Regional Information Osaka

Osaka supports growing industries (life sciences, new energy area)!

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Sakishima Bld.25F,1-14-16 Nankoukita, Suminoe-ku, Osaka 559-8555
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The information below is as of November 2017.

Life science

(Related sectors: Others)

Attractive features

Osaka is home to a number of world-class research facilities including Osaka University, the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, the National Institute of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition, mainly in the northern part of the prefecture, and many major pharmaceutical manufacturers in Osaka City. Active joint academic-government-industry efforts based on the presence of these schools and industries contributed to the creation of Osaka's “life science cluster.” Also, Osaka is ranked first in Japan in terms of production volume of pharmaceutical products, making it one of the major industrial hubs leading the pharmaceutical industry.

Principal Japanese companies in the industry
  • Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.
  • Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation.
  • Shionogi & Co., Ltd.
Principal foreign companies in the industry
  • AstraZeneca K.K.
  • Bayer Yakuhin, Ltd.
Major education/research institutes of the industry
  • Osaka University is renowned as a leading institution in immunology research, and has produced many world-famous researchers who have excelled in research in the biomedical field. Osaka University also has an abundance of affiliated research institutions working in various fields such as the Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Institute for Protein Research, and the Immunology Frontier Research Center. The “Human Resources Center for International and Translational Medicine,” which was set up in the advanced medical research hospital, Osaka University Hospital, is conducting translation research to be applied clinically from its research achievements.
  • With the goal of contributing to improving the health of Japanese people, through the promotion of common studies conducive to the development of drugs, medical devices, and biological resources including medicinal plants, research and development implemented in private sectors, for the establishment of bases to improve the drug and medical device technologies, as well as through the implementation of surveys and studies on the maintenance and improvement of people’s health, and surveys and studies on people’s nutrition and diet, for the improvement of public health, the National Institute of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition is engaged in the following six businesses and other businesses based on the Health Promotion Act.

1. Research and support of drug discovery related to fundamental technologies
2. Research and support of drug discovery related to biological resources
3. Promotion of development of drugs and other products
4. Surveys and studies pertaining to the maintenance and promotion of the health of Japanese people
5. Surveys and studies regarding the nutrition and diet of Japanese people
6. Nutrition physiology tests of food

  • The National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, as the national center of Japan, develops cutting-edge medical treatments and research for cardiovascular diseases and is engaged in prevention, treatment and research aimed at overcoming cardiovascular diseases.
Major industry cluster plans, special zones and industry-government-academia collaboration of the industry
  • Centered on the northern part of Osaka (Saito), research and education facilities are clustered in Osaka, including Osaka University with world-leading biomedical research, the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, and the Osaka Bioscience Institute. With the many industry-academia-government cooperation projects having been carried out, the prefecture has earned a reputation for being one of the most active bio-clusters in Japan. Also, in the Doshomachi District of Osaka City, many pharmaceutical manufacturers including the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, are clustered.
  • Life science industry promotion throughout Osaka is being advanced in accordance with the “Osaka Bio Strategy”, which is a joint industry, academia and governmental action program. A variety of initiatives are being pursued such as establishing funds, facilitating clinical tests and reforming regulations.
  • A memorandum has been exchanged with bio clusters in Queensland, Shanghai, Flanders, Munich, Minnesota, Pasteur, and Singapore to carry out wide promotion overseas via trade shows such as BIO and BioEurope.

Environment and New Energy

(Related sectors: Environment and Energy)

Attractive features
  • Kansai is transforming into the world's battery factory with companies involved in environmental and new energy industries clustering in Osaka and the Kansai region, especially the Osaka bay area. A succession of proactive investments on equipment in the battery industry is due to be made in the future, hopefully igniting the vitalization of the industry.
  • Of the lithium-ion battery exports from Japan, Kansai has a share of more than 70% in terms of value.
  • As for the areas of hydrogen and fuel batteries, many pioneering companies in the hydrogen energy industry, including leading companies manufacturing devices for ENE-FARM and hydrogen refueling stations that drive forward the industry serving a core role among many other companies, and supporting industry companies supporting the industrial base with advanced technology, cluster in the region.
Principal Japanese companies in the industry
  • Panasonic Corporation
  • Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.
  • Iwatani Corporation
Principal foreign companies in the industry

TUV Rheinland Japan Ltd.

Major education/research institutes of the industry
  • Many public research institutions such as Osaka University and the head office and R&D bodies of major electric appliance companies are concentrated in Osaka.
  • An assessment center for materials manufacturers to evaluate prototypes of lithium-ion battery materials was formed by the KANSAI Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in 2010. In addition, Osaka Prefecture University assembled outstanding researchers over multiple disciplines and established the “R&D Center for Next Generation Electric Vehicles” with small and medium-sized manufacturing companies as a central base to expand EV-related R&D. A succession of developments using next-generation technology has been made at the Center.
  • Further, in February 2016, National Laboratory for Advanced Energy Storage Technologies (NLAB), one of the largest testing and evaluating facilities for large-scale battery energy storage systems in the world of the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE), was completed in Sakishima District of Osaka City.
  • In pursuit of such high-level technological development capacity, human resources, and testing functions, it is expected that more and more companies will wish to locate in the Osaka bay area in the future.
Major industry cluster plans, special zones and industry-government-academia collaboration of the industry
  • Industry, academia and government cooperate to promote the diffusion of EV and FCV through the Osaka Next Generation Automobile Promotion Council to promote diffusion and improve infrastructures. In March 2016, “H2Osaka Vision,” showing the direction of efforts in the area of hydrogen and fuel batteries in the future, was formulated.
  • The prefecture also aims for the development and accumulation of new energy-related industries and the structuring of a low-carbon society through Battery Strategy Research Center functions (established in July 2012) for supporting the generation of new demand for batteries. Furthermore, it seeks the accumulation of related industries through creating leading technology related to new energy and promoting verification projects related to smart communities and batteries.