At the beginning of December (4-9/12/2022), a 600-strong Belgian delegation travelled to Japan for an economic mission led by Belgian Princess Astrid and several ministers.
Ghent University was well represented in this mission, with a team of 16 people from different faculties and departments.
EnerGhentIC was also present, represented by Prof. Michel De Paepe, Prof. Joris Degroote and Judith Ooms.
One of the main topics of the economic mission was sustainable energy. This was clearly represented in the program, with numerous dedicated sessions on various energy- related topics, such as wind energy, hydrogen, decarbonisation and AI. Moreover, for EnerGhentIC, the visit was an excellent opportunity to showcase our partnership with Daikin Europe.
One of the highlights in the program for EnerGhentIC was hosting our own seminar, titled “How heat pumps can resolve the energy crisis and contribute to a better environment”. In order to decarbonise the heating market and to reduce our dependency on natural gas, in the short term the gas tap will have to be turned off for building heating purposes. Heat pumps will be a key technology to facilitate this necessary evolution. The switch to heat pumps as the main technology for residential heating makes sense, but brings both challenges and opportunities for policy makers, industry and academia. These challenges were presented and discussed during the seminar from these three different angles, with guest speakers from, among others, Daikin Industries.
“Heat pumps will play an essential role in the energy transition. The seminar in Osaka on current heat pump technology inspires us on how to face the energy crisis,” said Michel De Paepe, Professor of Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer (Faculty of Engineering and Architecture)
The seminar was followed by a very inspiring company visit to Daikin Technology Innovation Center, in Osaka, where princess Astrid and the official Belgian delegation were warmly received by Mr. Inoue, Chairman of the Board of Daikin Global. The official visit was followed by an in-depth company visit to the TIC facilities by the EnerGhentIC team. Prof. Michel De Paepe was asked to give a lecture to the TIC employees on the sizing of thermal energy heat exchangers. Furthermore, we made use of the opportunity to further elaborate on our common research projects and ideas.
And last but not least, together with the colleagues from Tokyo University and Tokyo Tech, we explored the opportunities to collaborate in the near future.
To conclude, the mission to Japan brought many opportunities for EnerGhentIC to further explore current and future collaborations on the energy related topics with our partners in Japan and to maximize our long-standing partnership with Daikin Europe and Daikin Industries.
Full program of EnerGhentIC Seminar in Japan