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The Final Day

Unfortunately, today marked the final day of the study tour. The whole day was spent at the exhibition location, the Tokyo Big Sight. First we wandered around the Nanotech 2014 exhibition again, before heading to the neighbouring hall to explore the Smart Energy Japan 2014 exhibition that was occuring at the same time. It contained a lot of interesting power saving devices, including some flashy electric cars. It was a nice change to look at some different types of technology than the last two days.

At 2, our Victorian representatives at the expo gave a series of presentations, outlining some of their recent research. After the presentations were finished, we returned to the Victorian Government Business Office booth. Richard and I helped out a little by giving away some of the free merchandise and brochures to passing patrons. It was a valuable experience as we got to speak to people with a wide range of professions.

Soon after the expo ended, we along with everyone involved with the Victorian booth attended a reception, along a few special guests. It was a great chance to network and have some lighthearted conversations.

And with the reception finished, the study tour was over. I had an amazing time in Japan with everyone, and I feel like I’ve learnt a lot and gained some vital international business experience.

The Fifth Day: Aussie Embassy and return to Expo

Today we had a much better starting time of 8.20 am. First we visited the Australian Embassy, where gaining entrance was much like going through customs at the airport. We had to present our passports and go through a metal detector. Once we got in, we were given a presentation outlining the importance of Japan to the Australian economy, particularly in the field of education. I was surprised to learn that education was Victoria’s fourth largest export in terms of the revenue it brings to the state. We then had a photo opportunity in the back garden of the embassy before we left.

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After our visit to the embassy was over, we made our way to the Tokyo Big Sight once again to attend the Nanotechnology 2014 Exhibition.

Initially, everyone split up to explore the venue by themselves. Daniel and I went to get lunch, and then went to the Oxfords Instruments booth to interview a representative for the Hysitron company. This company manufactures and operates nanomechanical test instruments, which I though was pretty interesting.

We met up with Richard after that, and then found a large company to have an interview with. We ended up talking to some representatives from Bruker, who explained to us their most popular product in Japan, the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). They also explained their most recent development, an AFM with Raman analysis capabilities, which was the highlight of the day.

After that, we attended some seminars by German companies and institutes, which included topics such as organic compound purification, metal nano-inks, and organic electronics. Some of these presentations were particularly interesting, though I enjoyed the nano-ink talk the most.

The exhibition finished at 5, and we were then treated to a networking dinner. This was a nice, relaxing way to end the day, where we got to talk to people from many different countries and witness a traditional ceremony of breaking barrels of sake.

It was a very productive day, getting some company interviews and other tasks completed. Looking forward to having a more relaxed day at the exhibition tomorrow to really take in the surroundings.

Day 5

Today we briefly visited the Australian Embassy and then returned to the expo. At the Embassy there was a short lecture on Australia’s relationship with Japan.

At the show we talked with a representative from Hysitron, a U.S. company that manufactures nanomechanical test instruments. The instruments they produce can characterise an array of physical properties, such as hardness, stiffness and various modulus, on the nanoscale. They typically analyse thin films (such as on hard drive platters) and primarily focus on academia (with plans to expand to industry.

We then talked with a representative from Bruka, who have several interesting atomic force microscopes (AFM), such as a combined Raman microscope-AFM.

We then attended several seminars from some German companies, who are doing a variety of work in printable electronics and advanced semiconductor manufacture.