On Tuesday, September 15, 2020, the first networking conference since the establishment of the "Minami Kinki Female Researcher Support Network" was held via Zoom. Consisting of 11 universities, companies and organizations in the Southern Kinki area, including OCU, the network is a representative project of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's "Diversity Research Environment Realization Initiative" (FY2017-FY2022). It aims to be a joint-research platform that centers around female researchers in the Southern Kinki area. It was established with Osaka City University as the representative institution and Osaka University of Education, Wakayama University, and Sekisui House Co., Ltd. serving collaborative roles.
In addition to OCU, participating institutions were (in alphabetical order) Osaka University of Education, Osaka Prefectural University, Kio University, Sekisui House Co., Ltd., Tezukayama University, Nara Prefectural University, Nara Women's University, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Minami Kinki Regional University Consortium, and Wakayama University.
Michio Miyano, Vice-President of OCU and Director of the Support Office for Female Researchers, greeted everyone with an explanation of the efforts of the "Diversity Research Environment Realization Initiative". He was then elected as chairman.
At the meeting, each committee member introduced the current state and issues behind the efforts of each participating organization and their aspirations for future projects. In a deliberation, the secretariat approved the following endeavors to be taken throughout the year: (1) symposiums and seminars, (2) promote a network of female researchers centered on universities in South Kinki and promote joint research, and (3) introduce good practices. and provide information on various systems, etc., and (4) disseminate information on initiatives. They also talked about the importance of disseminating information to each other and jointly holding seminars using technology like Zoom, during the coronavirus disaster.
Michio Miyano ended with, "By providing and disseminating information on each other's unique efforts, we can expand the range of each initiative and reach of each female researcher. Through this network, we can expand the framework of joint research, such as research between liberal arts and science, and based on that, we can increase our international collaborations."