The University of Tokyo and Misk Initiatives Centre on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding to set up the Mohammed bin Salman Center for Future Science and Technology.

It will support innovation in scientific research and technological development between the Kingdom and Japan in fields such as big data, cybersecurity, renewable energy, energy efficiency, mechatronics, robot technologies, medical and biological sciences.

The center will also play an important role in supporting the admission of Saudi scholarship students to academic and research programs at the University of Tokyo.

The signing ceremony was attended by the president of the University of Tokyo, Makoto Gonokami, the chairman of the Misk Initiatives Centre, Bader Al-Asaker, and Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Japan, Naif bin Marzouq Al-Fahadi.

Al-Asaker said: “Saudi-Japanese relations have been strong and distinguished for over six decades, and this has created an encouraging and stimulating environment for cooperation in various fields, especially in the scientific, technical, research and educational fields. Today, we witness an important part of this cooperation manifest in announcing the establishment of the Mohammed bin Salman Center for Future Science and Technology at the prestigious University of Tokyo.”

Al-Asaker added that the agreement was an extension of the existing partnerships between Misk and the University of Tokyo, which include the training of about 60 young Saudi men and women at the university in the fields of renewable and nuclear energy in cooperation with experts from Japan’s industrial and research sectors, in addition to field visits to factories and research centers.

Gonokami said: “I had the honor to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in July last year, and I still remember that distinctive meeting. The establishment of this center is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen and deepen cooperation between us. Saudi universities and the University of Tokyo enjoy constructive relations at the educational and research levels, and we will proceed in developing our partnerships to achieve the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030.”

The University of Tokyo was founded in 1877 and is the most prestigious university in Japan. Seven of its alumni have received Nobel prizes, 17 have been prime ministers, and three are astronauts.

The university also occupies advanced positions in league tables. It is one of the most successful universities in East Asia in the fields of entrepreneurship and start-ups emerging from universities.

Misk Foundation is a not-for-profit philanthropic organization set up by the crown prince to cultivate leadership and learning among young Saudis.