Rowan signs MOUs with Sekisui Chemical and Shibaura Institute of Technology

TOKYO — Academic partnerships that talk about potential solutions are great. Those that already have succeeded are even better.

That was the message around a pair of Memoranda of Understanding signed by Rowan University on Tuesday in Tokyo during the 2023 New Jersey East Asia Economic Mission.

The MOU that Rowan Provost Tony Lowman signed with Katsunori Mukai, executive officer, director, Corporate R&D Center, Sekisui Chemical, formalizes a longstanding relationship.

Rowan has worked with Sekisui, a leading plastics manufacturer in Secaucus, for the past 20 years.

The MOU formalizes an existing agreement to collaborate on research & development projects, with Rowan providing ongoing support for laboratory services.

“As a result of our yearslong research collaboration on our campus, Rowan and Sekisui scientists developed an innovative method for converting a major greenhouse gas into useful materials,” he said. “More importantly, this process is efficient, cost-effective and readily translatable into practice.

“We’re very pleased to continue our partnership with Sekisui, appropriately recognized as one of the world’s most sustainable corporations. We’re also excited to begin working with Shibaura Institute of Technology, which will no doubt benefit both our institutions. It’s this free exchange of ideas that energizes research and propels technology forward.”

Rowan’s second MOU was signed by Lowman and Shibaura Institute of Technology President Jun Yamada.

The MOU will establish a student and faculty exchange program, commission joint research projects and create pathways to share interdisciplinary research, innovation and technology in areas of mutual interest to both universities.

Gov. Phil Murphy obviously was thrilled by the action.

“These agreements will expand opportunities for researchers at one of New Jersey’s world-renowned universities, Rowan University, to partner with some of Japan’s brightest minds in the private sector and academia,” he said.

“New Jersey is the gateway into the American marketplace,” he said. “We are eager to welcome our friends from Japan to join us in building a better, greener future — and creating generations of good-paying jobs in the process.”

Choose New Jersey CEO Wes Mathews agreed.

“Research universities are an essential pillar of New Jersey’s economy,” he said. “By fostering these partnerships, we ensure our talent pipeline remains unparalleled as we bring together some of the world’s most respected institutions.”