Letters from HUAP

Dr. Julien Chicot

Senior Policy Officer at The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities, Appointed as a Hokkaido University Partner in November 2016

My former tutor at Hokkaido University, Professor Toru Yoshida, asked about my interest in applying to become a Hokkaido University Partner. I was very honored to have his recommendation and accepted. At that time, I was working for a network of European Research & Technology Organizations. I was already convinced of the crucial role of research and innovation in our societies, and was willing to be more active in science advocacy. The offer from Hokkaido University was therefore very well-aligned with my vision of the role of universities in our societies and my career choices. Hokkaido University is a university that has played a significant role in my education and, more broadly, in my life. It is therefore important for me to encourage Europeans to go there for a study or research stay, and to appreciate it as much as I did. I am also deeply impressed by the ambition and commitment of Hokkaido University to increasing its openness to the world and strengthening its global visibility through its former visiting students and researchers.

I participated in the Hokkaido University Short-Term Exchange Program (HUSTEP) in 2008-2009. My home university in France required that all its students spend a year abroad. Thanks to the wide curriculum offered by HUSTEP, I expanded and deepened my knowledge in economics, history, sociology and even linguistics. I also learned more about ikebana, koto and calligraphy. I clearly remember the high quality of the Japanese language courses: When I arrived, I was a complete beginner and was very dependent on the support of my Japanese mentor; And in a few weeks, thanks to my great Japanese teachers, I made spectacular progress and could have basic conversations with anyone in Japan. The quality of life on Hokkaido University’s campus and, more broadly, in Sapporo must be acknowledged. I am deeply convinced that I made the best choice when I decided to study there.

I am now working as Senior Policy Officer for The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities, a network comprising 21 of the most distinguished universities in 16 European countries. My role consists in supporting our members to engage in policy discussions, at the level of the European Union, in the fields of open science, innovation, medical research, and Artificial Intelligence and digital research. The Guild also advocates for stronger scientific cooperation with like-minded non-European countries, including Japan.

Hokkaido University has a great motto. ‘Be ambitious!’ Their ambition is key to the success of Hokkaido University in achieving its missions. It implies staying united, open to the world, and committed to proposing solutions to the global challenges our society is currently facing through frontier research and innovative pedagogy.

I would be delighted to use both my professional position and my role as an HU partner to contribute to further strengthening the links between European and Japanese universities. I am willing to facilitate project-based research collaboration between Hokkaido University and Guild universities and, on a policy level, to support the participation of Japan as an associate country to Horizon Europe, the main EU research and innovation funding program. In parallel, I will keep promoting individual initiatives of Hokkaido University, such as international exchange programs and summer schools, to our European universities, as these actions are crucial for increasing our mutual understanding and trust.






 北海道大学には’Be ambitious!’という素晴らしい標語があります。これは、北海道大学がそのミッションを達成するための鍵となります。それは、団結し、世界に開かれ、最先端の研究と革新的な教育を通じて、私たちの社会が現在直面している地球規模の課題に対する解決策を提案することを意味しています。

 私は、自分の専門的な立場と北海道大学パートナーとしての役割の両方を活用して、北海道大学とギルドとの間の研究協力を促進し、政策レベルでは、EUの主要な研究・イノベーション助成プログラムである「Horizon Europe」に日本が準加盟国として参加することを支援したいと考えています。また、それと並行して、国際交流プログラムやサマースクールなど、北海道大学の個別の取り組みを欧州の大学にアピールし、北海道大学とヨーロッパの大学との結びつきを強めることができればとても嬉しく思います。