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Tokyo Tech Announces New Collaboration Site in Berkeley

Japan’s largest tech school intends to share its research, support new startups, promote student exchange programs and generally foster international collaboration with a new site in the Bay Area.

The skyline of Berkeley, Calif.
Japan’s largest science and technology-focused university is setting up shop in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Tokyo Institute of Technology last week announced the launch of Tokyo Tech ANNEX Berkeley, describing it in a news release as a hub for showcasing the university’s research and fostering international collaboration. It’s the third new international satellite hub for Tokyo Tech in four years, following others in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2018 and Aachen, Germany, in 2019, with the stated aim of supporting global education and research.

University research administrator Hiroo Ueda, tapped to be the director of Tokyo Tech ANNEX Berkeley, said in a public statement that the new site coincides with the university’s 140th anniversary.

“For many years, collaboration with partner universities in the U.S. and many other countries has been a vital and integral part of Tokyo Tech education and research,” Ueda said. “It is crucial to have a hub in Berkeley, the cradle of cutting-edge technology and innovation.”

Exactly what research the new site will conduct and share remains to be seen, although highlights of the university’s recent work on its website run the gamut from genetics to cellular biology, superconductors and low-carbon tech. The university’s website summarizes its 2019-2020 research apparatus in six categories: electrical engineering and computer science, mechanical and civil engineering, math and physics, life science and technology, transdisciplinary and social sciences, and the one with the most associated faculty, chemistry and materials.

Tokyo Tech’s Executive Vice President for Education Tetsuya Mizumoto said in a public statement that the Berkeley site might lead not only to joint research but to new startups and curricular programs.

“With an emphasis on collaboration, the establishment of Tokyo Tech ANNEX Berkeley makes the promotion of joint research in basic as well as applied sciences a distinct possibility,” Mizumoto said. “It will further support innovation by providing a U.S.-based launchpad for Tokyo Tech startups. The hub will also ease the process of student exchange between Japan and the U.S. Such exchange may also lead to the development of new joint education programs.”