9th Japanese-European Workshop “Cellulose and functional polysaccharides”
The 9th Japanese-European Workshop “Cellulose and functional polysaccharides” was organized by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP Potsdam-Golm at the location of the Fraunhofer Forum in Berlin. This Japanese-European event follows a series of initially Japanese-German workshops starting 1995 in Breisach (Germany) and later Japanese-German-Austrian events (in Sapporo, Vienna, Kyoto, Berlin, Hamburg and Tokyo) which brought together leading experts in the field of cellulose and functional polysaccharides. The recent workshop was supported by the German funding organization for renewable resources FNR (Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V.) and the European EPNOE network.
The scientific program was opened with the welcome address of the hosting organizer Prof. Hans-Peter Fink (Head of Fraunhofer IAP) followed by statements of Prof. Akira Isogai (University of Tokyo and president of the Cellulose Society of Japan) and Dr. Patrick Navard (CEMEF-MINES and coordinator of the European Polysaccharide Network of Excellence). About 45 participants with 14 outstanding scientists from Japanese Universities and distinguished European attendees from Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom followed a high level program of scientific presentations in the sections basic polysaccharide science, polysaccharide derivatives, polysaccharide based products and polysaccharide based nano-composites. The program particularly reflects the importance of cellulose and other polysaccharides as renewable resources for the European and Japanese economies. The 24 scientific presentations and 6 posters summarized the progress in cellulose and polysaccharide research since the last workshop in 2012 in Tokyo. The spectrum ranged from high level basic research to attractive product ideas which have been discussed intensely during the workshop. The scientific program ended with an excursion to the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Potsdam-Golm as one of the leading German Institutes dealing with polysaccharides and applied biopolymer research. After this visit of Fraunhofer IAP the former president of the Cellulose Society of Japan, Prof. Yoshiyuki Nishio from the Kyoto University thanked Prof. Fink for his long-lasting engagement as one of the pioneers of the Japanese-German and Japanese-European workshops in the field of polysaccharides, and acknowledged as well the local organizers.
The attendees used additional networking possibilities during social events, like the conference dinner on the Berlin TV-tower and a guided bus tour through the city of Berlin. Altogether, this was a very successful meeting with the next one already scheduled for 2016 in Nice, France.