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Participation of Minister of Education, Science and Sport Dr Igor Papič at the STS Forum in Kyoto

During his visit to Japan, Minister of Education, Science and Sport Dr Igor Papič participated at the Science and Technology in Society Forum, which took place from 1 - 4 October 2022.

Prior to the Forum, Minister Dr Papič had a working dinner with professors from universities in Tokyo and the Chair of the Slovenian-Japanese Friendship Group, Ms Jelisava Sethna Dobovšek.

Minister Dr Papič visited the University of Tsukuba, where he met with the Vice President, Ms Caroline Benton. He also visited the KEK Research Institute, where he was guided by Slovenian scientist Dr Marko Bračko from University Maribor, who cooperates in the project, to see the research project on the detection of the disappearance of antimatter from space, Super KEK2/Belle 2. Slovenian scientists are important collaborators in the project.

At the EU-Japan 2022 Science Forum in Kyoto, which took place the day before the STS Forum, Minister Dr Papič stressed the importance of international cooperation and presented the NEDO project on smart energy grids in Slovenia, expressing his wish for university cooperation and the importance of incorporating new technologies into the project's framework in the future. In this context, he stressed the importance of Japan's Society 5.0 initiative, which brings the development of a smart future for people and puts them at the forefront. Minister welcomed the excellent cooperation with Japanese institutions in various fields and projects, including at university level and with research agencies.

At the Ministerial roundtable of the STS Forum, Minister Dr Papič addressed the importance of a balance between basic and applied science.

On the sidelines of the Forum, Minister Dr Papič met with the Chair of the STS Forum, Mr Hiroshi Komiyama, European Commissioner Ms Mariya Gabriel, Japanese Minister for Education, Culture, Sport and Technology, Ms Keiko Nagaoka, President of the European Research Council, Ms Maria Leptin, and the President of the NEDO, Mr Hiroaki Ishizuko.

At the meeting with European Commissioner Ms Mariya Gabriel, Minister Dr Papič welcomed the measures taken to strengthen and integrate innovation ecosystems. He stressed that the New EU Innovation Agenda does not fully exploit potentials of involving universities and research organisations in technology transfer. Both interlocutors therefore discussed the possibilities for their full partnership.

At a meeting with Ms Keiko Nagaoka, Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology, both Ministers focused on the continuation of joint cooperation between the two countries in the fields of nanotechnology and robotics. Minister Nagaoka also welcomed the proposal of Minister Dr Papič on the possibility of preparing an agreement between the research agencies of the two countries in order to strengthen cooperation in these fields. The two Ministers confirmed the organisation of the third Joint Science and Technology Consultations, which will be hosted in Slovenia.

Minister Dr Papič concluded his working visit to Japan with a meeting with NEDO President Mr Hiroaki Ishizuka. The NEDO President praised the joint NEDO project to establish a smart electricity grid in Slovenia and promised to come to Ljubljana for the final event this autumn.