The Sakura Science Exchange Program, one of the prestigious program sponsored by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) was organized in collaboration with Bangladesh University of Textiles (BUTEX) and Osaka Institute of Technology (OIT) from 30th September till 9th October, 2021.
The program took place over the span of 10 days in which 12 students from BUTEX and 12 students from OIT participated.
The international program was hosted by Osamu Shimomura, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Chemistry, Osaka Institute of Technology along with Tomoaki Hashimoto, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Osaka Institute of Technology and co-hosted by Dr. Shekh Md. Mamun Kabir, Associate Professor, Department of Wet Process Engineering, Bangladesh University of Textiles and arranged in the online platform, Zoom.
Cherry blossoms, also known as Sakura in Japan, are the small, delicate pink flowers produced by cherry blossom trees. The springtime bloom is a lavish spectacle but remarkably brief; after only two weeks, they drop to the ground and wither, falling like snow with the ebb and flow of the winds.
From the end of March to April first in Japan, people all around the world enjoyed this spectacular natural beauty. In 2014, JST has started Sakura Science Program. This program was actually designed to invite young people from different countries and regions to Japan.
For creating a sustainable world for the future, it is extremely important for countries and regions around the world to understand each other’s situations and differences.
The main purposes of the Sakura Science Program are the development of talented people who have the potential to contribute to innovation in science and technology and strengthening a good relationship between Japan and Bangladesh.
Dr. Shekh Md. Mamun Kabir said about the whole process and his feeling about this amazing collaboration.
Kabir said, “I have contacted with Osaka Institute of Technology and adopted the JST Sakura Science Program. Even though the COVID pandemic was the main obstacle for arranging face-to-face programs. However, we organized this program by the team-building process via an online platform.”
“Twelve students from BUTEX and twelve students from OIT participated in this program. The main focus of this program is interaction with foreign students and performing as a team member. I would like to thank all the wonderful students who spoke or performed throughout a long week,” he added.
“All of the students taking time out of their busy personal and professional schedules means the world to me. I am really happy and I feel deeply gratified that this global gathering has come to confirm to take stock of the progress made in integrative task management and forward to improve personal skills. Hope in near future we will continue this kind of program with other foreign universities as well,” he concluded.
The 10-day long event included lectures from professors, presentations representing the academic activates of the universities, the culture of the respective countries and team presentations where the teams put forth their ideas on how they can contribute to preventing global warming in their related field of expertise among many other activities.
The program ended with certifications and award program for the best presentation. The participants of the program expressed joy and gratitude towards the organizers for being able to participate in this international program.
Two participants Hasibul Hossain and Arjya Sherstho Dey said, “Working with foreign counterparts boosted our morale. We learned how research is conducted in foreign universities”.
Another student Naeem Mahmud said that “This 10 day’s long program helped us a lot in case of brainstorming, exchanging our knowledge, views and culture with the Japanese students and finally build up a good relationship with them.”
Shakil Yousuf said, “10 days long transnational sakura exchange program between BUTEX and OIT has boosted my confidence level up. Now I believe, I can work hand in hand with foreign students to bring out a fruitful result for any task. I am looking forward to taking active participation in these kinds of exchange programs more and more.”
Lastly, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) is being planned to be signed between the two participating universities to conduct further activities in the future.