Leibniz Research Alliance Healthy Ageing starts cooperation with Japan (LFV Healthy Ageing)

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The population of Japan is ageing – just like that of Germany. Japanese scientists estimate that by 2030, 25.6 % of the country’s population will be aged 65 and over. The Federal Statistical Office predicts that 34.6 % of Germany’s populat­ion will be aged 60 and over by the same year. That means that Germany and Japan will be among the countries with the ­oldest populations worldwide. They will therefore need to rise to similar challenges: scientists are trying to find ­solutions to challenges relating to healthcare, pensions, active participation and age-appropriate living.

To this end, scientists from Germany and Japan will participate in a workshop on Healthy Ageing to be held in Tokyo from 20 to 22 June 2016, when they will discuss cognition research, stem cell research and spatial planning, among other topics. The workshop is being organized by the Leibniz Research Alliance (LRA) Healthy Ageing in ­collaboration with the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED). “Through this workshop, the Leibniz Association will be able to further expand its key international collaborations,” says Prof. Matthias Kleiner, President of the Leibniz Association. “The Japanese side has been adopting completely ­different strategies for dealing with certain areas of demographic change than we have here in Germany.” To foster scientific ­collaborations with Japan, Dr. Iris Wieczorek – who is since many years also senior research fellow at the GIGA ­Institute of Asian Studies – is representing the Leibniz Association in Tokyo and offering advice to its member institutes. “Of ­course, we are hoping to get plenty of ideas for our own research and for future German-Japanese projects in age ­research,“ adds Prof. Dr. Lenhard Rudolph. Together with Prof. Dr. Jean Krutmann (Leibniz Research Institute of ­Environmental ­Medicine), Rudolph is speaker of the LRA Healthy Ageing and Director of the Leibniz Institute on Aging in Jena. The German Embassy in Tokyo is to foster budding binational projects in the field by hosting a reception where scientists, scientific organisations and public funding bodies will be able to meet and exchange ideas.

The Leibniz Association connects 88 independent research institutions that range in focus from the natural, engineer­ing and environmental sciences via economics, spatial and social sciences to the humanities. Leibniz institutes address issues of social, economic and ecological relevance. They conduct knowledge-driven and applied basic research, maintain scientific infrastructure and provide research-based services. The Leibniz Association identifies focus areas for knowledge transfer to policy-makers, academia, business and the public. Leibniz institutions collaborate intensively with universities – in the form of “Leibniz ScienceCampi” (thematic partnerships between university and non-university research institutes), for example – as well as with industry and other partners at home and abroad. They are subject to an independent evaluation procedure that is unparalleled in its transparency. Due to the  importance of the institutions for the country as a whole, they are funded jointly by the Federation and the Länder, employing some 18,500 individuals, including 9,300 researchers. The entire budget of all the institutes is approximately 1.7 billion EUR.

The Leibniz Research Alliance (LRA) Healthy Ageing is a network of 21 Leibniz Institutes complemented by renowned institutes in Germany and abroad. It brings together researchers from the fields of biology, medicine, psychology, educat­ion, sociology and economics. Their task is to research the factors that underlie the ageing process. They do this in interdisciplinary projects, an approach that allows them to investigate every aspect of healthy ageing, to collaborate on applying for projects, and to share resources and knowledge.

Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) is one of the core institutions responsible for the implementation of science and technology (S&T) policy in Japan, including the government‘s S&T Basic Plan. JST takes a leadership role in developing both Japanese and global S&T as an innovation navigator, from knowledge creation – the wellspring of innovation – to ensuring that the fruits of research are shared with society. JST undertakes its mission in a comprehensive manner, also providing a sound infrastructure of S&T information and raise awareness and understanding of S&T-related issues in Japan.

The Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) engages in research and development in the field of medicine, establishing and maintaining an environment for this R&D, and providing funding, in order to promote integrated medical R&D from basic research to practical applications, to smoothly achieve application of outcomes, and to achieve comprehensive and effective establishment/maintenance of an environment for medical R&D.


Astrid van der Wall
Coordinator LRA Healthy Ageing
Leibniz Institute on Aging – Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI)
Beutenbergstr. 11
D – 07745 Jena
Phone: +49 3641 65 63 14