SAKURA Exchange Program in Science

Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Program in Science (SAKURA Exchange Program in Science)

7 postgraduate students from Institute Bioproduct Development, IBD, UTM has participated in the SAKURA Exchange Program in Science at Shizuoka University Japan from 12th Feb to 4th March 2017. The program is financially sponsored by the JST Japan Science and Technology Agency valued at RM9,000 per student and hosted by Shizuoka University under the supervision of Prof Enoch Y. Park and his faculty members. The selection of IBD’s postgraduate students was made possible by the mutual R&D collaboration innitiated by Prof Enoch Y. Park and Prof Dr Hesham El-Enshasy, UTM IBD’s Assistant Director in Research and Innovation.

SAKURA Exchange Program in Science objective is to capitalize on exchanges between Asia and Japan of the youths who will play a crucial role in the future field of science and technology through the close collaboration of industry-academia-government by facilitating short-term of competent Asian youths to Japan. This program aims at raising the interest of Asian youth toward the leading Japanese science and technologies at Japanese universities, research institutions and private companies.

For UTM IBD’s participants, the program specifically provides an avenue for the participants to be exposed with the practices of Japanese fermentation and food industry in which Japan is known to be amongst the most innovative worldwide. In addition they had to undergo lectures and R&D practical sessions on microbial isolation.

Shizuoka University’s Hamamatsu Campus, houses the RIE, Faculties of Engineering and Informatics, and Research division of Energy of the Research Institute of Green Science and Technology (RIGST). The program involves a visitation to the Energy Research Division of the RIGST headed by Prof. Saito in which the participants were given lectures and practical training and an interesting study on fluid dynamics and cicada or ant, laser technology and energy production. The knowledge was further streghten when experts from agriculture fundamental research, plant breeding, mushroom research and gene expression was in attendance to share their best practices.

In conjuction to the program, Shizuoka University organized the International Symposium toward the Future of Advanced Researches on the 27th February 2017. The participants took part in presenting both poster and oral sessions based on their individual research progress and findings in the area of Biotechnology and Agriculture. Ms Siti Hajar Mat Sarip triumphed under the Best Poster competition and won first place for her presentation entitled “Formulation of a Stable and Efficacious Insecticidal Nanoemulsion of Lauric Acid”. Prof Dr Hesham El-Enshasy was also in attendance as an invited speaker and exercised his role as a Scientific Advisor to the Symposium.

To conclude, the 21 day program was deemed as a success for both UTM IBD and Shizuoka University Japan and proves to be impactful in which continueing programs have been planned for the rest of 2017. The program bodes well with UTM and IBD’s internationalisation strategy in providing a value-added experience to its postgraduate students.