Last week, nine European SMEs travelled to BioM in Martinsried, to take part in an intensive 4-day Japan workshop from 3-6 September. Aim of the interactive culture and business training was to accelerate an entry into the challenging Japanese life science market.
The carefully selected participants (see Start.Smart.Japan) work in the sectors Software/Data Solutions, Research Tools & Chemistry, and Medical Aids. During an interactive culture training, soft skills crucial for a successful relationship building and business communication in Japan were practiced. For a reality check, the participants then discussed their market entry plans with experts from their business sector and with peers, already successfully operating in Japan.
One of the participants from Catalonia, Dr. Ignasi Sahún, CMO of ZeClinics commented about the training: “To be in the Start.Smart.Japan project has been a real luxury. Thanks to what we have learned, we have defined a better penetration strategy for the Japanese market that will allow us to reach many more potential customers more efficiently. And of course, better understand those we already have in our client portfolio. Highly recommended!”
On the last workshop day, participants transferred the information provided into their individual market entry and communication plans for Japan. They will be putting their plans into practice during a 1-week visit to Japan, where the EU-Japan BioPharma Partnering conference in Osaka as well as the BioJapan convention is part of the program (Messebeteiligung BioJapan 2018 und Partneringevent Osaka/Kansai).
Lars Wassermann, one of the peers and CEO of CardiLink, summarized: “Also as a peer I gained a lot from the Start.Smart.Japan Workshop. Not only due to the valuable exchange of Japan-relevant experiences, but also because of the exciting European start-ups, where I am already in closer business contact with two of them.”
The workshop organizer Dr. Stephanie Wehnelt, Head of International Affairs at BioM, sees the success of the training concept in the modern learning approach: “Companies and experts were going well prepared into the workshop, which contained only few frontal presentations. Panel discussions, feedback rounds, and group work enabled direct exchange of experiences and learning from each other. A great benefit was also the willingness of Bavarian peers and experts to share their experiences and the high commitment shown by the participants.”
The workshop is part of the EIT Health initiative “Start.Smart.Japan”, a full-year training program to speed-up market success of European life science SMEs in Japan. The program is designed and executed by two of Europe’s most prominent Life Science Cluster Managements, BioM Biotech Cluster Development, based in Martinsried, and Biocat, based in Barcelona.