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Brussels, 16 June 2008

European researchers in Japan get connected!

Today, the European Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potočnik, officially launched the network of European Researchers in Japan. Consulted through an on-line survey, the European researchers working in Japan have pronounced themselves very much in favour of this network (74% of the respondents) and expressed their specific needs: to develop their contacts and get access to information on career development, research funding and Europe-Japan cooperation opportunities. The tool set up for them by the European Commission will answer these needs with interactive tools of information and networking.

"European researchers working in Japan represent a patrimony of knowledge and experience. They are the Ambassadors of European research in Japan and this network will be an important tool for reinforcing research collaboration between Europe and Japan", stated Commissioner Potočnik.

Japan and the EU together accounts for about 40% of the world's GDP and are amongst each other's main trade and investment partners. Both partners are convinced that research and innovation are at the heart of a successful strategy to address the challenges of industrial competitiveness and sustainable development. As part of this strategy, researchers represent a golden resource that should benefit from specific facilities to network and identify professional opportunities.

With several thousands European researchers living in Japan and the strategic position of this country in worldwide R&D, Japan was an early target for the European Researchers Abroad initiative.

The network[1] that is launched today will provide the following services:

  • A website with targeted information on sources of research funding in Europe, research career opportunities, and other opportunities to work in or with Europe (at Member State and EU level);
  • E-mail alerts to members signalling new opportunities;
  • An e-newsletter with articles of specific interest to the European science community abroad. This will include articles about R&D breakthroughs and policy developments, on-going international collaboration, news from members, etc;
  • Information on networking, meetings and events for members in the country and region where they are based;
  • Participation in /organization of career fairs and workshops providing a forum for researchers to meet with European industry, research institutions and other potential employers;
  • Networking features on the website: Interactive tools will offer researchers the possibility to exchange information (web forum, bulletin board...).

The very large number of European researchers working abroad represents a strong asset for the European Research Area, regardless whether they return to Europe or chose to remain abroad. Getting them connected is an important part of the strategy to develop an open, competitive and attractive European labour market for researchers in support of the concept of "brain circulation".
Japan is the second country, after the US, where such a network is launched. In the US, more than 3500 European Researchers have joined the initiative officially launched by Commissioner Potočnik in June 2006.

More information on the survey of European researchers in Japan:

More information on the European Researchers Abroad network:

[1] The Network will be named EURAXESS-LINKS as of 24/06

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