Second A*STAR-RIKEN Joint Symposium held in Singapore

A total of around 200 people, including 24 members of RIKEN, attended the event, which showcased cutting-edge research and technology in chemical and materials science.

The RIKEN Advanced Science Institute (ASI), together with the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore, organized the 2nd A*STAR–RIKEN Joint Symposium at the Biopolis international research and development center on May 18 and 19, 2009. A total of around 200 people, including 24 members of RIKEN, attended the event, which showcased cutting-edge research and technology in chemical and materials science.

The two-day symposium was divided into four sessions. The sessions on the first day covered the topics of Physical Materials and Devices, and Photonics and Nano-Optics; and those on the second day covered the topics of Synthesis and Catalysis, and Biomaterials and Devices. In all, 21 speakers (11 from RIKEN, 10 from A*STAR) gave presentations at the symposium, each followed by active question-and-answer periods. Poster presentations by young and mid-career researchers (7 from RIKEN, 20 from A*STAR) also triggered lively discussions.

The symposium also provided an opportunity for Executive Director Yoshiharu Doi and other top management at RIKEN to meet with Chairman Lim Chuan Poh and other members of A*STAR to discuss future cooperation. The two institutions came to an agreement on plans to establish a program for providing financial support to outstanding joint collaboration projects between the ASI and SERC.

Following the joint A*STAR–RIKEN symposium, a seminar jointly organized by RIKEN, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) was held on May 20 at NTU at the behest of the two universities. Thirteen speakers (7 from RIKEN, 3 each from NTU/NUS) gave oral presentations, and 34 researchers (4 from RIKEN, 30 from NTU/NUS) gave poster presentations, addressing the topic of the ‘Frontier of Chemical and Material Sciences’.

By strengthening ties between the RIKEN ASI and top-level research institutions in Singapore, the A*STAR–RIKEN symposium and RIKEN–NTU–NUS seminar provided valuable opportunities for attendees, in particular young scientists, to exchange ideas for future collaboration. In so doing, the meetings have laid the groundwork for important new discoveries to come in chemical and material science.