Business incubation and Japan market entry support for the Finnish life-science companies

Apr. 22. 2004
Marubeni Corporation

The National Technology Agency of Finland (TEKES), the Finnish National Fund for Research and Development (SITRA), and Marubeni Corporation have signed an agreement for a piloting project of the Japan Access Program to take a key role in finding the best ways for supporting the Finnish high-tech companies in making a successful entry to the Japanese market. This pilot project focuses on supporting the businesses in high-tech life-science sector, especially in bio-technology, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment fields.

TEKES, as the main national R&D funding organization, and SITRA, as the key national fund for the high-tech investments, have taken the first steps of implementing a national business incubation program in Japan. This "Japan Access Program" provides support for the Finnish high-tech companies in commercializing their key technologies and expanding their businesses in Japan through induced local networking, marketing assistance, value-added venture funding, and re-engineering of the Japan-specific management processes. The key principle of the Program is to invite a few professional Japanese partners to take responsibility in implementing the complementing Program elements.

Now, TEKES and SITRA conducted an extensive study last year to find these best practice partners in Japan, and decided to entrust Marubeni in a key role of the Japan Access Program Life Science Pilot Project because Marubeni had a well-functioning system for supporting new venture development and good market knowledge on the Japanese bio-technology and medical equipment industries.

Marubeni Corporation's Business incubation department was founded in April, 2001, as a corporate cross-functional organization aiming at entering into new growing industry areas in new cross-industrial technology business fields. In practice, Marubeni invests in and establishes new joint-ventures, assists in finding the new business opportunities in licensing and marketing, and provides consulting services mainly in the new technology fields such as bio-technology, nano-technology and health care businesses.

Within the scope of the Japan Access Program Life Science Pilot Project, Marubeni corporation business incubation department offers the first piloting platform for the necessary development work for the participating Finnish venture businesses. In accordance to the agreement, Marubeni provides a full range of support for the business development in Japan including business and technology evaluation, focused market research, licensing analysis, and further advice on the Japan-specific business plan development including possible joint-venture arrangements.

TEKES and SITRA, in turn, will promote the business expansion of the participating venture companies in Japan in cooperation with Marubeni Corporation aiming for accelerated licensing arrangements, collaborative R&D projects and new joint-ventures with the Japanese partners.

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