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LMU finalizes research cooperation agreement with University of Tokyo

Munich, 10/25/2007

The President of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München, Professor Bernd Huber, and the President of the University of Tokyo (Todai), Professor Hiroshi Komiyama, have signed a research cooperation agreement in Tokyo. The cooperation is meant to increase academic collaboration, particularly in the natural sciences, to facilitate the exchange of researchers, and to strengthen the promotion of junior academics. With this new cooperation agreement, both universities will strengthen their existing partnership, which so far has focused mainly on student exchange. LMU Munich was selected as a “university of excellence” in the first call for proposals in Germany’s Excellence Initiative; the University of Tokyo was very successful in a comparable initiative in Japan.

“I am delighted to have finalized a research cooperation agreement with the University of Tokyo, one of the most renowned universities in the world,” LMU President Huber said after signing the agreement. “With this agreement, we are expanding our network of international partnerships in the field of the natural sciences.”

President Komiyama was equally happy about intensifying the partnership between the University of Tokyo and LMU Munich: „Our university is pleased to expand the cooperation with LMU Munich. I support this new cooperation in the field of the natural sciences and I am looking forward to filling it with life.“

The new cooperation program will focus most notably on physics, chemistry, and biology. Researchers from both universities will pursue joint research projects, hold international conferences, and publish their results. For this purpose, LMU Munich will establish a visiting professorship for scientists from Todai. In return, professors from LMU Munich will have the chance to conduct research at the University of Tokyo. In addition, other visiting scientists and junior academics from both universities will be integrated into the cooperation program.

LMU Munich is financing its part of the cooperation program through funds from the Excellence Initiative, a competition launched by the federal and state governments to promote top-level university research. In the first round of proposals in 2006, LMU Munich was awarded all three of the Initiative’s lines of funding, and was selected as a “university of excellence.” One graduate school program to support outstanding junior academics, three “clusters of excellence” to form cutting-edge research groups, and “LMUexcellent”, an overall strategy to further expand top-level university research, got the nod. One of the goals defined by LMUexcellent is to initiate key partnerships with the world’s leading universities, thus further expanding LMU’s reputation as an outstanding German research university on an international level. In August, LMU Munich sealed a cooperation agreement with the University of California, Berkeley, one of the leading research universities in the USA. The partnership is funded through the Excellence Initiative and focused on the Humanities.

For further information on the Excellence Initiative at LMU Munich, please go to: www.en.lmu.de/lmu_excellent