The history of KIFEE

Kyoto International Forum for Environment and Energy (KIFEE) was originally created by the universities in the Kyoto region to develop an international arena for strategic cooperation between universities working to develop a sustainable society, inspired by the Kyoto Protocol.

When the Bilateral Agreement on Technological Cooperation between Japan and Norway was signed in May 2004, there was a desire to build up a long-term research cooperation that could serve as a basis for industrial cooperation.

Because of the long-lasting and good relations between the universities in the Kyoto region, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norwegian universities were invited to participate in KIFEE. Since the bilateral agreement involves interactive research between energy and material to provide new solutions to build a sustainable future, it was decided to utilize KIFEE as platform and arena for the strategic research cooperation. The Research Council of Norway allocated funds for the development of this arena, and Innovation Norway made their invaluable network available for the project.

The first KIFEE Symposium was arranged in Kyoto in October 2004. Since then one workshop and two more symposia have been organised. The following targeted areas are essential parts of the KIFEE collaboration:

① Process Engineering
② Electrolysis Systems and Advanced Inorganic Materials
③ Advanced Biological Materials
④ Education in Energy and Environment
Other associated partners have been included; universities and research institutes both from Japan and Norway. University of Oslo, University of Bergen and SINTEF have become permanent partners from Norway.

The KIFEE concept has created a unique scientific network involving many universities, research institutes and enterprises in Japan. The basis for more extensive collaboration and co-operating projects is close to being realised.

The response in both countries has been exceptionally good. The presence of more than 40 Japanese participants at the previous KIFEE meetings in Norway and a similar attendance from Norway at the previous symposia in Japan reflect the substantial committment from both countries.