Conference 2022

EJEA International Conference 2022 on

ONLINE on November 24th – 25th, 2022 (FREE OF CHARGE)

jointly organized by

EUROPEAN JAPAN EXPERTS ASSOCIATION (EJEA), LINKÖPING UNIVERSITY (LiU) and RIKEN (理化学研究所)

hosted by

FRAUNHOFER INSTITUTE FOR APPLIED INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (FIT)

supported by

JAPANESE-GERMAN CENTER BERLIN (JDZB),  EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, German Research Ambassadors Network for Industrial Technology Endeavors (GRANITE), the INSTITUTE FOR SECURITY AND DEVELOPMENT POLICY (ISDP), KAGAWA UNIVERSITY, Network for Science

sponsored by

TOSHIBA INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION (TIFO)

Background

The European Japan Experts Association (EJEA) was established in 1995 and launched an annual conference series in 2018 with the first one convened in Stockholm (Sweden), followed by a conference 2019 in Graz (Austria). Due to the pandemic the commemoration of EJEA’s 25th anniversary in 2020 the conference was postponed to 2021, it was hosted by Kagawa University and took place in Japan and online. This conference was mainly sponsored by Toshiba International Foundation.

The conference title “Human-centered Sustainability and Innovation for an AI-assisted Future” opened the floor for presentations and discussions from a broad range of perspectives and aspects. Once again it was found that Europe and Japan share a lot in common but will also have to face different challenges in the future – on a local as well as on a global level.

Therefore, megatrends for 2030 will be the guiding principles for the coming conference and some of their keywords are: “demographics”, “rise of the individual”, “enabling technology”, “economic interconnectedness”, “economic power shift”, “climate change”, “urbanization” etc. These trends will have a significant impact not only on governments, but also on economy, education, research, as well as on societies and citizens all over the world!

Megatrends are very significant, especially in times of changes. They affect all levels of society and thus influence companies, institutions, and individuals. They are not only a core element of research but also the basis for decisions in business, politics and on a personal level.

Against this background, the organizers of this conference would like to address the current discussion on megatrends, which require innovative and necessary solutions and actions as regards local as well as global perspectives on managing urgent future issues and domains. Profound changes are laying ahead of us in Europe as well as in Japan!

More specifically, the focus of this conference will be contributions and practical experiences such as:

  • New work patterns and company structures, inter-company networks, localization of production, limited moveability, new patterns for local and global supply chains, higher adaptability to dynamic challenges
  • Universities: new education structures, new students’ goals and ambitions, new teaching and learning skills and methods in higher education and research (e.g. mega spaces, action learning, co-creation), new competition in attracting international students, developing needs to serve industry and society
  • How to foster and initiate civil initiatives (e.g. citizens’ participation) and foster higher and new social skills and competences
  • How to harmonize contradictory mind-sets within different generations (young and old) and creating conflict-free tools and concepts.
  • Finding new patterns and behavior in energy consumption and production
  • Identifying and stimulating necessary behavioral changes and actions (SDGs, Green Deal, Society 5.0) at all levels and domains
  • Cultural, economic, social, and mental resilience when having to live in a digitalized world
  • Changes in political and social security structures due to the new digital dimensions
  • AI driven computational and mathematical models: models mimicking neurological processes in the brain (e.g. deep learning) and realizing support for people in learning

How to integrate and combine the issues mentioned above in a holistic, general, and multi-level dimension. The conference is considering global and cross-cultural contexts, with an explicit focus on human-created harmony and wellbeing, human security, and social peace. Moreover, the conference is providing a platform to promote the international understanding of Japanese culture and society.

Aim of the conference

To achieve these goals, and to update the Japanese-European relationship to strengthen exchange and collaboration between the two regions the priorities of the conference focus on:

  1. to provide a forum for research purposes
  2. to provide a forum for educational purposes
  3. to provide a forum for economic purposes
  4. to provide a forum for innovative purposes
  5. to provide a forum for technological purposes
  6. to involve especially young generation for implementing the above-mentioned scientific and educational measures in Japan as well as in Europe.

