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

What is it about?
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, which is still the 2nd largest in the world.

Why participate?
Jointly, we develop an individual market entry strategy for Japan, adjusted to your business sector and the requirements of your company. This includes an intensive on-site training at the beginning of September 2018 and various e-learning measures.  During a roadshow in October 2018, you have the opportunity to implement the strategy in your target region Japan.
In this program, you receive the answers to your questions about how to best enter the Japanese market – from “peers”, i.e. companies, who already successfully operate in your sector in Japan, and from experts with country-specific know-how and networks. You will also be trained intensively by a culture trainer to prepare your roadshow in Japan.

Who can apply?
The target participants in the GoGlobal programmes are start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs – companies who already offer a product, started to sell, or at least are in the last stage of their Certification process. You should also have the ambition to expand on the Japanese market within a year. Your business in Japan could be to sell products, partner your technology, or offer your technical services. Your company should also fit to EIT Health thematic scope: “Healthy living, Active Ageing, Improved Health care.” The applying company should locate in the area covered by the EIT Health CLCs.

Submission of Application
Applications are to be submitted in an executive summary format according to the criteria in Optimy, from February 1st to March 1st, 2018, 18:00 (CET).
Application link Start.Smart.Japan

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.

The Call
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.

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 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.

After the application deadline, those participants will be selected, who benefit mostly from the expert knowledge and existing networks in Japan. 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.


Other target markets: Brazil, China, Canada, Israel, USA
If this sounds interesting to you but Japan is not your first choice and you are interested to get more insights about the Life Science environment of the USA, Brazil or China, our partner Medical Valley is running a similar programme founded by the same EIT Health programme in 2018. The project is called “Medtech Exchange Accelerator”. Two further EIT Health GoGlobal projects, “Israel Canada Digital Health” and “Go2China” are run by other European clusters and target Israel, Canada and China.
The application link is the same as above.

Contact information:
Olivier Fontaine, Project Leader EIT Health GoGlobal Israel Canada,

Antal Kuthy, Project Leader EIT Health GoGlobal Safety Belt to Go2China, 

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

Benjamin Stöcklein, Project Leader EIT Health GoGlobal MedTech Exchange Accelerator,