The following is an excerpt.
Professors Randi Holmestad (Dept of Physics) and Knut Marthinsen (Dept of Materials) from the CASA core team were in Japan last week, meeting the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Monica Mæland.
The minister and her delegation were on a trip to Japan to promote the Norwegian tourist industry, get information about robots and automatization and to learn more about collaboration in trade and industry between Norway and Japan. They also spent half a day on aluminium, student exchange and collaborative research.
Last year, Professors Holmestad and Marthinsen were granted a three-year International Partnership (INTPART) project. This is a collaboration project on education and research within aluminum alloys, supported from the Research Council of Norway and the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU). Partners are NTNU, SINTEF, Hydro, Tokyo Institute of Technology and University of Toyama.
Informing the minister
The project plan includes several workshops between Japanese and Norwegian students, internships for Japanese students in Hydro Aluminium and Norwegian students in Japanese Aluminium industry. One of the Japanese Aluminium companies is YKK, the world’s largest zipper manufacturer. After a guided tour of YKK, a meeting between the minister, NTNU and University of Toyama took place at YKK.
As project leader, Professor Holmestad informed about three important points and consequences in the collaborative INTPART project; i) to establish a good collaboration takes time – in this case the partners have been working together for ten years; ii) in this collaboration, Hydro Aluminium has used academia to get more insight into and learn more about the closed aluminium business/industry in Japan; iii) with projects like INTPART, a new generation of scientists learn to know each other(s culture).
“This last point turns out to be a very important one,” Holmestad says. “When people know each other, and learn about each other’s culture, we can utilize each other’s best sides and learn from each other both within education and research. We now hope that a few Norwegian students will use this possibility to come and do internship in YKK!” she adds.