Thus, the conference includes

  • speakers who are generalists and those who are specialists from Japan and Europe
  • topics with an interdisciplinary focus such as Green Sustainable Societies and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • intercultural as well as local and global content
  • especially prioritizing the key aspects of human wellbeing, human security, and social peace in combination with innovative and actionable solutions.

The final goal of the conference is to develop integrated views and common European-Japanese recommendations which have the potential to avoid digital risks like division of society, socially incompatible developments, disintegration, leaving behind the elderly, social conflicts etc. and to support digital chances to reach aims like equality and fairness of participation, balance of chances and opportunities, cooperation as well as competition, human wellbeing, social peace and to develop the societal and digital transformation in a peaceful spirit based on high technology.

We invite you for active contribution with lectures, workshops, posters, and discussions in developing

  • new actionable and inclusive solutions for fostering
  • new areas of research, education and innovation for the benefit of all generations
  • new contents and topics taking into account intercultural, local, and global perspectives and aspects
  • new concrete interdisciplinary methods and models to achieve sustainable and resilient societies
  • new opportunities for and forms of cooperation and partnerships on a local and global level

Thus, we will attract experts and experiences in current AI research as well as in green deals, economy systems, energy efficiency, healthcare systems, security issues and intercultural communications interested in shaping a sustainable future!

Outline of the conference

The conference will consist of keynote speeches, lectures, posters, open discussions and focused workshops. Presenters will come from various fields, representing industry, technological research institutions and specialists in humanities. Political decision makers will also be invited to make statements and to discuss common issues in workshops. As a forum for young researchers, a poster session will be organized. These young academics are suitable to act as mediators and multipliers for educating future generations.

In a similar framing, the last international conferences have been organized:

  • “Human-centered Sustainability and Innovation for an AI-assisted Future: New Interdisciplinary Education & Research for the Next Stages in Japan and Europe” (AIが支援する未来に向けた人間中心の サステイナビリティとイノベーションを考える: 新たなステージへ導く日本とヨーロッパの学際的な教育と研究の紹介) jointly organized by EJEA, Kagawa University, Fraunhofer FIT and ISDP in 2021 in Kagawa and online     
    https://ejea.eu/conference-2021/ and https://www.kagawa-u.ac.jp/kuio/circ/event/ejeaconf/
  • “Human-centered Digitalization: How to Develop Next Generations of Humans and Robots for a Secure, Harmonic and Prosperous Future of Europe and Japan”, jointly organized by EJEA, Graz University of Technology, University of Graz and ISDP in 2019 in Austria                          
    https://ejea.eu/conference-2019/
  • “Integration and Disintegration in the Japanese Vision of Society 5.0: A Model for an Open Society in Europe?”, jointly organized by EJEA and ISDP in 2018 in Sweden      
    https://ejea.eu/conference-2018/

Target groups

Individual experts and citizens, decision makers and opinion leaders from related organizations, companies, universities, research institutes as well as public administration and governments from Japan and Europe. By this a platform of knowledge and expertise will be created.

Funding and/or Support

The following organizations have been / will be approached:

  • European Interest Group EIG Concert-Japan
  • Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (Sweden)
  • Sasagawa Foundation
  • Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research
  • Sweden-Japan Foundation
  • Toshiba International Foundation

Sponsors and Supporters are welcome!

For further information please contact:

Prof. Dr. Dietrich Albert, University of Graz, Austria
dietrich.albert@uni-graz.at   albert@ejea.eu Tel.: +43 664 73663043

Sabine Ganter-Richter, Network for Science, Bonn, Germany
ganter-richter@ejea.eu   ganter@network-for-science.net Tel.: +49 177 2547847

Prof. Dr. Anders Törnvall, Linköping University, Sweden; Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Denmark
anders.tornvall@ejea.eu    anders.g.tornvall@telia.com Tel.: +46 708370430

Dr. René Reiners, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, GRANITE, Germany
rene.reiners@fit.fraunhofer.de Tel.: +49 2241 143715

Prof. Dr. Fredrik Heintz, Linköping University, Sweden
fredrik.heintz@liu.se Tel.: +46 13 28 24 28

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The European Japan Experts Association (EJEA)

On November 4, 1995, Japan experts from 11 European countries and from the European Commission established an alumni organization for the participants of a Japan-fellowship program funded by Japanese companies – the European Japan Experts Association e.V. (EJEA).

