Ireland strengthens tech ties with Japan

3 Dec 2013

The Otori Gate which welcomes visitors to Miyajima, Japan

Ireland’s technological and scientific ties with Japan have been strengthened this week during a trade mission led by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, that saw a €1.2m scientific co-operation deal signed and the expansion of Irish tech firm Cubic Telecoms’ operations in Japan and Asia-Pacific.

During the ongoing trade mission, Kenny announced a consortium of Irish higher education institutions have been awarded €1.24m in funding to collaborate with their Japanese counterparts through Science Foundation Ireland’s International Strategic Cooperation Award (ISCA).

The consortium of Irish research bodies, led by NUI Galway, will partner with 21 Japanese universities and a number of companies and research institutes, with the aim of building strategic partnerships to perform cutting-edge scientific research, encourage more industry-informed research, and foster academic-industry interactions between Ireland and Japan.

“This new initiative, supported by the Irish Government through Science Foundation Ireland, will build on the extensive linkages that already exist between the Irish and Japanese research communities,” Kenny said.

“It will encourage a higher level of research engagement at both an academic and industrial level with the ultimate aim of creating innovative products, services and jobs to benefit both Ireland and Japan, as well as tackling important social challenges, such as caring for an ageing population, and climate change.

“Importantly, it will also help increase awareness of Ireland’s growing international standing in the area of research among potential new partner organisations in Japan,” Kenny said.

The partnerships developed by the consortium will address six thematic areas, including environmental and climate science, ICT and big data analytics, advanced manufacturing and materials, imaging and optics, future healthcare including connected health, and medical devices and regenerative medicine.


Yesterday, Kenny visited one of Japan’s leading technology companies, Fujitsu, where he discussed the importance of building strong economic, trade and cultural relations between Ireland and Japan.

Commenting on the meeting between Kenny and senior executives at Fujitsu, Fujitsu Ireland CEO Regina Moran said: “Fujitsu is extremely proud of its Japanese heritage and Ireland is very open to engaging in collaborative projects in which we can learn from each other. Ireland has world-class researchers and institutes that rival anywhere else in the world. It is for this reason that Fujitsu undertook a significant R&D investment programme in Ireland in 2010. We now have two unique research programmes under way in Ireland focusing on big data and e-health. 

“While our two countries are far apart we face the same problems in terms of economic recovery and an ageing population. We look forward to progressing these projects even further with Irish researchers to bring Japanese innovation and Asian developments to Ireland,” Moran said.

Cubic Telecom

Yesterday, Dublin-headquartered communications technology company Cubic Telecom revealed it plans to expand its operations in Japan and Asia-Pacific, in partnership with Lenovo, the world’s largest PC vendor.

The agreement will see Cubic Telecom work with the US$34bn IT giant to deploy data roaming solutions in its next array of connected devices.

Rod Lappin, vice-president of Lenovo Group and president of NEC Lenovo Japan Group, said: “In addition to being the fastest-growing PC company in the world, Lenovo provides a full range of smart connected devices spanning notebooks, smartphones, tablets and smart TVs. Cubic Telecom is working with Lenovo to support the deployment of this rapidly expanding range of connected devices in Japan and Asia-Pacific.”

Speaking from Tokyo, Barry Napier, Cubic Telecom, CEO, added: “Cubic Telecom is very pleased to be working with Rod’s team to support the expansion of Lenovo devices with a unique embedded connectivity solution in the Japan and Asia-Pacific markets.  

“The Cubic Telecom team is learning from the very demanding Japanese standards for superior quality of service to help develop a great foundation for our global solution. We have gained a lot of lessons from our Japanese partners who are renowned globally for their superior levels of service,” Napier added.

Japan image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years