Jun 10, 2012

Professor Yukihiko Nakata, APU’s Asia Pacific Innovation Management Center (AP-IMAC) Director, gave a lecture on organic solar cell expectations in Kumamoto.

Kumamoto Prefecture is one of the major locations where Japan's semiconductor-related industries are concentrated, and due to the expansion of the solar cell plants of two companies in recent years, solar cell related industries are becoming a new pillar of the local industry. In addition, Kumamoto Prefecture is conducting a variety of activities aimed at nurturing the organic electronics industry to be the next generation’s leading industry, succeeding the semiconductor and the automotive industries. The prefecture has already been making great achievements in the obtaining of research funds and equipment, obtaining equipment purchase funds from the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and being selected by and receiving subsidies from the Regional Innovation Strategy Support Program of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). 

With the fact in mind that human resources cultivation will be a necessary part of organic electronics development going forward, the Kumamoto Institute for Photo-Electro Organics requested a talk on organic solar cells.

In response to this, Professor Nakata gave a lecture entitled “The Future Expectations of Organic Solar Cells: How Can We Get Through the ‘Valley of Death’?” at Kumamoto Industrial Research Institute on Friday June 8, 2012.

First, Professor Nakata spoke about the organic electro-luminescence (EL) technology in a 55-inch TV set announced this year by Samsung and LG. Then he talked about an organic EL device using a high-performance thin-film transistor oxide semiconductor called IGZO.

Next, Professor Nakata talked about the history of technological and business development of solar cells of various kinds (such as single crystal silicon solar cells, thin film amorphous silicon solar cells, compound thin film solar cells, and organic film solar cells), and gave a hint of the future of organic solar cells.

In addition, Professor Nakata spoke about a case at Stanford University regarding examples of industry-academia-government collaboration on solar cells, stressed the importance of promoting interaction between each sector, and elaborated on how industry-academia-government collaboration should be.

Questions asked during the Q & A session, included those about how to speed up research and development, and application areas of organic solar cells.

In the future, an organization is planned to be established with industry-academia-government collaboration to promote the organic electronics industry. The development of organic electronics, including organic solar cells in Kumamoto, is anticipated.

Jun 7, 2012

On June 6, 2012, Dr. HO-Kon Chong (Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore) was invited to present an RCAPS Seminar entitled “International students at APU: their decision to choose APU, their adjustment at APU and their future plans”.

Jun 4, 2012

On May 9, 2012, Professor Jonathan Karkut (London Metropolitan University) gave an RCAPS seminar entitled "The Development of Geoparks in the Asia Pacific Region."

Jun 4, 2012

On Tuesday April 10th, a RCAPS sponsored seminar was held at APU. The seminar welcomed Mr. HIROSATO Yasushi (Principal Education Specialist, Asian Development Bank). His lecture was titled, "The Status, Issues, and Challenges in Regional Cooperation in Higher Education in Southeast Asia".

Mar 30, 2012

Professor Yukihiko Nakata, Director of the Asia Pacific Innovation Management Center (AP-IMAC), lectured about solar cells in Fukuoka and Oita, promoting regional development in Kyushu.

Kyushu is at the top nationwide in the penetration rate of home solar systems, and with that the thin-film solar cell plants of four companies have become operational, and the "Solar Island Kyushu" industrial cluster has been formed. In light of these developments, an organization called “SOlar NEtwork in Q-shu (SONEQ)” has been formed in order to promote the solar cell industry in Kyushu and the widespread use of solar cells, with the support of the Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry.
SONEQ has four research groups. Director Nakata was invited to the 3rd meeting of the “Study group for development of solar cell diagnostic systems and business models” (held on March 26, 2012, at the Fukuoka Institute of System LSI Design Industry).
Mr. Hiroshi Date, President of System JD, who presided over the study group, spoke about the sale of "SOKODES", a solar cell inspection system.
Following that, Director Nakata gave a lecture entitled "Solar Cell Business Model and Service Integration - A Comparison with the Semiconductor and LCD Businesses."
Based on the lecture, participants discussed a business model that utilizes "SOKODES", and talked about the possible direction of things to come.

In addition, in order to promote and integrate the semiconductor industry in Oita, with the support of Oita Prefecture, Promotion Conference of OITA LSI Cluster has been established. Director Nakata is serving as a committee member of the professional exchange division of this Promotion Conference.
The FY2011 Research and Development working group results reporting session & technician exchange meeting were held on March 28, 2012 in Oita City.
At this event, Director Nakata gave a lecture entitled "Kyushu Semiconductors Facing a Turning Point: The Trump Card is Networking" with the goal of facilitating the exchange of semiconductor technologists in Oita Prefecture. Since last year’s lecture on networking was popular, this year he gave a talk about networking but changed the focus to Kyushu Semiconductor, which is facing a turning point. To reduce the risks at the turning point, he explained, in entering new business areas or expanding business into Asia, there is a need for networking capabilities.
In addition, he spoke about an effective training program at APU, where eight workers from Toho Titanium Co., Ltd. and three workers from Sony Corporation were accepted as specially registered students in a program which helps them gain global communication skills and to gain benefits from a global network.
He explained that APU is the gateway to the network of Asia, and recommended participation in the specially registered student program for companies in Oita. And by the actual exchanging of business cards at the meeting, he promoted networking.

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