Digital workshop opens new pathways to collaboration with Kyushu University
In April, KTH Energy Platform, together with KTH Climate Action Centre, organised a digital workshop focusing on energy issues. More than 100 energy researchers from KTH and Kyushu University participated. Ideas for new collaborations were discussed and personal contacts were established between the two institutions.
The digital workshop had three separate tracks with three themes: Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS); Hydrogen: production, storage and transport and Solar, Photovoltaic and Thermal Energy. For each subject area, presentations were given by KTH researchers and representatives from Kyushu University. New research findings and important publications could be shared, which made an important contribution to updating current research, explains Christophe Duwig, Deputy Director of the Energy Platform.
“During the pandemic, it became harder to keep up with research, but this was an important opportunity to update our knowledge. Above all, the workshop gave us the chance to meet in a climate-friendly way considering the number of participants,” says Duwig.
Participants included Ann Cornell, Professor of Electrochemistry and research lead for hydrogen production projects.
“The two presentations on high-temperature water electrolysis for hydrogen production were of particular interest to me. Some impressive data were presented, and the research was high-class. They work with low-temperature electrolysis which is our research area,” Cornell says.
She stresses the importance of more collaborations with Kyushu University and especially with the respectedI2CNER research institute.
“Two of my colleagues at KTH run a small research exchange with Kyushu University in low-temperature electrolysis for space applications. If opportunities arise to start joint research projects between KTH and Kyushu University, this would be a natural starting point.”
Shigenori Fujikawa, a professor at Kyushu University, also believes that the workshop can be an important start for new research collaborations between the two universities.
“This type of seminar is very important, especially when we’re well matched with each other because it means we can very quickly see where we can create new collaborations. However, more time is needed to deepen relationships, preferably with in-person meetings,” says Fujikawa.
There are still currently restrictions in place in Japan due to the pandemic, which prevent travel. But as soon as they are lifted, Fujikawa hopes to visit KTH in person.
“My research area is carbon dioxide capture and the seminar gave me several names at KTH that may be relevant for new collaborations. Professor Joydeep Dutta’s research overlaps with areas where I work today,” he says.
Due to the success of the event, further workshops are now being planned that may connect more researchers in the same way digitally. Duwig stresses the importance of developing alternative ways of making contacts due to the need to reduce air travel.
“This is a great way to create contacts that will be a starting point for deeper discussions and new collaborations. This is very significant and something we have lacked in recent years. Kyushu University and KTH have several areas where we can complement each other, and this could lead to vital progress for researchers at both universities,” says Duwig.