The Nagaoka University of Technology (NUT) in Niigata, Japan was appointed by the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) as one of the 17 Academic Hubs to support the global development framework called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). As the only appointment from East Asia, NUT will leverage its expertise on science and technology to nurture and support ideas, inventions and solution designs towards SDG 9 (building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation).

What are the SDGs

In September 2015, 193 member countries of the United Nations General Assembly brought together a global development plan called “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” More commonly known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the agenda provides a common language about the pressing issues that need attention such as poverty eradication, environment protection, and economic prosperity for all. It aims to unite individuals, governments, and institutions from different backgrounds to work together and share ideas to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

NUT as a hub of science, technology, and research

Since 1976, NUT has been producing thousands of researches and has engineered technological products with practical applications. Examples include inverter technology used in energy-saving air conditioners, motion control in industrial robots, functional materials for energy harvesting, and environmental conservation engineering for cleaning wastewater, to name a few. With technology at the heart of NUT, students have been trained on how to create tools, process actions, and extract materials that can be used to drive efficiency, improve quality and performance, or reduce cost. And with the SDGs an integral part of the discipline, present and future engineers are expected to continue producing a body of knowledge, products, and services that have societal impact on a regional, global, and national scale. NUT established the GIGAKU SDG Institute to provide a framework that promotes this mindset and engineering agenda.

2 out of 3 academic researches done at the Nagaoka University of Technology focuses on SDG 9 (building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation). Source: Nagaoka GIGAKU SDG Institute

SDG Planning in GIGAKU SDG Institutes

To ensure that researches made in the university are translated into real-world, practical applications, students of the programs under the GIGAKU (science of technology) SDG Institute are provided a holistic framework that includes business planning, social venture planning, policy planning exercises, and opportunities for cross-border exchange of ideas. Students have academic exchange programs that give them an opportunity to interact with global communities and learn unique and local approaches to solving real-world problems that may not be available at home. In September 2019, NUT sent its first student on a student exchange program to the Romanian-American University in Bucharest, Romania. NUT also brings in academicians and thought leaders who raise awareness on global issues and share best practices to help students bring their ideas to life and become successful in the market.

Today, NUT continues to promote international exchange programs through various academic exchange agreements with over 100 overseas institutions worldwide. Recently, partnered with the Romanian-American University to establish its first office in Romania. In addition to Romania, NUT has also established satellite offices in eight other countries including Chile, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam.

To learn how NUT and RAU are driving social innovation, click here.

To learn more about current student researches at NUT, click here.
To learn more about thought leaders at NUT, click here.

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James Redmond Chua

James Redmond Chua

Executive Project Manager, JCE Japan Creative Enterprise