The first phase of RENKEI came to an end in March 2018, and the members had decided to shift its direction and focus on showcasing bilateral research between members to wider external stakeholders and promoting new joint research through researcher networking, potentially leading to partnerships with the government, industry and civil society. RENKEI aims to deliver these objectives mainly through organising a RENKEI conference and adjoining researcher networking workshop held in rotation in Japan and the UK.
After April 2018, RENKEI prioritises “climate change” and “health” as themes for researcher networking leading to new joint activities. Both areas were specified in the Japan-UK Joint Declaration on Prosperity Cooperation released in September 2017 when Prime Minister Theresa May visited Japan. As a group of leading research intensive universities in the two countries which are among the world’s foremost producers of cutting-edge research, enormous potential exists for RENKEI institutions to meet these common research challenges with innovative solutions.