Kyoto-Vienna Anniversary Ceremony 2022

On 8 November 2022, Kyoto University and the University of Vienna hosted a virtual Anniversary Ceremony to celebrate three successful years as Strategic Partners and, at the same time, the renewal of the partnership agreement.

Kyoto University and the University of Vienna have a long-standing relationship, as the academic connection has existed for almost 30 years. With the establishment of a strategic partnership in 2019, the relationship was raised to a new level. Despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing number and variety of collaborations, especially in the field of joint research, has been recorded.

The university management and representatives of both universities as well as friends of the strategic partnership attended the ceremony, which was moderated by Prof Dr Nikolaus Forgó, Head of the Department of Innovation and Digitalisation in Law at the University of Vienna.

At the opening of the ceremony Dr Nagahiro Minato, President of Kyoto University, and Prof Dr Sebastian Schütze, Rector of the University of Vienna spoke kind words of welcome.

President Minato emphasised the good partnership that has existed between the two universities for almost three decades. He praised the successful cooperation, which, however, faced some challenges at the beginning of the strategic partnership due to the constraints related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rector Schütze mentioned his positive personal experiences and opportunities in the context of a Joint Workshop in Kyoto in 2019, which he attended in his previous position as Professor of History of Art and Dean of the Faculty of Historical and Cultural Studies. Moreover, he thanked President Minato for his strong commitment to the collaboration.

Prof Yasuyuki Kono, Vice President for International Strategy at Kyoto University, and Prof Dr Manuela Baccarini, Vice Rector for Research and International Affairs at the University of Vienna, spoke about strategic internationalisation and highlighted the important role of strategic partnerships. Vice President Kono explained the aim of the strategic partnership and gave an insight into the anticipated prospects for the next three years. He particularly underlined the importance of strengthening and diversifying schemes for next-generation researchers. Vice Rector Baccarini spoke about the strategic partnership model at the University of Vienna and shared experiences from the last few years. She acknowledged the time and work that needs to be invested in a successful strategic partnership.

Franz Michalke, Head of the International Cooperations Team, represented the Head of the International Office of the University of Vienna Dr Barbara Good, who unfortunately could not attend the ceremony. He guided the guests through the last three years of the partnership and talked about projects planned for the upcoming period of collaboration.

Afterwards, Prof Forgó spoke with Dr Takeshi Nishimura, Associate Professor, Center for the Evolutionary Origins of Human Behavior at Kyoto University and Prof Dr Wolfgang Mazal, Deputy Head of the Department of Labor Law and Social Security Law, Head of the Austrian Institute for Family Research at the University of Vienna and Scientific Advisor to the Strategic Partnership about their personal perspective on the strategic partnership. Both gave insights into their specific collaboration. Prof Mazal emphasized the added value that such cooperation can offer and strongly encouraged other researchers to get involved as well.

Prof Forgó concluded the Anniversary Ceremony with words of thanks to all participants who are committed to this strategic partnership and bring it to life with their collaboration activities.