

UTokyo’s Institute for Future Initiatives and related departments have been steadily expanding the cooperation with UNIDO, starting from the internship opportunities provided to UTokyo graduate students in 2016 by the Ocean Alliance, and now a collaborative project between the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Science and UNIDO has been conducted in the field of marine plastic litter reduction. Being one of the largest educational and research institutions in Japan, UTokyo nurtures rich knowledge and resources in a wide range of academic fields. UTokyo expects that the MoU will further consolidate institutional cooperation with UNIDO in many other industrial sectors, thereby greatly contributing to the activities of the Future Society Initiatives promoted by UTokyo.

“During my official visit to Japan in 2018, a joint symposium was organized with UTokyo to highlight the importance of linking young wisdom, innovation and SDGs in the new era of industrial revolution. I am pleased to see that the event serves as the catalyst for establishing such a comprehensive partnership. The utilization of innovative ideas emanating from young people is one of the keys to addressing complex global issues, and I am firmly convinced that new knowledge developed by UTokyo’s topnotch researchers shall contribute to the achievement of SDGs and our collaboration will promote the inclusive and sustainable industrial development of developing and emerging countries,” said UNIDO Director General LI Yong.

The relationship between UTokyo and UNIDO has been deepening since 2018. In April 2019, a joint workshop was organized during the Director General’s visit to Japan where young UTokyo researchers presented innovative ideas to explore future industries. In August 2020, UNIDO’s ITP Network held a panel session as part of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit (GMIS) 2020 Virtual Summit, where a UTokyo faculty member showcased future technologies to conceptualize the future of manufacturing and industries. Under the MoU, joint activities and projects are foreseen in the areas including, but not limited to, future manufacturing and industries/societies, digitalization/4IR, marine plastic litter, circular economy, and carbon neutrality.

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