MIRAI aims at connecting Swedish and Japanese universities through research, education and innovation. The project is specifically directed at researchers at an early stage of their career, to lead future joint activities between universities in the two countries.

Within the project there are several activities, like seminar weeks, workshops etc. Project activities can be found on MIRAI:s web: www.mirai.nu

The following advanced goals have been set for the third phase of MIRAI (2024-2026):

  • Contribute to solving global challenges by setting up groups where researchers from MIRAI universities work together across and beyond institutions, countries, disciplines and sectors.
  • Create an environment to promote long-term research collaborations.
  • Facilitate PhD student and researcher mobility.
  • Promote innovation and entrepreneurship in education and research and facilitate joint efforts between academia, industry and external partners.

MIRAI 2.0 Research & Innovation Week 2023 in Umeå

During 13-16 November, Umeå University hosted the bilateral MIRAI 2.0 Research and Innovation Week with more than 230 researchers, students and university management representatives from Sweden and Japan in attendance. Participants were able to take part of each other's research, compare experiences and networking to find ways for future collaborations and exchange. The theme for the conference was "Creating Resilient and Sustainable Societies".

MIRAI 2.0 R&I Week 2023 at Umeå University

Umeå University named new coordinating institution

At the closing of the R&I week, there was a consensus of high satisfaction from the participants, and a strong engagement for a continued collaboration to address global challenges. It was decided upon that the Swedish-Japanese collaboration would continue with a new three-year phase during 2024-2026 with a future perspective and focus on several of the United Nations' 17 sustainable development goals. Umeå University and Kyushu University were appointed as the new coordinating institutions for the next three-year period, taking over responsibility from the University of Gothenburg and Nagoya University in Japan, respectively.

Watch a short film with highlights from the opening ceremony and poster session (2m24s).

Collaboration projects

Three collaboration projects from Umeå University have received seed funding: 

  • Living arrangement and healthcare utilization in aging societies: an intercountry comparison between Sweden and Japan; Rong Fu (Waseda University) & Mojgan Padyab (Umeå University)
  • Social economic status, lifestyle factors, and brain aging: comparison between Japanese and Swedish Community Cohorts; Izumi Matsudaira (Tohoku University) & Nina Karalija (Umeå University)
  • Pollution of surface water by human pharmaceutical use; Xuepeng Qian (Sophia University) & Irina Mancheva (Umeå University)


2024-03-26: Call for participation in MIRAI Japan-Sweden Global Challenges Team

2024-01-31: The MIRAI collaboration enters a new third phase
2023-12-20: Open Calls: JSPS International Fellowship Program FY2024
2023-11-27: Swedish-Japanese research and innovation week in Umeå attracts strong interest
2023-11-23: Exploring Transitions in Japanese and Swedish Forestry
2023-04-24: Call for workshop proposals and presentations at MIRAI 2.0 R&I Week 2023
2023-01-13: JSPS Summer Program - STINT
2022-11-09: Umeå delegation at Japanese-Swedish MIRAI 2.0 R&I Week 2022
2022-10-20: The Ambassador of Japan to Sweden visited Umeå University
2022-10-03: Japanese Studies PhD Research Grants 2023
2022-09-14: Webinar - Sustainability in an Era of Climate Change
2022-08-29: Apply to MIRAI 2.0 Research & Innovation Week in November in Japan
2022-06-07: Breakfast meeting 17 June - collaborations with Souh Africa, Japan, South Korea and Italy
2021-12-17: Seed funding for 24 new collaborations within MIRAI2.0
2021-06-16: Many participants in the Japanese-Swedish Research & Innovation Week (in Swedish)
2021-05-24: Research and Innovation Week in university collaboration project with Japan

Focus areas

Ageing – Active and Healthy Ageing in Japan and Sweden – Individual, Group, and Population Perspectives

  • Demography and Determinants of Health
  • New Technologies for Aged Society
  • Health Promotion for Aged Society (including: Biological and medical sciences of ageing; Social innovations and future policies for aged society)

Materials Science

  • Materials for energy devices
  • Low dimensional materials and surfaces
  • Advanced characterisation of materials
  • Bioinspired materials

Sustainability (new energy techniques, water resources)

  • Carbon-neutral technology, including non-fossil-based energy generation such as hydrogen production, artificial photosynthesis, photo-voltaic system and carbon capture
  • Sustainable Automotive Control Technology
  • Global environment and energy technologies: Energy Devices, including fuel cells, solar cells and secondary batteries, and Hydrogen Technologies

Artificial Intelligence

Read more on mirai.nu

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Read more on mirai.nu


Participating universities

Ten Swedish universities and seven Japanese universities are part of the project:

From Sweden:
Umeå University, Jönköping University, Karlstad University, Linköping University, Linneaus University, Luleå tekniska universitet, University of Gothenburg, Uppsala University, Stockholm University and Örebro University

From Japan:
Kyushu University, Hiroshima University, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), Nagoya University, Sophia University, Tohoku University and Waseda University

From the University Management Blog

Katrine Riklund, Pro-Vice-Chancellor.


Swedish-Japanese collaboration generates promising research
The overall aim of MIRAI (which means 'future') is to promote collaboration between academy and industry, as well as collaborations between Sweden and Japan in education, research and innovation. This is the biggest collaboration of its kind between Japan and Sweden, and I'm convinced that MIRAI will be long-standing and generate new knowledge for the future.
Read the entire blog post


Project Manager
Jenny Ahlinder Hagberg

Materials Science
Ove Andersson

Carina Keskitalo

Carl-Johan Boraxbekk

Umeå University reference group: 
Katrine Riklund (Pro-Vice-Chancellor), Greg Neely (Deputy Dean), Ingrid Svensson (International Office), Carl-Johan Boraxbekk (Ageing), Carina Keskitalo (Sustainability), Ove Andersson (Materials Science), Markus Naarttijärvi (AI) and Janina Priebe (The Faculty of Arts and Humanities).

Team for internationalisation

Internationaliseringsforum on Teams is aimed at departmental and faculty international contacts. It is also suitable for members of staff working with internationalisation in other ways.

For support with work related to exchange studies, as well as student, teacher and staff mobility.

David Meyers