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Introducing the forefront of smart grids
Symposium to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Research Institute for Science and Engineering

On June 1st, the Research Institute for Science and Engineering of Waseda University (Director: Professor Naruo Kanno, hereafter referred to as “institute”) held its first-ever commemorative symposium to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the institute's founding, hosting with the Consortium for Electric Power Technology. The symposium was entitled “Next-Generation Electrical Energy: Goals of Society” and was held by inviting individuals working at the forefront of smart grids, which are “intelligent power grids” that can control and optimize the flow of power from both the supply side and the demand side. The symposium was held at Building No. 63 of the Nishi-Waseda Campus (host: Professor Yasuhiro Hayashi) and the 300-seat auditorium was filled to capacity, showing the great amount of interest towards smart grids.

In the global smart grid market, it is imperative to heighten the competitive power of Japanese corporations for products such as electrics cars and information appliances. If Japanese specifications are adopted as the world standard, Japanese corporations will be leaders in the global smart grid market and smart grids could become a key industry for Japan in the future. Smart grids have the potential to infinitely raise foreign demand in a time when Japan is facing a decreasing population and cannot rely on an economic growth strategy lead by only internal industries such as medicine, nursing care, tourism and agriculture.

At the symposium, each industry presented advanced research regarding smart grid systems and future visions for such systems. Mr. Kent Iida (Director, Office for Promoting Social Systems in New Energy, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy) explained the strengths and issues held by Japan in terms of creating new markets and implementing cost control for renewable energy such as solar power. Mr. Hiroshi Okamoto (Manager, Smart Grid Strategy Group, Tokyo Electric Power Company) introduced his company's actions for connecting suppliers and users of electric cars, as wells as for increasing efficiency and reducing carbon emissions by expanding the use of renewable energy. Mr. Hideki Hayashi (Technology Officer, Toshiba Smart Grid Integrated Control Department) discussed future technological prospects such as the use of rechargeable batteries and electromobility in the social infrastructure of the near future.

In the future, the institute plans to hold a variety of events in order to commemorate the 70th anniversary of its founding. Such events include a “Lecture Series on Space Development” (June 10th to July 29th; total of 8 lectures) and symposiums entitled “Trends in Vibration Control Design for Buildings through Viscous Dampers” and “Future Electric Power Sources.” These events are open to the general public. Please use the homepage listed below to register for the events.

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Information on lectures/symposiums held to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Research Institute for Science and Engineering

Research Institute for Science and Engineering, Waseda University

Professor Yasuhiro Hayashi