Japan’s collaboration with the EU is pending

EU x Japan
© iStock/Oleksii Liskonih

The Japanese government could be budgeting around €10m a year for greater scientific cooperation with the European Union on climate, agriculture and Artificial Intelligence.

Japan’s vice minister for innovation policy, Koichi Akaishi, believes his government wants to expand research and development collaboration with Europe by possibly becoming an associate member of Horizon Europe.

When discussing his hope for collaboration between the EU and Japan, Akaishi said: “We might start with some very small funding, maybe €10m.” This funding is depending on how quickly the EU decides their cooperation policy.

“In this very difficult global situation, including a struggle for hegemony between economies, we think it’s critical to have good cooperation with the EU” in R&D, Akaishi said. “We do not care so much about the modality, as long as there is a substantial cooperation.”

Akaishi highlighted the international interest in the proposed €95.1bn Horizon Europe programme, however new partners are contributing very cautiously.

In addition to Japan’s €10m, Canada has proposed a further CD$25m (~€17.1m) for new international collaborations for the next few years.

The crossover was sparked when the European Commission suggested that it would like Horizon Europe to become an international venture. This international collaboration is intended to take on global challenges such as climate change, Artificial Intelligence and healthcare.

Akaishi has expressed his aims for “an agreement on a framework for the cooperation” to be complete by April. “But I’m not so sure about that. It seems that the bureaucratic process [in Brussels] of deciding the guidelines might take some time,” he said.

”I am very much interested in discussing the possibility to become an associate of the EU’s [Horizon Europe],” Akaishi said. “But the problem is that it seems that the EU has not decided what an associate is.”

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