2023 Activity Report Indian University Students Participate
in an India–Japan Research Program at Keio University

SAKURA SCIENCE University Program

Indian University Students Participate in an India–Japan Research Program at Keio University

The JST Sakura Science Program Headquarters (SSP) invited 49 undergraduate and graduate students selected from leading Indian universities to attend a special program in Japan. The program was expected to run for a week starting on Sunday, September 24, and aimed to accelerate further brain cycle between Japan and India.

The Indian students visited Keio University's Mita Campus on the afternoon of Monday, September 25. There, they participated in the "India Japan Co‑learning: Science, Technology, Innovation, Culture, Environment and Development" program organized by the India–Japan Laboratory (IJL) in the Keio Research Institute at SFC. The IJL is engaged in collaborative research between Japan and India in a wide range of fields, including the environment, technology, and culture. First, Professor Rajib Shaw of the Faculty of Policy Management, who leads the IJL, introduced Keio University; this was followed by a report about IJL's activities by Tomo Kawane, Senior Researcher of the Research Institute at SFC.

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During the presentations, Yukio Takeyari, also a Senior Researcher, spoke on the theme of "India Japan IT innovation and start‑up." He pointed out the importance of India–Japan collaboration, saying: "India's IT industry is growing and evolving on a massive scale. Digitalization is accelerating, there are many start‑ups, and there is an abundance of personnel in IT and the digital field. Combining this with Japan's original technologies, experience, and knowledge will surely lead to global innovation."

In addition, Mitsuaki Okazaki of the Rakuten Group introduced Rakuten India, which serves as an R&D center for the Rakuten Group and as a key technology hub. He provided explanations about the Group, including Rakuten's unique vision, mission, the way the Group develops employees' skills, their social contribution activities, and their internship program, which has accepted students from 35 Indian universities to date. The Indian students seemed particularly interested in the internships, and asked, "Do you accept students from places other than those 35 universities?" They relaxed at the response: "We can take interns from any university based on their skills and suitability, so please do apply."

The final presentation was given by Yukihiro Funyu of Yokogawa Electric Corporation. He started by introducing the wide‑ranging business areas of his company, including electric power, petroleum, chemistry, IT, and pharmaceuticals, before going on to explain DX initiatives, advocating for industrial autonomy and IA2IA (industrial automation to industrial autonomy) as the route to get there. He finished by saying, "Yokogawa combines IT and OT (operation technology) to contribute to the progress of DX in manufacturing, and we will accelerate innovation through DX for the world, including India." In response to the students' question, "Are you involved in research in biological fields outside of electric power and IT?", he said, "There is a chance that biological and pharmaceutical technologies will expand significantly in the future, so we have started research in these fields."

Their participation in this India–Japan Research Program at Keio University refreshed the Indian students' awareness of the importance of the links between Japan and India, encouraging "Global Innovation through Japan–India Collaboration."

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