Introduction of measures implemented
by public institutions
We will explain the measures from public institutions for pharmaceutical companies,
medical device companies, companies manufacturing regenerative medicinal products, and venture companies.
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
On April 1, 2017, the Strategy Office for Supporting Venture Companies was established by the Economic Affairs Division of the Health Policy Bureau. This office provides services for the planning of support measures for venture companies involved in the research and development of medicines, medical devices, and regenerative medicinal products. Helpful information in support of medical venture companies, including information about the introduction of the comprehensive portal site (this site) of MEDISO, is available.
Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA)
The PMDA provides guidance and advice on clinical studies and reevaluation or reexamination of medicines, medical devices, and regenerative medicinal products in response to applications from sponsors.
Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)
The AMED promotes research and development centered on projects for developing drugs, medical devices, regenerative medicine, and cancer based on the Medical Area Research and Development Promotion Plan specified by the government. Support measures and projects for venture companies related to medicines, medical devices, and regenerative medicinal products are as listed below.
- Comprehensive Project for Promoting Practical Application of Medical Technology (support service for venture companies from a clinical study center hospital)
- Medical IP Desk (consulting service for medical intellectual properties)
●Support for introduction of outcomes related to venture companies
- AMED intellectual property liaison
- Project for promotion of core support for practical application of drug discovery seeds (drug discovery support network)
●Funding for venture companies
- Cyclic Innovation for Clinical Empowerment (CiCLE)
- Medical innovation development program by a liaison between industry and academia, basic plan (ACT-M) and a setup plan (ACT-MS) (medical area research outcome development program)
- Support program for practical application of orphan drugs prior to designation
●Investigation reports from intellectual property development
The Cabinet Office Open Innovation Challenge invites applications from small and medium venture companies for the purpose of actively discovering novel technologies and ideas that can meet the specific needs of government organizations and putting those technologies and ideas into practical use for society with the goal of creating rapid innovation.
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry implements the following support programs in healthcare areas and for venture companies.
Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
In 2014, as a part of the ICT growth strategy, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications started the Innovation Program (Inno means a difference-making talent), which is a special quota for persons rich in creative talent.
Small and Medium Enterprise Agency
The Small and Medium Enterprise Agency provides a variety of different types of support with the express duty of accomplishing the purposes specified in Article 1 of the Act for Establishment of the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency as follows: “Considering that sound, independent small and medium enterprises (SME) put the national economy on sound footing and develop other SMEs, prevent the concentration of economic power, and ensure the opportunity for fair business practices by persons operating an enterprise, the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency establishes the conditions sufficient for fostering and developing SMEs and improving their management.”
Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, Japan
As a core organization implementing government policies for small and medium enterprises, this organization provides a wide variety of options for support depending on each of the stages of business growth from establishment and growth to maturity. The organization supports the growth of small and medium enterprises in collaboration with local governments, support organizations, and other government-relating organizations in Japan and abroad.
Union of Kansai Governments
The Union of Kansai Governments provides medical device counseling services where advisors with substantial experience (experts from manufacturing companies, medical devices makers, and patent lawyers) are available for counseling on a variety of topics, including basic and rudimentary pharmaceutical affairs, market research, product development, and development of sales channels from product development to marketing.
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
NEDO plays an important part in Japan's economic and industrial policies as one of the largest public research and development management organizations in the country. The two basic missions are as a national research and development agency addressing energy and global environmental problems and enhancing industrial technology. The aim of NEDO is to consistently promote the implementation of policies ranging from exploring to commercializing technology seeds from companies, universities, and research organizations in Japan, thereby developing and fostering research and development-driven venture companies, which in turn stimulates the economy and creates new industries and jobs.
Life Science Innovation Network Japan, Inc. (LINK-J)
Life Science Innovation Network Japan, Inc., (LINK-J) promotes cross-disciplinary exchanges of human resources and technology internally and externally through networks of medical science and other innovative technologies in physical science, engineering, information and communication technology (ICT), and artificial intelligence thereby supporting the commercialization of seeds and ideas.
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
The Japan Science & Technology Agency (JST), an advanced network-based research institute, promotes the world's highest level of R&D projects as a leader in an innovation network for co-creating the future. JST supports individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit and aims to commercialize university technology seeds for practical use in research and development outcomes.
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
The JETRO Innovation Program (JIP) supports middle-ranking, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and venture companies developing overseas businesses by making use of intellectual property within the global ecosystem.
INCJ, Ltd., was established under the Act on Strengthening Industrial Competitiveness in order to invest through a wide range of collaboration with industries throughout the world with the goal of creating industries with the potential to increase national wealth for future generations through open innovation.
Osaka prefecture provides support through measures intended to develop and promote life science industries in Osaka and the Kansai region as follows:
・Supports residents introducing equipment for research and development in line with incubation facilities
・Provides opportunities to form alliances with companies or venture capital firms in Japan and abroad
・Discounts the use fees for videoconference systems for consultations by the PMDA Kansai Branch
・Shares information using media or setting up booths at exhibitions
・Hosts seminars focusing on themes useful for business in terms of cutting-edge research
・Supports small and medium manufacturing enterprises entering the medical devices field
The support is provided for each stage of commercialization. In addition, Osaka Prefecture shares information in a centralized manner on the efforts of industry, government, and academia located within Osaka Prefecture, including the options provided by support organizations.
The Tokyo Metropolis implements two projects for medical devices and drug discovery as follows:
1. Provides opportunities to meet medical workers and companies and supports the development and commercialization of medical devices in response to demand from medical practices in cooperation with the Tokyo Medical-Industrial Cooperation HUB Institution, Tokyo Metropolitan Small and Medium Enterprise Support Center and Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Technology Research Institute.
2. Implements support programs to foster drug discovery venture companies, leverages the strength of Tokyo where pharmaceutical companies, support organizations, and investors are concentrated.
Kanagawa Prefecture implements support measures as follows:
- Life Innovation Center (LIC)LIC is an outpost to industrialize regenerative medicine and cell therapy, which has been established in the Tonomachi District of Kawasaki City by public and private partnerships. A total of 26 businesses are currently in operation (as of October 1, 2018).
- Regenerative Medicine & Cell Therapy Industrialization Network of Kanagawa (RINK)This network was established with the purpose of putting into practical use and industrializing regenerative medicine and cell therapy programs. RINK sponsors regular seminars and promotional events.
- Outpost-outpost collaboration with the Shonan Health Innovation Park (Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited)Collaboration between the prefecture and this park, which is an open innovation outpost where industries, academia, and public institutions, including venture companies, are concentrated, offers an opportunity to create and realize cutting-edge ideas and technologies for clinical studies in the life sciences.
- Healthcare New Frontier FundA total of 1.2 billion yen in funds support venture companies that will lead to creating industries and solving social problems in the healthcare fields that are expected to grow in future, such as the pre-disease industry and cutting-edge medical industry. (GP: Capital Medica Ventures Inc.)
National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition (NIBIOHN)
NIBIOHN provides grants, consultations, guidance, and advice while giving official recognition to tax exemptions for companies developing orphan drugs, medical devices, and regenerative medicinal products.