April 28, 2023

Vice President of University of Strasbourg Visits iCeMS

On April 25, Rémi Barillon, Vice President of Research, and Professor with the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Strasbourg, France, visited iCeMS. He was accompanied by Michèle Forté, Director of the France-Japan University House, and Yoichi Nakatani, Chairman of the Japan Committee. Representing iCeMS were Deputy Director Mineko Kengaku, Prof Shuhei Furukawa, and Research Administrative Director Kazumitsu Ueda. The University of Strasbourg and Kyoto University have an academic exchange partnership and the courtesy visit was to explore new opportunities of exchange.

Kengaku welcomed the guests and introduced iCeMS as an experimental institute of Kyoto University. She highlighted the research of Director Uesugi into self-assembling bioactive small molecules and that of Distinguished Prof Susumu Kitagawa into porous materials (MOFS) for separation and conversion of gasses for use in energy and the environment. “iCeMS is a fertile environment for creativity,” she said, citing gender and international researcher balance, along with globalization and startup initiatives.

Furukawa shared iCeMS’ successful research exchanges and ongoing collaborations with French institutes. He focused on the Smolab, a partnership between iCeMS and French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and other French institutes and industries, which is developing soft, porous materials for catalysis and gas separation. “We are fundamental chemists, but we need chemical engineering to scale up and bring our science to application.” He highlighted significant joint research results, postdoc researchers who have gone to successful careers in France after their work at iCeMS, and the newly implemented iCeMS internship program.

Barillon said that the University of Strasbourg was very famous in the world for its chemistry and biology and had many teams working on biomaterials. “I have read your work and it is very impressive,” he said to Furukawa. There seemed to be overlap between the interests of the institutes with potential for student researcher exchange. They briefly discussed the success of the recent seminar by Thomas W Ebbesen (University of Strasbourg) at iCeMS, before exchanging gifts, and touring the research facilities.