Region/Countries: Asia, Japan Industry: Biosciences / Medical Devices Date: October 2016

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Opportunities for Wisconsin companies in pharmacology, food science, environmental issues, regenerative medicine and more

There is growing interest in Japan in using the results of research from the life sciences to contribute to a safer and healthier way of life.

The life sciences are engaged in elucidating the complex and detailed mechanisms implicated in biological phenomena, with those results gaining attention for their use in dramatically improving medicine and pharmacology, resolving food and environmental issues, and contributing to Japanese quality of life improvement and economic growth.

The Japanese government has set a series of milestones for the administration and private sector to partner through 2020 to promote research and development (R&D) in regenerative medicine, produce revolutionary medical technologies and cope with the ailments faced by an aging population. Foreign investment is needed for these research and development efforts. The national budget allocated to the life sciences is, as of 2016, $920 million—a $30 million increase over the prior year.

Key issues include the use of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells in regenerative medicine and pharmacology, the creation of cutting-edge pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and the development of brain-machine interface technology and robots to support autonomy for the elderly and disabled.

Promoting rapid development in these areas requires not only skilled talent, but the development of various hardware and software. For example, amidst the ongoing push for the use of iPS in regenerative medicine, a need exists to develop apparatus for the safe differentiation and evaluation of cells, as well as equipment for the efficient differentiation of reagents and cells. While R&D is driving the field as a whole, more rapid and efficient R&D is needed to improve the level and quality of peripheral technologies.

The life sciences, with their potential to improve the quality of life of people worldwide, require a wide range of applied technologies, including biotechnology, and the field is poised to grow rapidly.

In 2017, the following life sciences expo and conference is planned in Japan, offering an opportunity to see the latest industry trends: BIOtech Japan 2017 and BioPharma Expo 2017 16th International Bio Technology Exhibition & Conference, June 28-30, 2017, at Tokyo Big Sight.