Opto-X-Nano-2019 (Dec-2nd to 5th) – Report

The 2019 session of “Opto-X-Nano” conference was co-organised by Okayama University, Tyndall National Institute in Cork – Ireland and Riken-SPRING8. It put together at the Okayama Convention Center, about 110 participants in several interdisciplinary fields. About 35% came from Europe or N-America. The 2019-Edition was opened by Pr. Shin Ichi Yamamoto presently Dean of Research Department at NIAD-QE and formerly Vice-President of research at Okayama University. The opening was followed by 2 plenary talks: 1 given by Pr. J. Tse from University of Saskatchewan (“Exploration of structures and electronic properties of materials under extreme conditions”) and a second one by Pr. S. Kazarian from Imperial College – London. (“Enhancing biomedical research with spectroscopic imaging”). Then 17 science sessions took place.

In the program, specific focus was made on “Diamonds and Synchrotrons”. This session was organised and chaired by Dr. A. Baron Head of the Materials Dynamics Group at RIKEN SPring-8

A special event, “Networking” session was organised. In the session 4 speakers from prominent international institutions were requested to explain / illustrate the strategies developed at their institutions to foster cutting-edge research, promote high-level jobs and push forward research outcomes in terms of patents and mobilities. J-C.h Guibert as a special guest showed how the challenging MINATEC project started on a solid Research/Industry collaboration project built by top level scientists. In the 50’s – three men, Louis Néel Nobel prize in physics, founder of CEA Grenoble, Paul-Louis Merlin, industrial tycoon, founder of Merlin-Gérin (Schneider Electric, 1920) and Louis Weil, physicist specialist of magnetism and low temperatures anticipated and prepared the future. MINATEC is now a reknown center where more than 3000 research staff and 1400 students are in daily interaction. The annual budget tops 350 M€, more than 60% of it come from Industry contracts.

At the banquet served in the Okayama castle, the whole conference attendance enjoyed a range of Japanese and Western delights.

An excursion to Kompira-san, a temple located on Shikoku island was finally organised on Thursday 5th. Kompirasan, formally known as Kotohiragu (金刀比羅宮, Kotohiragū), is the main shrine of multiple Kompira shrines found around Japan that are dedicated to sailors and seafaring. Located on the wooded slope of Mount Zozu in Kotohira, the approach to Kompirasan is an arduous series of 1,368 stone steps.

The next Edition of Opto-X-Nano is expected to be held in 2021 (possibly end of November/early December) at Okayama Convention Center again.