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Press Release No. 12 | 6 April 2009
DFG Opens New Office in Tokyo

Grand Opening on 15 April with a Symposium on the Promotion of Young Researchers

The President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), Professor Matthias Kleiner, will open the DFG's new foreign representative office in Tokyo on 15 April. After Peking, Washington/New York, Moscow and New Delhi, the Japanese office is the organisation's fifth foreign representative office. It will be located in the German Cultural Centre in Tokyo, where the DFG will make up the third German science funding organisation along with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Fraunhofer Society.
The director of the new office will be Dr. Iris Wieczorek, who studied Japanese Studies, Sinology and Information Technology before taking up a position as scientific assistant at the GIGA Institute for Asiatic Studies in Hamburg. During her graduate and doctoral studies, Dr. Wieczorek lived in Japan for several years and later published numerous papers on the Japanese innovation system in international comparison. She has been working at the DFG since 2008.

For many years now, Japan has been a strong and reliable partner for German science. The number of bilateral research collaborations has grown steadily in recent years, mainly in the form of joint initiatives for the promotion of young researchers through the establishment of German-Japanese Research Training Groups. Three international Research Training Groups have already been established in cooperation with Japanese partners. They are studying "Complex chemical systems" (Münster, Nagoya), "Genomics and systems biology of molecular networks" (Berlin, Boston, Tokyo/Kyoto) and "Structural changes to civil society: A comparison of Japan and Germany" (Halle-Wittenberg, Tokyo). A fourth Research Training Group, which will be a cooperative effort between the universities of Darmstadt and Waseda in the field of mathematics, will be established as part of the DFG delegation's visit to Japan.

In future, the DFG would like to consolidate and intensify the existing multifaceted collaborations between German and Japanese science. The new office in Tokyo will assist German scientists and academics to expand their cooperative activities with Japanese colleagues, while also serving Japanese science as a drop-in centre on the way to Germany. The tasks of the new office also include the analysis and evaluation of relevant changes to Japanese science policy, which should be made available in an appropriate format to German science.

In keeping with the main objective of the bilateral cooperative projects, the official opening of the new office by the DFG President on 15 April will coincide with a symposium entitled "Promoting Young Researchers". The presidents of the two DFG partner organisations, Professor Motoyuki Ono from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and Professor Koichi Kitazawa from the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), have agreed to take part, as have the German Ambassador Hans-Joachim Daerr and Vice Minister Toshio Yamauchi from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Following an introduction to the promotion of young researchers in Germany by the Vice President of the DFG, Professor Konrad Samwer (University of Göttingen), the Japanese Nobel Prize winner Professor Makoto Kobayashi (Physics, 2008) will hold the keynote speech, in which he will discuss the training of young researchers in Japan.

In the evening, the German ambassador will be inviting guests to a reception in the embassy to celebrate the opening of the DFG Office Japan.

To support the initiation and consolidation of bilateral collaborations with Japan, the DFG has been offering the new funding instrument "Initiation and intensification of bilateral collaborations" since the beginning of the year. Under this scheme, funding is available for study visits of up-to-three months to German or foreign partner institutions and for concerted activities (workshops, seminars).

Further Information

Information on opportunities for cooperation with Japan:

DFG Head Office, East Asia and Mongolia Division

  • Director:
    Dr. Ingrid Krüßmann,
    Tel. +49 228 885-2786,
  • Sabine Ganter-Richter,
    Tel. +49 228 885-2981,
  • Lhamo Schütter,
    Tel. +49 228 885-2788,

DFG Office Japan

  • Dr. Iris Wieczorek
    7-5-56 Akasaka, Minato-ku
    Tokyo 107-0052, Japan
    Tel. +81 3 3589-2507, Fax +81 3 3589-2509
    japan@dfg.de, www.dfg.de/japan