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Japan has become the second largest healthcare market in the world and is among the five main trade partners for European pharmaceutical companies. However, its social setting is very different: there are linguistic and cultural complexities, and the business fabric is based on personal relationships. 

In order to overcome these hurdles and enter the Japanese market, Biocat is offering companies in the BioRegion a program that combines training and a mission to the country. The program, called Start.Smart.Japan, includes a week of specific training on the barriers to entering Japan for life sciences companies, which will take place in Munich in September, and a mission to Japan in October for the BioJapan fair.

Participating companies that finish the whole program will receive a prize of €2,100 to cover travel expenses, which is on top of any other subsidies they may have. Applications to participate in Start.Smart.Japan will be accepted through March 1. SMEs interested must apply through the EIT Health platform.

This call is in addition to that for BioJapan that will be launched in the coming months.


About the program

Start.Smart.Japan is aimed at life sciences SMEs in Europe who want to expand their activities into the healthcare sector in Japan. Eligible technology includes: developing products, technology or services for the healthcare sector, including therapeutic and diagnostic products, technology platforms, medical devices and digital health.

Ten companies will be selected; they will be analyzed and get online and video guidance to establish their strategy needs for moving into the Japanese market. Then they will attend a week-long training course in Munich to learn about business and cultural differences and polish their business strategy. In October, companies will get a guided tour of various pharmacy and health clusters in Japan (Osaka, Yokohama, Tokyo), coinciding with BioJapan, to meet with landing and distribution specialists for the local market, potential clients and relevant authorities.


Oportunities in other markets

Start.Smart.Japan is organized by BioM with collaboration from Biocat and is part of the GoGlobal program, under the EIT Health accelerator program area. Other markets participants can explore through the initiatives offered under this program, open to companies in the BioRegion, include the US, Hong Kong, China, Brazil, Israel and Canada. To apply for these markets, use the EIT – optimy tool.


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