First joint online event with Russian Skolkovo Foundation under theme of collaboration in health-tech field

March 2021

Holding online mission following executive dialogue held prior to STS Forum Russia-Japan Workshop Online 2020

On March 16, JETRO held an online event under the theme of open innovation in the health-tech field, as the first joint activity with one of Russia's largest innovation support organizations, the Skolkovo Foundation. Nine Russian startups, which originated from the foundation and are active in the health-tech field, made pitch presentations introducing their solutions related to medical care and medicine that are expected to be effective in regards to the corona pandemic. In addition, Arkady Dvorkovich, Chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation, and NOBUTANI Kazushige, President of JETRO, had a dialogue online.

The event was implemented as an "online mission" to Japan by Russian startups with origins in the Skolkovo Foundation and decided upon following the online meeting between Skolkovo Chairman Dvorkovich and JETRO President Nobutani held on October 28, prior to the STS Forum Russia-Japan Workshop held last November.

In preparation for welcoming the "online mission," a webinar was held on February 26 with the aim of introducing Japanese eco-systems to Russian startups. Furthermore, after the online event on March 16, business meetings were held between the nine participant Russian startups and Japanese companies which viewed the event online.

Introduction of attractiveness of Skolkovo and collaboration possibility between Russia and Japan

At the start of the online mission, Skolkovo Chairman Dvorkovich and JETRO President Nobutani presented the current state of affairs of Russian innovation startups and the attractiveness of the Skolkovo as an eco-system toward audience members in the form of a dialogue. Both executives strongly expressed hope for collaboration between the two countries in a variety of fields, including health tech.

As advantages and strengths possessed by the Skolkovo as well as Russia, the fostering of excellent human resources in world-leading science fields and the support system offered by the Russian government were cited by Chairman Dvorkovich.

According to him, 40% of the 200 professors at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltec) are from abroad, including from the West, and half of the remaining 60% are Russians who have returned from overseas. In addition to the widespread use of medicine or digital diagnosis technology developed by startups supported by the Skolkovo Foundation amid the corona crisis, Russia is leading the world in quantum technology, alongside the US and Japan.

As to why Japan was chosen as the destination for the mission, Chairman Dvorkovich explained that it is an advanced innovation country as well as one of the world's largest markets, while discussion on collaboration between the two countries has been ongoing, such as through a meeting with former Prime Minister ABE Shinzo and the STS Forum last year.

The Skolkovo Foundation has already been working with major Japanese companies such as Fanuc, Panasonic and Dentsu.

Pitch by nine Russian startups with desire to work with Japan in medical field

After the dialogue, pitch presentations were made by the nine Russian health-tech startups originated from Skolkovo, through which they touted their technologies and products to Japanese companies.

Among the presenting companies on this occasion, many possessed image analysis solutions such as the following technologies: medical image analysis using AI, including for detection of COVID-19; diagnostic solutions; a monitoring system for hospitalized patients; and a video analysis system through which social distancing can be secured and the state of congestion grasped. Presentations were also made by a software developer which created cloud service for analyzing the results of genetic tests to confirm the efficacy and safety of medicine and an IoT product designer which created a wearable device enabling the monitoring of vital signs online.

Presenting companies also proactively responded to questions by audience members online, showing a desire to collaborate with Japanese companies.

JETRO will continue to devote efforts to help collaboration between Japan and Russia in the field of innovation startups.

Technopark within the Skolkovo Innovation Center (Courtesy of the Skolkovo Foundation)

Online executive dialogue (Photo by JETRO)