Nagoya University signs new Strategic Partnership Agreement with the University of Freiburg

Nagoya University (NU) and the University of Freiburg (UFR, Germany) have agreed to further strengthen their academic cooperation, beginning with the formal signing of a new "Strategic Partnership Agreement" during President Sugiyama's visit to Freiburg on November 21.


President Sugiyama and Rector Krieglstein sign and display the Strategic Partnership Agreement (Photo: Jürgen Gocke)


Following the ceremony, President Sugiyama said: "I am delighted that our two universities are entering into this strategic partnership; over half a century, our relationship has resulted in deep mutual trust and remarkable scientific achievements. I would like to see our universities work even more closely together to solve the pressing societal and environmental problems we face.
Rector Krieglstein added: "Our achievements through this partnership are measured not only in academic success, but also in the exchange of students and graduate students; our partnerships provide them with global perspectives through which they become agents of change, leading the way to a better future.


In conjunction with the signing ceremony, researchers from both universities gave a special joint lecture on "Industrial Ecology" (NU: Tanikawa Lab; UFR: Pauliuk Lab), followed by a lively discussion and exchange of views with the audience.
Germany is internationally renowned for its environmentally friendly outlook in both society and technological research, with the "Green City Freiburg" and its university leading the way in these transformative efforts. Similarly, Nagoya University's location in the Tokai region, one of Japan's leading industrial clusters, provides a stimulating blend of entrepreneurial spirit, technological innovation, and opportunities for direct application. Both universities will leverage their individual and regional strengths to promote future research and knowledge transfer.


Professor Hiroki Tanikawa and Assistant Professor Naho Yamashita present their current research on the topic of 'Sustainable urban metabolism and climate change adaptation & mitigation'.

(Photo: Jürgen Gocke)


Academic ties between Nagoya University and the University of Freiburg have a long history - in fact, Freiburg is our oldest partner in Europe - beginning with exchanges between the Schools of Economics in 1972 (formalized in 1986) and the Schools of Medicine in 2000, followed by the university-wide academic exchange agreement in 2001. Since then, our exchanges have continued to expand in a variety of areas, most notably with the creation of a joint Business Litigation Institute in Freiburg between the two law schools, which became the Nagoya University European Center in 2010.


Based on our new Global Multi-Campus (GMC) international strategy, we have been in intensive discussions with the University of Freiburg to promote inter-university exchange and to implement new forms of learning and teaching (e.g. 'tailor-made study abroad') that combine various online/offline/hybrid methods, both on-site in Freiburg and at our home campus in Nagoya. The resulting Strategic Partnership Agreement affirms the importance and enhanced level of cooperation between the two universities, reinforced by the mutual provision of office space on campus. Nagoya University intends to take advantage of this opportunity by establishing its "Global Campus Preparation Office" as early as April 2024.


Left: President Sugiyama and Rector Krieglstein meet Director Hayashi of the JSPS Bonn Office;
Right: Dr. Michael Vollstädt presents the Young Academy for Sustainability Research (YAS).

(Photos: Jürgen Gocke, Roland Berkemeier)


On the same occasion, both partners formulated an action plan roadmap for the period up to 2026, setting specific goals for joint research, joint education (e.g. COIL and virtual exchange), and student and faculty exchanges.
In particular, a new joint seed funding scheme was announced to provide initial financial support to research groups at both universities as early as April 2024, with the call for applications opening immediately.


Finally, the long-standing collaboration between Nagoya University's Institute for Advanced Research (IAR) and the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) will soon include joint activities in interdisciplinary environmental sciences between T-GEx (IAR) and the Young Academy for Sustainability Research (YAS, FRIAS). This exciting new collaboration will start with a joint hybrid workshop in Nagoya, scheduled for February 2024.