Leading Life Science Clusters of Kawasaki and Munich join forces

From left to right: Dr. Wolfgang Hübschle, Executive Director, Invest in Bavaria; Prof. Dr. Horst Domdey, CEO, BioM Biotech Cluster Development GmbH; Mr. Shigeyuki Shiratori, Director, International Strategy Promotion Department, City of Kawasaki; Dr. Manfred Wolter, Head of the Department for Innovation, Research and Technology Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology; Mr. Tetsuya Kimura, Consul General, Consulate General of Japan in Munich.

Dr. Christian Geltinger, Bavarian Representative in Japan (Chefrepräsentant), Invest in Bavaria (left) Mr. Norihiko Fukuda, Mayor of Kawasaki City (right)

Ceremonial signing of Memorandum of Understanding - The representatives of the Biotech Cluster Organizations of Munich (Bavaria), Germany, and Kawasaki City (Japan), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Promotion of Business Exchanges in Kawasaki, Japan, declaring a close cooperation in the future.

The cooperation scheme includes an exchange of information about each region’s new technologies, industry developments and academic potential, and an exchange of best practices in technology transfer and biotech SME support. This will pave the way to the initiation of industry-industry and industry-academy partnerships between the two regions.

Mayor of Kawasaki City, Mr. Norihiko Fukuda, stated: ”In February 2017, the delegation from Kawasaki City visited BioM, as an excellent example of a world-leading biotech cluster management organization. Aim was to research its management structure, activities and functions, that could be utilized to develop the cluster region of Kawasaki City. Since then, both parties have continuously deepened exchanges, and these exchanges resulted in the conclusion of this Memorandum of Understanding. In cooperation with BioM, which has a 20-year-old history of cluster management, we would like to advance our joint efforts to support the collaboration of stakeholders from both regions with the aim to create international innovations.”
The agreement was previously signed by Prof. Dr. Horst Domdey, CEO of BioM Biotech Cluster Development GmbH, Martinsried, Munich, on November 10th at the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology in Munich, in presence of representatives of Kawasaki City and the Consule-General Mr. Tetsuya Kimura.

Prof. Dr. Horst Domdey stated: “Following the visit of Kawasaki City in July for the meetings with the Mayor, Keio University, Innovation Center of NanoMedicine and innovative companies such as RIKEN Genesis and Sysmex, we are convinced that Kawasaki region has a great potential for our planned cooperation with Japanese science and industry in healthcare. We will therefore put all of our effort into initiating collaborations between our local biotechnology industry and suitable partners in Kawasaki City.” 

The Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology, initiated the contact between the two clusters by organizing a meeting in February this year. The Ministry welcomes the cooperation agreement and Dr. Manfred Wolter, Head of the Department for Innovation, Research and Technology, states: “Japan and Bavaria are excellent at research and have highly innovative technology companies, especially in the emerging fields of digitalization, Industry 4.0, Smart Cities, mobility and life sciences including medical technology. I am convinced that cooperation between BioM and Kawasaki City will further intensify relations between Bavaria and Japan and strengthen the innovative power of both economies.”

During the signing ceremony in Munich, Mr. Tetsuya Kimura, Consulate-General of Japan in Munich emphasized in his greeting to both parties: “Both Kawasaki and Munich area are leading biotech locations in their countries. In Kawasaki, “King Skyfront” is recently established as an international hub of life science by utilizing the industrial development of Keihin Industrial Zone. Munich area includes excellent academic institutions such as Max Planck Institutes, LMU and TUM, and innovative start-ups are concentrated in the region. I hope that this agreement will provide a wonderful opportunity for further close cooperation in biotech between Japan and Bayern/Germany.”

About the Kawasaki Biotechnology Region
Kawasaki is one of the most dynamic major cities in Japan. Located in the center of Keihin Industrial Zone, it plays an important role in the growth of the Japanese economy.
Kawasaki City is making a significant effort to form a hub for innovation in order to keep up with the continuously changing structure of global economy and its industries, especially within the life science field. As a result, Kawasaki City established “King Skyfront”, an open-innovation site and home to world-class research and development facilities in the region. “King Skyfront” aims to contribute to tackling global issues in a variety of fields, including life, environmental, and welfare sciences, as well as creating global business opportunities.

About the Munich Biotech Cluster
The State of Bavaria is the southernmost part of Germany with its capital Munich. The life science sector (biotech, pharma, CROs, suppliers and others) of the Greater Munich Area unites over 20,000 persons employed by more than 350 companies, making Munich one of the leading biotech regions in Europe.
The region is mainly characterized by innovative biotech SMEs, where the majority started as spin-offs from one of the local world-renowned research institutions. These include the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Helmholtz Center Munich – German Research Center for Environmental Health, and the Max Planck Institutes of Biochemistry, Neurobiology and Psychiatry. Two incubators in close vicinity to the universities are giving a home to about 60 innovative biotech start-ups and other players, which they need to foster their innovative ideas. BioM Biotech Cluster Development GmbH, coordinator of the Munich and Bavarian Biotech Cluster, is also located in one of the biotech incubators and provides access to the Bavarian network for international business partners, as well as coaching, training and other services for companies, crucial for the long-term success of the region’s innovative life science SMEs.

Contact BioM
BioM Biotech Cluster Development GmbH
Dr. Stephanie Wehnelt
Am Klopferspitz 19a (IZB West II)
82152 Martinsried
Tel. (+49) (0)89 / 89 96 79 – 29
Fax (+49) (0)89 / 89 96 79 79