Invest Japan Seminar at world's largest medical equipment trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany

November 2019

On November 21, JETRO held an Invest Japan Seminar within the world's largest medical equipment trade fair "MEDICA/COMPAMED," held annually in Düsseldorf, Germany. On the occasion of this gathering of companies developing advanced technologies in the fields of surgical care, clinical therapy and rehabilitation, a call was made for them to work with Japanese companies and research institutes and to invest in Japan’s local regions.

In his welcome remarks, Masayoshi Watanabe, Director General of JETRO Düsseldorf touched on the fact that recent technological development is making open innovation more important, and announced that JETRO is supporting international collaboration between companies and research and educational institutes.

The seminar was composed of the following three themes: "Industry-Academia Collaboration in Japan," "Open Innovation between German and Japanese Companies" and "Success Stories of Investing in Japan." Six local governments, and local universities and companies from regions represented by those governments, formed groups to deliver presentations based on each of the themes, through which they were able to comprehensively publicize the allures of local business environments.


For the first theme, the prefectures of Chiba, Ibaraki and Miyagi jointly took the podium with local universities and companies active in each region. Mr. Mori, Director of the Center for Preventive Medical Sciences of Chiba University, presented on exchange between Germany and Japan, in particular the long history of academic interaction between Charité - University Medicine Berlin and Chiba University, and the "Well Active Community (WACo)," an industry-academia project of the school. Taku Sato, Chief Director of JETRO Chiba, promoted the attractiveness of the Kashiwanoha area as a business hub. Ms. Kikyoudani of the Ibaraki Prefecture elaborated on the attractiveness of her prefecture which possesses National Strategic Special Zones, with incentives such as subsidies her government offers. Mr. Kumada, Associate Professor of the University of Tsukuba, expounded a study on a next-generation cancer treatment device, "i-BNCT," and talked about the future prospects of medical business partnerships. Ms. Narita of Miyagi Prefecture introduced the efforts her prefecture has made to draw European companies in the life-science field, which her prefecture has been jointly strengthening with Tohoku University. Following that, Mr. Ito, CEO of AZUL Energy Inc., a startup company spun out of Tohoku University, explained the possibility of collaboration between metal-air batteries, which his company has been studying, and wearable and IoT devices. Mr. Miyamoto, Associate Professor of Tohoku University, promoted the results of his own research on a novel ultrasonic endoscopic device, "KOEDA," for the treatment of cholecystitis.

For the second theme, presentations were delivered by representatives from Kobe City and the Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation at Kobe (FBRI). Ms. Sugisako of Kobe City disseminated information on the quality living environment and incentives her city offers, while introducing the allures of industrial accumulation, including of the bio-medical industry, in Kobe. Mr. Azuma, Senior Coordinator of the FBRI, emphasized advantages possessed by a regional cluster consisting of over 300 companies and universities primarily in the fields of medical equipment, medicine and regenerative medicine. In addition, he introduced that German and Swiss companies have been promoting open innovation in Kobe and successfully collaborating with Japanese companies.

For the third theme, Kanagawa Prefecture and Yokohama City jointly took the podium with the German company FESTO, which is operating in the prefecture and city. Mr. Higuchi of Kanagawa Prefecture, and Mr. Tamai of the City of Yokohama Europe Representative Office, individually presented on the well-developed business environment preferentially chosen by overseas companies as well as incentives each local authority offers. Mr. Böck of FESTO explained the LifeTech project utilizing air compressors of his company and stressed that high quality technology and trusting relationships with customers are particularly important to succeed in business in Japan.

At a networking reception after the seminar, the presenting companies and local authorities, as well as JETRO, engaged in discussions with companies from Germany and other countries.

JETRO will continue to facilitate collaboration between Germany and Japan in the life-science field, and also assist German and European companies in entering Japanese market.

* This seminar was held under the consigned budget of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Presentation by a local government

Networking reception

Outline of seminar

Date and time Thursday, November, 21, 2019, 13:40 - 16:00
Organizer Japan External Trade Organization
Co-organizer IVAM

Approximately 30 to 40

Welcome remarks
WATANABE Masayoshi, Director General, JETRO Düsseldorf
Industry-Academia Collaboration in Japan
- Promotion by Chiba Prefecture-
MORI Chisato, Director of the Center for Preventive Medical Sciences, Chiba University
SATO Taku, Chief Director, JETRO Chiba
- Promotion by Ibaraki Prefecture –
KIKYOUDANI Kaoru, Manager of the Global Strategy Team, Ibaraki Prefecture
KUMADA Hiroaki, Associate Professor, University of Tsukuba
- Promotion by Miyagi Prefecture -
NARITA Yoshiko, Director of the International Affairs Division and Executive Supervisor of the Commerce, Industry and Tourism Department, Miyagi Prefecture
ITO Koju, CEO, AZUL Energy Inc.
MIYAMOTO Koichiro, Associate Professor, Tohoku University
Open Innovation between German and Japanese Companies
- Promotion by Kobe City -
SUGISAKO Naoko, General Affairs and Foreign Investment Group, Kobe City
AZUMA Masahide, Senior Coordinator, Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation at Kobe (FBRI)
Success Stories of Investing in Japan
- Promotion by Kanagawa Prefecture and Yokohama City –
HIGUCHI Taisuke, Group Leader, Investment Promotion and International Business Division, Kanagawa Prefecture
TAMAI Takeshi, Chief Representative, The City of Yokohama Europe Representative Office (Frankfurt Office)
Jürgen Böck, FESTO AG & Co. KG