A visit by the Attaché for Science and Technology at the Embassy of France in Japan

【From left: Dr. Jean-Baptiste Bordes, Ms. Bénédicte Guillemin, EVP Motoko Kotani, and EVP Toshiya Ueki】

On September 1, Dr. Jean-Baptiste Bordes, Attaché for science and technology at the Embassy of France in Japan, visited Tohoku University and met with EVP Motoko Kotani and EVP Toshiya Ueki.

EVP Ueki welcomed Dr. Bordes and introduced him to the university’s facilities and the cutting-edge research being carried out. Tohoku University has more academic agreements with France that with any other European country (25 university-level agreements and 24 department-level agreements), and active exchanges are continuing, especially at the ELyTMaX joint laboratory, which is a framework for research collaboration set up with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Université de Lyon. EVP Ueki also noted that among students from outside Asia, the majority are from French universities, and he expressed the university’s desire to further deepen exchanges with France.

EVP Kotani spoke about the next-generation synchrotron radiation facility, NanoTerasu, and the coalition that has been formed by companies that have invested in the facility. She said that institutions that have joined the coalition will have the right to use the facility and will be able to make use of their knowledge through collaboration with researchers, and that this NanoTerasu-based system is expected to lead to the realization of various innovations.

Dr. Bordes spoke about the mission of the French Embassy’s Office for Science and Technology and about the importance of strengthening the relationship between academic institutions in both countries.

After the meeting, the group visited the Institute for Materials Research and received an overview from its director, Prof. Takahiko Sasaki. Prof. Satoshi Awaji then introduced them to the High Field Laboratory for Superconducting Materials, one of only five steady high magnetic field facilities in the world.

【Prof. Sasaki and Prof. Awaji introduce the IMR’s facilities】

【The group at the High Field Laboratory for Superconducting Materials】

The party then visited the Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR), where its director, Prof. Shin-ichi Orimo, welcomed them, and they then received an overview of the institute from Nobuyuki Nishiyama, the Director of its Research Support Division. Assoc. Prof. Hao Li spoke about his latest research results, and Prof. Takafumi Sato (of the Materials Physics Group) gave them a tour of his Photoemission Solid State Physics Laboratory.

【In front of AIMR】

【Visiting Prof. Sato’s laboratory】

At the Graduate School of Information Sciences, its dean, Prof. Nei Kato, gave an overview of the graduate school and the group were given a presentation on natural language processing by Assoc. Prof. Keisuke Sakaguchi and a presentation on intelligent control systems by a French student from the National Institute of Applied Sciences of Lyon. Dr. Bordes asked questions about AI, and a lively discussion took place on the subject.

【The group was given presentations on AI】

The visit finished at the ElyTMaX Laboratory, where its French director, Prof. Gaël Sebald of the National Institute of Applied Sciences of Lyon, provided guidance.

It is hoped that this visit will contribute to the further development of educational and research exchanges between Tohoku University and France.