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  • Incubate Coalition Japan

Strengthening the Trans-Pacific Life Sciences Partnership: Incubate in Japan

May 14-17, 2024 in Tokyo, Japan

Incubate Participants:

  • Dr. Sascha Berger, General Partner, TVM Capital

  • Dr. Claire Leurent, Managing Director, AbbVie Ventures

  • Leighanne Oh, Vice President, Ascenta Capital

Building upon efforts started in April 2023, Incubate visited Tokyo in May 2024 to continue its mission of enhancing the life sciences partnership between the United States and Japan, with a particular focus on venture capital investments and exchange/trainee programs. Over the course of four days, the delegation engaged with a variety of stakeholders from both the private and public sectors on strengthening innovation. Key activities included:

  1. Engaging with Japanese Investors and Pharmaceutical Companies The Incubate team participated in a roundtable discussion with Japanese investors and leaders from pharmaceutical companies. Link-J, an association of Japanese VCs, organized and hosted the event. Discussions centered around ways to increase cross-border investment into Japanese and American startup companies, with a particular focus on how to build a solid foundation for Japanese startups. Exploring opportunities for future collaboration, with an emphasis on the relationship between industry and academia, was also a key theme.

  2. Meeting with Japan's Top Innovators The delegation met with the Incubate Coalition JapanAdvisory Council, which consists of several top life sciences leaders throughout the country.  These meeting provided insights into the local startup ecosystem in Japan and helped identify potential areas for support and investment from Incubate.

  3. Discussions with Government Officials: Senior-level engagements were held with officials from the National Diet and key Government of Japan ministries. The delegation also met with the biotech team at United States Embassy in Tokyo. These discussions focused on:

  • Recent Government of Japan initiatives that seek to increase the flow of venture capital into startups

  • The importance of creating supportive policies and frameworks to facilitate long-term growth in the life sciences sector 

  • Strengthening the relationship between industry and academia.

  • Developing possible exchange programs in the United States for Japanese professionals.

The trip concluded with a mutual commitment to further the partnership between the United States and Japan in the life sciences field. Next steps include:

  • Incubate shaping policy discussions and regulatory initiatives in Japan and the United States to support innovation in both countries.

  • Planning follow-up meetings to continue discussions on collaborative projects.

  • Exploring the establishment of exchange and trainee programs to enhance skills and knowledge transfer between the two countries.

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