Conceived as an interdisciplinary association with a European profile and open to experts from academia, government, and industry EJEA is a sustainable interdisciplinary network and develops initiatives on a European level for promoting cooperation, exchange, synergy and transfer of knowledge between Europe and Japan.

EJEA aims:
• to be an “umbrella” for serving existing organizations
• to bundle European “voices” from a broad range of disciplines
• to be a ”platform” for discussions about Japan-Europe related topics

In the process of strengthening and expanding EJEA’s network between Japan and Europe, the Association started 2018 an annual conference series.

Website: http://www.ejea.eu

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Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (FIT)

For about 30 years now Fraunhofer FIT has been conducting R&D on user-friendly smart solutions that blend seamlessly in business processes. Our clients benefit from more efficient processes and increased quality, internal connectivity and staff satisfaction. Fraunhofer FIT is your partner of choice for digitization, Industry 4.0 projects and IoT solutions.

Our researchers work in interdisciplinary teams and combine insights from computer science with questions from other fields. Thus, the institute invents and develops applications custom-tailored to support people in their jobs and to enrich their leisure time. Our specific strength is a comprehensive system design process, from test and validation of concepts to the handover of well-implemented systems.

About 200 researchers with backgrounds in Computer Science, the Social Sciences, Business Administration, Economics, Psychology and Engineering are organized in FIT’s five departments and cooperate closely with the Information Systems group at RWTH Aachen University. In addition to our headquarters in Sankt Augustin and Aachen, Fraunhofer FIT has two branch offices: the project group Business and Information Systems Engineering at Augsburg University and Bayreuth University, and the Fraunhofer application center Symila in Hamm.

Website: http://www.fit.fraunhofer.de

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LINKÖPING UNIVERSITY (LiU)

In close collaboration with the business world and society, Linköping University (LiU) conducts world-leading, boundary-crossing research in fields including materials science, IT and hearing. In the same spirit, the university offers many innovative educational programs, many of them with a clear vocational focus, leading to qualification as, for example, doctors, teachers, economists, and engineers.

Linköping University is an AI research excellence center with strong and broad research and education in AI both from a technical and interdisciplinary perspective. Coordinator of one of the four EU-funded networks of AI research excellence centers (TAILOR). Host of the largest basic research program in Sweden (WASP, Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program) as well as the Wallenberg AI and Transformative Technologies Education Development Program (WASP-ED). Host of the National Supercomputer Center including a NVidia SuperPOD (Berzelius).
The university has 32,400 students and 4,100 employees on four campuses. Together we seek answers to the complex questions facing us today. Our students are among the most desirable in the labour market and international rankings consistently place LiU as a leading global university.
LiU achieved university status in 1975 and innovation is our only tradition.

Website: https://liu.se/en

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        RIKEN 理化学研究所

RIKEN is Japan’s largest and most comprehensive research organization for basic and applied science and a world leader in a diverse array of scientific disciplines.
Since its foundation in 1917, RIKEN has fostered pioneering, innovative research in fields spanning the entire range of the natural sciences, from traditional yet still developing fields like physics and chemistry to new frontiers including regenerative medicine and artificial intelligence.
Today, RIKEN encompasses a network of world-class research centers across Japan, with main campuses in Wako, Tsukuba, Yokohama, Kobe and Harima. RIKEN also develops and operates state-of-the-art facilities that rank among the best in the world. This high-quality, high-performance research environment, combined with a uniquely bottom-up approach to scientific innovation, has enabled RIKEN to foster an environment in which researchers are able to thrive.
RIKEN is also an international institute, with approximately 800 out of 3500 non-Japanese research personnel from around the world.
Central to RIKEN’s success as a top-class research hub is the collaboration and support between its many centers, laboratories and state-of-the-art research facilities, distributed over many different locations within and outside of Japan.
RIKEN’s activities can be divided into four main categories: Strategic Research Centers, Research Infrastructure Centers, the Cluster for Pioneering Research and the Cluster for Science, Technology and Innovation Hub. These four groupings interact within an integrated research system, bringing together pioneering science and top-class research facilities to meet national and social needs, and are further enhanced by active collaborations both within and outside RIKEN, and Japan.

