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Invest Japan seminar "Potential for Cooperation between Taiwanese and Japanese Companies toward Creation of Innovation" held in Taiwan

November 2018

On November 23, 2018, JETRO held a seminar for investment into Japan in Taiwan with the aim of facilitating entry to Japan by Taiwanese companies in the fields of IT and healthcare technology. Information was provided on the attractiveness and advantages of doing business in the Japanese market and potential for collaboration with Japanese companies involved in open innovation and possessing advanced technologies.

Presentations on business opportunities and challenges in Japan by four Taiwanese and Japanese companies

Opening remarks were delivered by the Chief Deputy Representative of Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association’s Taipei office, Mitsuaki Hoshino; Deputy General Director Stanley H. Huang of the Commercialization and Industry Service Center of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI); and Deputy Secretary General Li Chang of Taipei Computer Association (TCA). Their presentations illustrated the cordial business relationship between Taiwan and Japan while expressing great hope for its development.

Following them, Co-Founder George Goda of Zero One Booster, a corporate accelerator and operator of co-working space, promoted the Japanese innovation environment which has been changing and proactively receiving overseas startups in line with the ever-greater dynamic trends of open innovation by major companies within Japan. At the same time, he pointed out the issue of the still-low English proficiency of Japanese companies. He also introduced examples of collaboration in Asia such as a joint two-way mentoring project with a Taiwanese accelerator for startups from both sides, and made a call for cooperation with Taiwanese companies which excel at horizontal collaboration beyond fields.

Venue

After that, presentations were made by two Japanese companies possessing business sites in Taiwan. The first was by Business Design Unit General Manager Nobuya Horikoshi of Innovation Promotion Division of Hitachi High-Technologies, manufacturing and selling electronic devices and industrial systems, including medical systems such as electron microscopes for which it has the third largest share in the world. In order to incorporate cutting-edge technologies and service models, he explained it is necessary to pursue collaboration both within and outside of his company. He also expressed his company’s hope to proactively forge alliances with Taiwanese startups which possess strengths in developing devices and IoT. Finally, he introduced Hitachi High-Technologies’ activities for open innovation, such as achievements in creating carve-out startups (independent ventures created when companies cut out part of their operation) in collaboration with Japanese universities and in hosting an “ideathon.”

The second presenter was Incubit, a Japanese startup which established a base in Taiwan in 2017 to provide project-development support utilizing the latest deep-learning and machine-learning technology. Its representative, Taiwan Branch Manager Koo Yung Hung, elaborated on important points in doing business with Japanese companies, such as the necessity of persistence in providing information to the person responsible to help him or her keep superiors informed, due to the bottom-up decision-making nature of Japanese companies. He also explained that Japanese companies focus on problem-solving capabilities as well as service content and pricing.

After that, CEO Ed Deng of H2—a Taiwanese startup that set up a base in Japan in February 2018, where it provides an application for controlling diabetes—took the podium. Pointing out that Japanese hospitals store enormous patient data, as Japan, like Taiwan, has a universal healthcare system, he explained that his company’s application can prevent intercurrent illnesses by reliably managing and analyzing the data of people suffering from diabetes. The application, he continued, can be of great assistance in various other areas, including for the government to reduce social security expenses and for pharmaceutical companies to develop medicine.

At the end of the session, Weiju Tsao, a member of the Taiwanese Company Invest Support Group of JETRO’s Invest Japan Department, introduced activities for Society 5.0 by the Japanese government as well as JETRO's support programs and examples of companies helped by JETRO. Presentations to incite interest in investment in Japan were then delivered on topics such as regional startup support programs and innovation environments by five local authorities in Japan: the Aichi-Nagoya International Business Access Center (I-BAC), the Osaka Business and Investment Center (O-BIC), the cities of Fukuoka and Kobe and Kumamoto Prefecture.

Active panel discussion and networking reception

During the panel session moderated by Yugo Yoshida, Sub Leader of the Taiwanese Company Investment Support Group of JETRO’s Invest Japan Department, a lively discussion was engaged in by the presenters from the four companies. From the Japan side, panelists mentioned that signs of change have definitely been seen among Japan’s traditionally conservative companies and local authorities, with cooperation spanning different industrial fields throughout local regions and companies establishing teams tasked with promoting innovation one after another. They also stressed that collaboration with Japanese companies and having Japanese mediators are important when doing business in Japan. From the Taiwan side, panelists praised the various accelerators and special programs geared toward startups in Japan, mentioning that overseas companies are showing great interest in entering the country. Further, asserting that the discreet decision-making of Japanese companies is worthy of admiration, they surmised that it is precisely because the environment is conservative that startups have a fair chance at success.

After the seminar, a networking reception was held with PR booths set up by the five local authorities which presented, Kanagawa Prefecture, participant companies and JETRO, giving guests an opportunity to exchange information with them.

Panel session

Networking reception

Outline

Date and time Friday, November 23, 2018 ,14:00-17:00 (networking reception: 16:00-17:00)
Venue Chang Yung-Fa Foundation International Convention Center
Organizer Japan External Trade Organization, Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association
Co-organizers Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), Taipei Computer Association (TCA), Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)
Participants 86 people from 60 companies
Program
  1. (Seminar)
  2. Opening remarks
    1. Mitsuaki Hoshino, Chief Deputy Representative of the Taipei Office, Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association
    2. Stanley H. Huang, Deputy General Director, Commercialization and Industry
    3. Service Center of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)
    4. Li Chang, Deputy Secretary General, Taipei Computer Association (TCA)
  3. Japanese ecosystems and startup support for Taiwanese companies
    1. George Goda, Co-Founder, Zero One Booster
  4. Promising fields and technologies for cooperation with Taiwanese companies
    1. Nobuya Horikoshi, General Manager of the Business Design Unit, Innovation Promotion Division, Hitachi High-Technologies
    2. Koo Yung Hung, Taiwan Branch Manager, Incubit
  5. Benefits of collaboration between Taiwanese startups and Japanese companies, and the Japanese business environment
    1. Ed Deng, CEO, H2
  6. JETRO's support programs for companies interested in investing in Japan
    1. Weiju Tsao member of the Taiwan Team,JETO Invest Japan Department
  7. Support programs for companies by local authories
    Aichi-Nagoya International Business Access Center (I-BAC), Osaka Business and Investment Center (O-BIC), City of Fukuoka, City of Kobe, Kumamoto Prefecture.
  8. Panel session
    Moderator:
    1. Yugo Yoshiga, Sub Leader of the Taiwan Team, JETRO Invest Japan Department
    Panelists:
    1. George Goda, Co-Founder and CEO, Zero One Booster
    2. Nobuya Horikoshi, General Manager of Business Design Unit, Innovation Promotion Division, Hitachi High-Technologies
    3. Koo Yuang Hung, Taiwan Branch Manager, Incubit
    4. Ed Deng, CEO, H2
  1. (Networking reception)
  2. Toast
    Ryoichi Ito, Director General. JETRO Hong Kong
    * Consultation corners set up by I-BAC, O-BIC, the cities of Fukuoka and Kobe, Kumamoto and Kanagawa prefectures and JETRO