After an online dialogue held in mid-May 2021, the rector of the Technical University of Moldova, prof., Dr. Viorel BOSTAN and the vice-rector Dinu ȚURCANU received a visit from Satoshi SUGIMOTO, the permanent representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, and Mariana STRATULAT, JICA technical coordinator for our country.
The discussions with the guests were centered around the positive experience and timely impact of previous projects, carried out in the Republic of Moldova with the support of JICA. The JICA representatives expressed their intention to expand the field of cooperation with the Republic of Moldova in the Technical Cooperation Program, as well as the interest for a possible JICA-TUM collaboration, aiming at improving the capacity of engineering training.
In this context, Satoshi SUGIMOTO and Mariana STRATULAT accepted the invitation to visit the TUM campuses, accompanied by Radu MELNIC, director of the University Center for Information and Career Guidance – CEGHID. The itinerary started with the Center of Excellence in Information Technology and Communication TEKWILL, accompanied by Irina ORIOL, deputy coordinator of the Tekwill project, representative of ATIC – National Agency of ICT Companies in Moldova. The guests associated the modern building and the generous spaces of the Center with a “Silicon Valley of Moldova”.
The visit continued with the Center of Excellence and Acceleration in Design and Technologies ZIPhouse. As mentioned by the executive director of the Center, Carolina TULGARA, the center embodies a creative, prodigious environment in a space with adequate resources.
The guests have also visited one of the largest small-scale prototyping and production workshops in Eastern Europe – “FabLab Chișinău” (Fabrication Laboratory), which is a state-of-the-art platform for digital manufacturing, industrial design and engineering.
The last location of the tour was the Faculty of Food Technology, in which Mr. Satoshi SUGIMOTO was especially interested, being a trained chemist himself. The guests explored the study spaces and modern laboratories of the faculty, while accompanied by the dean Iurie SUBOTIN, the vice-dean Raisa DRUȚĂ, the professor Anatol BALANUȚA and implicitly the CEGHID management, represented by the director Radu MELNIC and the deputy director Natalia ȘESTENCO.
As per his impressions created during his visit around the TUM Râșcani campus, Mr. Sugimoto drew parallels between TUM and the Japanese education, saying that JICA had recently established a framework for cooperation with Japanese universities that receive students from developing countries on the basis of JICA scholarships (mainly Master programs) to study and find out more details on the subject of Japanese modernization, which is an important aspect for collaboration with higher education institutions. Mr. Sugimoto emphasized the cooperation aspects applied to the Republic of Moldova through the Official Development Assistance of Japan (ODA) and expressed the openness of the Japanese side for active cooperation in the future.
The TUM representatives expressed their gratitude for the guests’ availability for collaboration and discussions, declaring their confidence in the future success of the joint projects for both the students and the teacher of TUM.