Website: https://www.riken.jp/en/

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Japanese-German Center Berlin (JDZB)

At the instigation of the then heads of government of the Federal Republic of Germany and Japan, Helmut KOHL (†) and NAKASONE Yasuhiro (†), the non-profit foundation Japanese-German Center Berlin (Japanisch-Deutsches Zentrum Berlin, JDZB) was established in 1985. It was a time when the interests of the two states began to grow strongly for each other, and the JDZB was entrusted with the task, “to promote and deepen Japanese-German and international cooperation in the fields of science and culture. .…in particular by supporting German-Japanese mutual understanding at all levels of economic life to improve cooperation in science, research and culture.” (Extract from the Foundation Deed)

Politics, the economy and society have changed since the founding period, both in the individual countries as well as in Europe and Asia as a whole. Bilateral exchange was prioritized at the beginning, whereas multilateral exchange has increasingly gained in importance over time. Global networks have grown and the JDZB is incorporating these changes in its activities by bringing together experts and committed individuals from all different fields, and working strategically with cooperative partners within an international network.

In addition to the two foreign ministries of Japan and Germany, the City State of Berlin has also been a strong supporter of the JDZB from the start, and today the JDZB occupies a firm place in German-Japanese relations – with academic and scientific conferences, cultural events, Japanese language courses, exchange programs, a library and regular publications.

Website: http://www.jdzb.de

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GRANITE Network (German Research Ambassadors Network for Industrial Technology Endeavors)

The GRANITE project is an effort to expand international collaborations and build a strong and long-lasting relationship between Germany and Japan. The goal is to establish a sustainable network between partners in applied research and technology that share information, transfer knowledge, and put innovation into practice.

The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement has enabled projects like GRANITE to take place, by removing restricting trade barriers and making it easier for countries to connect with one another. GRANITE offers companies a science-based engineering method, whereby we first systematically analyze and evaluate the specific challenges for the individual company in terms of digitalization and then present them with a tailor-made strategy for their own digital transformation.

As one of 10 top research networks from Germany to showcase their promising technologies and new work concepts to leading scientists, researchers, innovators and decision-makers around the globe, GRANITE is sponsored by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for its latest campaign “The Future of Work”.

GRANITE is coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, located near the former German capital Bonn. Alongside with the project partner Lyogroup International, the GRANITE network was successfully established in 2019.

Website: https://granite-ambassadors.com

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The Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP)

The Institute for Security and Development Policy is a Stockholm-based non-profit and non-partisan research and policy organization, supported by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ISDP is dedicated to expanding understanding of international affairs, focusing on the inter-relationship between security, conflict, and development. The Institute strongly believes in ethnic diversity, gender equality, and religious and political freedom and firmly stands for it in all aspects of its work.

ISDP’s work aims at providing strategic analysis and practical solutions to assist decision-makers in both public and private sectors to achieve their goals.

The Stockholm Japan Center of ISDP aims at becoming a leading forum for research and discussions on the political, social and cultural aspects of Japan and its global role.

Website: http://www.isdp.eu

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Kagawa University

Kagawa University is one of the national universities in Japan and has six undergraduate faculties and seven graduate schools. At the undergraduate level, all courses are conducted in the Japanese language. Both visiting international students at the graduate level along with visiting researchers may carry out their studies or conduct their research through the medium of English. Three of the graduate schools are in the natural sciences (Medicine, Engineering, and Agriculture), while four are in the social sciences (Education, Law, Economics, and Management).

Kagawa University houses a student population of approximately 5,700 undergraduate and 700 graduate students. Kagawa University has about 200 international students studying in our university, and also have about 150 short-term students coming from many countries every year. Kagawa University continuously strives to provide an environment that is both comfortable and conducive to learning, making dormitories, scholarships and student-tutors/buddies easily available.

While situated outside of the main metropolis area of Japan, Kagawa University is no doubt one of the leading national universities with a strong focus on pioneering research and international collaboration.

Website: www.kagawa-u.ac.jp