Having recognized the growth potential of life science related businesses from early on, Yokohama has promoted innovation in this space over the past 30 years. Beginning with the creation of Kanazawa Bio Park, Yokohama has invested in building its advanced R&D infrastructure, including the attraction of major players such as RIKEN and the establishment of the Joint Graduate School of Medicine Program at the Yokohama City University. Today, the life science R&D landscape in Yokohama also includes players such as the Yokohama City University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Keio University, and R&D facilities of companies such as Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, Shiseido, and Ricoh. Furthermore, Bio Japan, Asia’s largest partnering event for the global biotechnology industry, is held in Pacifico Yokohama every year, attracting industry experts from all over the world.
The city operates LIP. Yokohama (Life Innovation Platform Yokohama), a platform that aims to strengthen collaboration between industry and academia to create innovative projects that help SMEs commercialize their life science research. Through this platform, the city has conducted matching events, seminars, and exchanges between stakeholders, promoted collaboration with overseas clusters, and managed grant programs and other financial schemes. The city has also signed an MOU with Biocom Life Science Association of California (BIOCOM) in April 2017 promising future collaboration and exchange.
The city has also been promoting collaboration projects between medical and tech communities, which is evident in its efforts to mesh initiatives carried out by LIP. Yokohama and its IT sector counterpart, ITOP Yokohama. Through this collaboration, the city aims to apply cutting-edge technologies such as IoT, Big Data, AI, robotics to health and medical fields to yield innovative solutions.
There are numerous incubation facilities throughout the city operated by IDEC Yokohama, Kanagawa prefecture, universities, and private organizations that are ready to support startup in the life science sector.
At a Glance
- As of 2014, Yokohama had a total of 5,832 life science establishments (11 pharmaceutical establishments, 41 medical device manufacturers, 5,734 medical institutions (including hospitals and clinics), and 46 public health establishments).
- As of 2014, there were 84,972 people employed in the life sciences sector in Yokohama. 530 were employed by pharmaceutical companies, 877 by medical device companies, 82,898 by medical companies, and 667 by healthcare companies.
A platform intended to promote the collaboration of industry, government and academia to ensure a sustainable stream of innovation from Yokohama in the health and medical fields. Initiatives include creating innovative projects from the network of entrepreneurs and academic institutions, supporting SMEs and venture firms in commercialization efforts, and promoting the development of new technologies and products.
Promoting a combined approach encompassing medical, IT, and manufacturing sectors:
Yokohama promotes innovations in medical device R&D through accelerating meaningful collaboration between companies, medical institutions, R&D institutions, academics, etc. To promote synergy between the medical community and IT and manufacturing industries in Yokohama, the city supports collaborative opportunities among stakeholders in these fields.
Yokohama Kanagawa Bio-Business Network:
In Yokohama and surrounding areas in Kanagawa, there are many universities and research institutions with advanced bio-related research seeds, as well as companies and bio-ventures that can turn these scientific discoveries into new products. There is also a growth of surrounding industries. By strengthening the network between these bio-business leaders, the organization aims to give birth to innovative products that will vitalize the regional economy and improve the quality of life of people. The Kihara Memorial Yokohama Foundation for the Advancement of Life Sciences operates the Network.
Life Innovation Comprehensive Special Zone:
Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama City, and Kawasaki City are part of a government designated “Special Zone” in the Keihin waterfront area that specializes in life science innovation and globalization. The Special Zone was designated in 2011, with its overall goal to spur economic growth and innovation in the life science sector while making full use of existing industrial assets in the region. Major initiatives include supporting global companies to take the lead in stimulating the growth of pharmaceutical and medical device industries in the region.
Website：https://www.keihin-tokku.jp (Japanese, with auto-translation)
Key Companies & Organizations
- Bruker Corporation
- Charles River Laboratories International, Inc.
- PerkinElmer Japan Co., Ltd.
- Thermo Fischer Scientific
- Techno Medica Co., Ltd.
- BioMedCore, Inc.
- Fancl Health Science
- J-Pharma Co., Ltd.
- Medinet Co., Ltd.
- PIOLAX, Inc.
- PRISM Pharma
- Sakata Seed Corporation