Sociomaterial Transformations in Norway and East Asia (SoMaT)

SoMaT is an INTPART (Research Council of Norway) project that investigates sociomaterial transformations in Norway and East Asia from a Humanities-based Science & Technology Studies (STS) framework on three thematic areas: sustainability, digitalization, and diversity.

Our Mission

SoMaT strengthens international collaboration between researchers and students from Norwegian University of Science and technology (NTNU) with one Japanese, one South Korean, and two Chinese universities to develop solid international, interdisciplinary, cutting-edge knowledge and perspectives. This will be done through investigating entanglements of the social and the material in every day-and organizational life, for which STS perspectives are ideal. We center our research, teaching, and collaboration around thematic areas within our core institutional competencies for understanding contemporary society and how novel science and technology transformations impact society. 

Project leader - Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

NTNU's root goes back to 1760 and is the largest single university in Norway with a main profile in science and technology. Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture (KULT), is world-leading in STS research and teaching, as demonstrated through our portfolio of several EU-funded projects, with ERCs, CSA and MSCAs, and RCN-funded projects. We will actively collaborate with these projects in our cross research-focused approach and with new researcher staff exchange to the Asian partners in the project.

The project leaders are Associate Professor Roger Søraa and Associate Professor Marius Korsnes, project manager Yu Cheng

 Project partners

Partner Japan: Tokyo Institute of technology (TiTech)

Tokyo Tech is the top national university for science and technology in Japan with a history spanning more than 140 years. Tokyo Tech continues to develop global leaders in the fields of science and technology, and contributes to the betterment of society through its research, focusing on solutions to global issues. The Institute's long-term goal is to become the world's leading science and technology university.

Partner leader: Professor Kayoko Nohara, School of Environment and Society

Partner South Korea: Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

KAIST was established in 1971. KAIST is the first and top science and technology university in Korea. KAIST has been the gateway to advanced science and technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and our graduates have been key players behind Korea’ innovations. KAIST will continue to pursue advances in science and technology as well as the economic development of Korea and beyond.

Partner leader: Associate Professor Chihyung Jeon, Graduate School of Science and Technology Policy

Partner China: Tsinghua University (THU)

THU was established in 1911. As one of China’s most prestigious and influential universities. Through the pursuit of education and research at the highest level of excellence, Tsinghua is developing innovative solutions that will help solve pressing problems in China and the world.

Partner leader: Associate Professor Wei Hong, Institute of Science, Technology and Society

Partner China: University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS)

UCAS is administered and managed by Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), which was established in 1949. In its development path towards a comprehensive national science center, UCAS is reaching further to explore its potential in the fusion of scientific research and education, in order to build itself into a top world-class university by 2035.

Partner leader: Professor Dazhou Wang, School of Humanities & School of Engineering Sciences

Upcoming event

Our Spring Webinar series will be announced soon, stay tuned!

First Autumn School Series in Tokyo, Sept 30 - October 04 2024

We are planning the first Autumn School Series in Tokyo this October! Are you ready to embark on a life-changing academic experience? Join us at the SOMAT-project Autumn Graduate School in Tokyo from September 30 to October 04, 2024! 

This autumn school's main target is master's students, and it is open for PhD students in both Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Equality and Diversity students. We invite you to apply to participate in this unique opportunity. 

Not only will you gain international experience, but you will also attend courses taught by prestigious professors and communicate with other brilliant minds from our partner universities. Don't miss out on this chance to broaden your horizons and expand your knowledge! The project will cover flights, transport, and accommodations.

Contact your university project manager! 

Deadline for application: 23rd of Feb 2024 

Past event

SoMaT Tokyo Kick-off 21-22 Sept 2023

We cannot wait to share the exciting news with you! SoMaT Project had its first successful kick-off event in Tokyo with all four partners. We had the honor to have Her Excellency Ms. Kristin Iglum, Ambassador of Norway to Japan kick off the first day!

You can find our below agenda for our 2-day kick-off: 

Kayoko Nohara

Dazhou Wang

Wei Hong

Chihyung Jeon

NTNU LIFEBOTS-Exchange-Extended Project visited TiTech with KAIST in March 2023

The RCN-funded LIFEBOTS-Exchange-Extended (LEE, 2020-2023) project brings together Norwegian companies and public organizations with academic experts to envision the future of robotics in the healthcare sector and expand the impact and reach of the EU-funded LIFEBOTS Exchange (2019-2025) Project. 

In March 2023, our LEE project, including partners Ålesund Municipality, an SME Jodacare that develops smart glasses devices, and an industry consulting firm PA Consulting, went on a study trip to Japan; the first stop was Tokyo to visit our SoMaT partner Kayoko Nohara's Lab at TiTech together with our KAIST partner leader Chihyung Jeon who happens to have his sabbatical year at University of Tokyo.  

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Contact NTNU Project Manager Yu Cheng: to get more information on the SoMat Project