Valuable funding opportunity for SMEs to receive support to enter the Japanese life science market


European life science SMEs offer innovative and globally competitive technologies, products and services. For most of them, it is a big challenge to set up their business on their own in unknown, often time-consuming and complex markets outside Europe, and to identify the right business partners and contacts.
Funded by EIT Health within the framework of its Accelerator programme “GoGlobal”, BioM developed the training project “Start.Smart.Japan” specially for start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs, whose goal it is to enter the Japanese life-science market.

Japan has the world’s 2nd largest healthcare market and ranks amongst Europe’s top 5 pharmaceutical trading partners. Given Europe’s leading position in life sciences and Japan’s interest in novel technologies, services and products, this sector holds significant opportunities for innovative European SMEs. However, for European health service and product companies to introduce complex and new cutting-edge technologies and to established large companies and the conservative Japanese health market can be time consuming, tedious and consultation-intensive. Start.Smart.Japan will help to speed up this process.


The target participants in the GoGlobal programmes are start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs – companies who already offer a product, started to sell, or who are in the last stage of their Certification process. They have the ambition to expand on the Japanese market within a year. The companies also fit to EIT Health thematic scope: “Healthy living, Active Ageing, Improved Health care.”

The following companies were selected:

  • Bicoll GmbH    DE                       
  • BioSerenity    FR                       
    A Star-Trek like medical device that provides the solution to killing multiresistant bacteria and treating chronic wounds                        
  • Cytes Biotechnologies SL    ES                       
  • doDOC LDA    PT                      
  • Implicity    FR
    Implicity empowers cardiologists to focus on preventive medicine. We use connected medical devices and A.I. to make remote monitoring (R.M.) impactful and easy. Our initial product (already in use) is a R.M. platform for patients with pacemakers and defibrillators, delivered as SaaS to hospitals and clinics. Our platform integrates implanted cardiac devices from all major manufacturers, provides smart alert detection and filtering based on A.I. (CE mark pending) and collaboration features to help cardiologists and their team do R.M. efficiently.                                    
  • siTOOLs Biotech GmbH    DE 
    siTools Biotech is a young German Biotech specializing on molecular tools to study gene function in biomedical research. Building on the concept of complex but defined siRNA pools we develop novel RNAi reagents that silence target genes with reliable efficiency and overcome off-target effects. siPOOLsTM containing 30 carefully selected siRNAs are available for any annotated gene or custom target sequence. Human siPOOLTM libraries are a new tool for arrayed RNAi screening with unmatched specificity.             
  • Straight Teeth Direct Europe Ltd    IE
    Straight Teeth Direct™ is an app & teledentistry platform that connects dentists with patients for tele-supervised cosmetic teeth straightening treatment at home for a fraction of the cost.                        
  • SWORD Health    PT                       
  • ZeClinics    ES
    ZeClinics is a Biotech company offering zebrafish services for drug discovery, pre-clinical safety and efficacy screenings of novel compounds. We have key clients within the Pharma and Biotech sectors, although we are active in other sectors: Cosmetics and Agroindustry. Our track records and more than 25.000 scientific publications guarantee that using zebrafish in preclinical early phases could save up to 10X time and budget in R&D with a 95% predictivity on the effect of new drugs in humans.   

The training

Start.Smart.Japan is an exclusive, high quality training course that provides a starter kit for executives of European life sciences SMEs, helping them to optimize and accelerate their market entry in Japan. The training is sector-specific and targets the challenging Japanese business environment: regulatory and reimbursement environments for health products/services, access to agents and distributors with access to the appropriate customer networks, access to funding and financing opportunities, language and cultural complexities, different business conventions, understanding of market needs and competition.

In the first half of 2018, individual business interests and market entry needs will be identified. The process will be guided and supported by culture trainers and market experts, and you can benefit from various e-learning tools. Supported by BioM and Biocat, two globally experienced European life science clusters and their extensive networks in Japan, participants will work on specific tasks to prepare their individual market entries.

In the second half of 2018, an intensive on-site training will be carried out on 3-6 September in Martinsried/Munich. Focus is a 2-day culture workshop, followed by two days of peer-learning with companies already successfully operating in Japan in the relevant sectors. Achieved skills will be put into practice during a well-prepared, first market entry kick-off visit to Japan (Kansai-region, Yokohama/Tokyo/Kawasaki) mid-October. This is followed by post-visit evaluations to optimize your market entry strategy.

Financial support

Each participating SME will receive a maximum of 2,100 EUR towards travel costs to participate in the Munich on-site training and the Japan roadshow. All e-learning, training and coaching units are provided free of charge.

About EIT Health

EIT Health is an independent Community, constituted in 2008 by the European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT), which aims to boost innovation and speed up entrepreneurship in Europe.
EIT Health´s Accelerator is a business-development programme, and with its GoGlobal projects, participating companies can obtain better knowledge on the local ecosystem, special characteristics of the market, contacts and networking-opportunities and tailor-made training, which ease and accelerate the market entry into the target country. Different GoGlobal projects target different non-European markets: Brazil, China, Canada, Israel, Japan, USA.

Contact information

Stephanie Wehnelt, Project Leader EIT Health GoGlobal Start.Smart.Japan,