JETRO Topics

Promotion of Japan-Germany bio economic exchange through Bio Europe

October 2022

For a three-day period from October 24 to 26, 2022, JETRO participated in “Bio Europe”—Europe's largest business matching event in the bio-medicine discovery and development field held in Leipzig, Germany—in person for the first time in five years. Business meetings took place between 25 companies, including Japanese bio-related companies, research institutes, organizations and startups, with 14 exhibiting on the spot.

Japan Pavilion during the run of Bio Europe

On the first day, October 24, JETRO held the “Partnering Workshop.” In his opening remarks, JETRO Executive Vice President Aoyama Shigetoshi told major German pharmaceutical manufacturers that, under the Japanese government's growth strategy, JETRO is assisting Japanese companies in expanding business overseas, promoting foreign investment in Japan and supporting collaboration between Japanese startups and overseas companies and academia, and that through those endeavors, it hopes collaboration between companies from both countries will develop in the biotechnology field. After that, large-scale German pharmaceutical companies and research institutes, such as Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH and Merck KGaA, held the Reverse Pitch Event and, at the following networking reception, they actively interacted with 19 Japanese companies and institutes.

Concurrent event: Reverse Pitch Event

That afternoon, the “Japan Session” was held at the international forum of Bio Europe. In his opening remarks, JETRO Executive Vice President Aoyama presented on the following proactive efforts by JETRO to promote innovation in the Japanese pharmaceutical field:
(1) Raising awareness of bio clusters existing across Japan through activities promoting investment into Japan
(2) Supporting Japanese bio startups to expand their business overseas and domestically facilitating collaboration between such firms and universities and research institutes
With that, he said, “If you are considering collaborating with Japanese bio startups, please talk to JETRO first.” During the session which was joined by approximately 50 participants, representatives of three bio clusters—Greater Tokyo Biocommunity (GTB), Biocommunity Kansai (Biock) and Hiroshima Love it consortium—gave presentations outlining their respective clusters.
Participant Japanese companies and organizations evaluated the two events held in tandem with Bio Europe as being successful from the two perspectives of networking with companies, organizations and research institutes from Germany and Europe and introducing the ecosystems of the three regional bio clusters.

Presentation by Japanese bio cluster at Japan Session

In December 2021, the milestone year of the 160th anniversary of Japanese-German relations, JETRO jointly launched the Japanese-German Innovation Initiative 160 with Germany Trade & Investment (GTAI). Further, economic ties between Germany and Japan are also growing stronger at the regional level, as states and cities in Germany are deepening economic exchange with cities in Japan.

In addition to the events mentioned above, Executive Vice President Aoyama had a meeting with executives of Saxony Trade & Invest and city officials of Leipzig, and the German side expressed their expectations for the expansion of bilateral economic exchange at the regional level, including in the biotechnology field.

A representative of Saxony Trade & Invest expressed hopes that taking advantage of the German-Japanese Innovation Initiative 160, along with projects like Organic LED with Yamagata Prefecture implemented through JETRO’s Regional Industry Tie-Up Program, it would deepen collaboration with Japanese companies. In addition, Dr. Clemens Schülke, the Deputy Mayor of Leipzig, and André Hofmann, Vice Chairman of Bio Saxony―an association of clusters of the biotechnology, medical technology and healthcare industry in Saxony―assessed JETRO’s participation in Bio Europe, which brought Japanese bio-related companies and organizations together to the event, as having advanced Japanese-German economic exchange in the bio-industry field.

Based on the results obtained from this participation in Bio Europe, JETRO will continue its endeavors to provide concrete support for collaboration between Japanese SMEs and startups and German companies and research institutes.

* Please click the link below to watch presentations by Japanese bio clusters at Japan Session.