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HIRAKU 3MT Competition 2020 was hosted online by The HIRAKU Operating Council Office at Science Agora* 2020. Since 2015, it has been held annually as a speech contest for doctorate students to effectively explain their research within a limited time-span of three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. There were Japanese and English divisions, and 10 finalists of each division made speeches. After the 10 finalistsf speeches from the English Division, there was a panel talk inviting those 10 finalists.

Dr. Shimada, director of JST's Washington, D.C. Office, moderated the panel talk. The theme was gOur Future Society and Our Future Lifeh. The doctorate students from Japan and abroad discussed how our future society and future life will look after their research is completed. They had many types of vision, but the common ground was the intention to give hope to society through their research. It was a great opportunity to see wonderful stories of the doctorate students who were studying in Japan. We hope that their studies and post-doctoral activites will allow them to connect people in their countries, Japan and broader stakeholders, and contribute to creating a bright future!
This competition is presented as one of the key initiatives driven by the consortium, "Home of Innovative Researchers and Academic Knowledge Users (HIKARU)h lead by Hiroshima University, in collaboration with multiple sponsors and cooperators. The competition aims to develop researchers' presentation and communication skills, while helping the audience understand more about doctorate resources and research. The HIRAKU Program is funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.

* Science Agora is the largest general science forum in Japan, organized annually by JST since 2006.

JST supported the 1st Community Leadersf Meeting hosted by United Japanese-researchers Around the World (UJA). Dr. Shimada, director of JST's Washington, D.C. Office, delivered a greeting. This is the first meeting aimed at making networks among Japanese researcher communities around the world. As the first step, 44 participants, including leaders of 20 communities in the US and leaders from Australia and Japan, gathered and introduced their activities.
The meeting inspired great ideas and raised issues common amongst the communities, focusing on potential solutions.
Cooperating with the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, JST co-organized the international workshop "Nanotechnology for a Sustainable Future" on a virtual platform. JST president Dr. Hamaguchi gave opening remarks, introducing 'Plan B' as JST's multidisciplinary Covid-19 response and stressing how important a role nanotechnology plays in these responses and creating a sustainable and resilient society.
Research leaders from four countries - Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and Japan - presented their latest findings and discussed current trends in nanotechnology research and applications in energy, healthcare, ICT, etc. During discussions it was emphasized that nanotechnology is a core technology for building a sustainable society. They also mentioned how nanotechnology directly relates to society, through policy and science diplomacy, and resource management within a circular economy.

JST president Dr. Hamaguchi attended the online conference "Crossing the chasm: Health, Innovation and the Future Economy", part of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils (GFCC) Global Innovation Summit (GIS) 2020. The Summit was held over two days, co-hosted by GFCC and the Australian Government.
Dr. Hamaguchi joined a panel discussion "Paving the way for a safer future", and explained about the COVID-19 situation in Japan and what kind of efforts JST has made to address it. This included an introduction of ePlan Bf, upgrading JST's policy measures using STI innovation.

First day summary:

Second day summary:
Stanford Laboratory for Drug/Device Development and Regulatory Science (SLDDDRS) Annual Symposium with Asia was held as a video conference, titled gResponding to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States, Japan, and throughout the worldh.
JST president Dr. Hamaguchi gave a presentation about gLessons from the COVID-19 pandemich to explain about the COVID-19 situation in Japan and what kind of efforts JST has made to address it. JST has been promoting ePlan B*f to upgrade JST's policy measures using STI innovation. JST also funds the J-RAPID Program - Urgent International Collaboration Research and Development on disasters. Collaboration between Japanese and foreign researchers helps to play an initial response role, by promptly helping activities before ordinary projects are implemented. JST is currently funding 11 J-RAPID projects targeting COVID-19, 5 projects of which are coordinated with NSF.

*Plan B is a multidisciplinary approach to create a society in which we can move, meet, gather and do business freely under COVID-19 conditions, alongside Plan A (trials of vaccines and drugs).

Japan XR Science Forum 2020 in US Midwest was held on a virtual platform and featured scientific sessions on subjects including:
- Latest research trends in cytology, immunology & allergology.
- Multidisciplinary perspectives.
- STEM educational events for children.
- Scholars sharing their study-abroad stories.

Sessions catered for a range of generations and scientific interests. JST supported the forum and set up a roundtable to discuss how we should bring the results of research to society - considering the future of water, food and resources - and the potential implications for the Japanese research community from lessons learned by Japanese scholars from the US Midwest.
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JST president Dr. Hamaguchi joined the 6th conversation in the GFCC gNow. Bridge. Reboot.h online series, titled gThe economy and society need innovationh. Dr. Hamaguchi offered insight into a global post-crisis society that prioritizes human wellbeing, while explaining about Japan's experiences and values during this challenging pandemic period.
This initiative driven by GFCC will include in total eight thought-provoking conversations and provide visions of the economy and society in a post-COVID-19 world.
The recording of the conversation is available below.
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JST participated in this event and jointly ran a booth with JAXA, NARO, NIED and RIKEN. We introduced Japan's contribution to the United Nationsf Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and actively discussed with visitors about how we are promoting STI for the SDGs through funding and other methods.
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JST president Dr. Hamaguchi was invited to the NSF 70th Anniversary Symposium & Reception. It provided a great opportunity for networking with NSF director Dr. Córdova and other participants, and to learn more about NSFfs rich history. Dr. Hamaguchi delivered a short speech at the reception reaffirming his support for JST-NSF collaboration.
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At the MRS (Materials Research Society) Fall Meeting & Exhibit held in Boston, JST's Department of Intellectual Property Management and our Washington, D.C. Office introduced nine patented technologies and samples, selected from over 3000 patents available for licensing.
JST undertakes licensing activities to facilitate commercialization of research outputs funded through JST programs.
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JST joined the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Leadership Seminar 2019, which is a crash course in U.S. science and technology policy. The seminar is a valuable opportunity to learn specific information about policy in the U.S. context through various interactive discussions. Participants include researchers, government officials, FA staff, URA staff and young postdocs.
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JST joined the 4th Japan-US Science Forum in Boston "It's a nano world", co-organized by JSPS and UJA (United Japanese researchers Around the world).
This year, the forum was focused on "Nano Science" and had a keynote speech by Dr. Hisataka Kobayashi, Senior Investigator in the Molecular Imaging Program at the National Cancer Institute, NIH. There was also a poster session with flash talks, awards, and a presentation session. JST held a booth exhibit introducing JST activities and research results.
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JST attended the Workshop titled "Getting a Deeper Sense for Non-Classical Sensing", that was organized and hosted by Johns Hopkins University, in collaboration with NIH, NSF and AFOSR, in order to share ideas on non-classical sensing and build a network among the participants.
The contents presented covered many different topics from dosimetry & biological function to manufacturing on smart sensors. JST had a chance of introducing SICORP (Strategic International Collaborative Research Program) in a session where international research experiences by foreign funding agencies were shared.
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JST set up a briefing for the International Technology and Trade Associates, Inc. (ITTA) focused on U.S. AI R&D activities in the academic and private sectors. The briefing was based on a project JST asked ITTA to implement this year. More than 10 people attended including representatives of the Embassy of Japan in the U.S., and the Washington, D.C. offices of JSPS, NEDO and NICT. Discussions after the briefing were energetic and productive, touching on topics such as the differing needs of tech-companies and academia, future collaboration with Chinese companies, and prominent trends in U.S. AI R&D.