Cooperating with 14 domestic and overseas organizations and strengthening innovation through co-sponsored events and information exchange
Life Science Innovation Network Japan (head office: Nihonbashi-Muromachi, Chuo-ku Tokyo; chairman of the board: Hideyuki Okano; hereinafter "LINK-J") concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cooperation aimed at creating innovations in the field of life sciences with Kanagawa Prefecture which has previously pursued initiatives in science and technology policy independently on September 18. For LINK-J, this is the 4th MOU with a municipality, after Osaka Prefecture, and its 14th partnership with the life science organization.
Kanagawa Prefecture took the initiative in Japan to develop science and technology policy outline in 1990. It has been continuing to promote collaboration among industry, academia, and government for the past 30 years. In recent years, under the banner of its Healthcare New Frontier (HCNF) Policy, the prefecture has established the Healthcare New Frontier Promotion Headquarters Office, a laterally distributed organization that integrates science, technology, industry, and health care. Through two-pronged policy approaches: (a) the pursuit of cutting-edge medical treatments and technologies and (b) ME-BYO (an approach that encourages patients to care for their health before they become sick) the prefecture aims at the extension of healthy life expectancy and the creation of new markets and industries. In particular, in Tonomachi, as part of its pursuit of cutting-edge medical treatments and technologies, the prefecture is working towards the construction and operation of a science and technology innovation ecosystem. The local government has established the Life Innovation Center, an industrialization base for the construction of a value chain for regenerative and cell-centric treatments.
LINK-J already concluded MOUs with the City of Kawasaki and Yokohama, and it also sponsored the event held by the Kanagawa University of Human Services, LINK-J special member. LINK-J has connected with various organizations and universities such as these, and the current MOU allows further development of such initiatives. Through the MOU, Kanagawa Prefecture and LINK-J have agreed to cooperate over the five years in (1) the joint sponsorship and promotion of events, programs, and related events; (2) the exchange of publications, materials, and information; and (3) mutual visits.
So far, LINK-J has signed MOUs to create life science-related innovations with the following business alliance partners: the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and Biocom (a life science organization in San Diego, U.S.A.) in May 2016; Eurobiomed (a life science organization in Southern France) in June 2017; Kyoto Research Park Corp. (Japan's first privately operated research park) in July 2017; One Nucleus (a large life science organization in Europe) in December 2017; the Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation in Kobe in February 2018; the Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Keio University (Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Pref.) in April 2018; MedCity (a U.K. organization to promote the industrialization of life sciences research) in June 2018; the City of Kawasaki in August 2018; the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in June 2019; Yokohama City in August 2019; Oxford University Innovation (OUI) in July 2020; and Osaka Prefecture in September 2020. This latest agreement makes Kanagawa Prefecture the 14th MOU partner of LINK-J. Moving forward, LINK-J will serve as a more influential global hub in the life sciences field by cooperating more broadly with additional life science organizations, both in Japan and internationally.
Kenji Shuto, Deputy Governor of Kanagawa Prefecture, commented on the MOU as follows. "In Kanagawa Prefecture, as part of our Healthcare New Frontier Policy, we have carried out various activities including the creation and development of startups, the construction of a value chain for regenerative and cell-centric medicine, and the facilitation of the spread of products and services for ME-BYO. We hope that this partnership will, by cooperating with LINK-J, contribute to innovation in the life sciences."
Furthermore, Takashi Ueda, Director of LINK-J, said, "We are pleased to reach this partnership with Kanagawa Prefecture, which has also been working to develop life science-related industries. Through our future collaboration between LINK-J and Kanagawa Prefecture we hope to support the creation of new value and further strengthen our relationship with our 14 partners in Japan and overseas to revitalize the entire life science-related industry."
Going forward, LINK-J will continue to stimulate the creation of life science innovation and add value by promoting the revitalization of the global life science industry.