October 10


October 14


BIOTECH Cluster SME Mission

SMEs' Internationalisation through EU-Japan Cluster Cooperation


The mission lasts 5 days and is composed of market-specific business seminars, group company visits, one-on-one meetings at a targeted trade fair with showcasing and networking events to maximise opportunities for the EU participants. In addition, the mission will provide EU clusters the opportunity to benchmark with Japanese clusters during a dedicated session. The mission, targeting the Biotechnology sector, will be organised on the fringes of “BioJapan” Expo in Yokohama (http://www.ics-expo.jp/biojapan).


The EU-Japan Centre and the European Strategic Cluster Partnership alliance on Personalized Healthcare, "bioXclusters PLUS" (www.bioXclusters.eu)* have teamed up to provide specific support to EU SMEs participating either in the Centre's mission or in the BioXclusterPlus mission during the 2 first days.

* The European Strategic Cluster Partnership alliance on Personalized Healthcare, "bioXclusters PLUS" (www.bioXclusters.eu) is a project supported by the European Commission that unites four leading biotechnology and health care clusters with the objective of fostering the internationalisation of the wide and innovative network of Small and Medium Enterprises in the participating regions.

  • Bavaria – represented by BioM
  • Catalonia – represented by Biocat
  • Piedmont – represented by bioPmed
  • Rhône-Alpes – represented by Lyonbiopole

Highlight on Tuesday, 11 October 

A unique opportunity is offered to the Centre's mission participants to attend the 1-day “European Biotech & Pharma Partnering Conference” at Senri-Life Science Center in Osaka with pre-arranged B-2-B meetings with companies from the Kansai regions – in cooperation with Osaka Bio Headquarters.
Through support of the European Commission and Osaka Bio Headquarters, participation in the Osaka conference is free of charge for European SMEs that will be a part of either the "bioXclusters PLUS" delegation or the EU-Japan Centre's delegation.

The European Biotech & Pharma Partnering Conference in Osaka event includes expert presentations in the morning on business opportunities for European companies in the Kansai region.
In the afternoon, pre-arranged 1-on-1 partnering meetings will be held between European SMEs and Japanese companies from the Kansai region.


This mission will facilitate the first contact that could be the key to new business opportunities.

  • Gain knowledge about market structure, sector analysis, Japanese business culture and policy etc
  • Identify relevant key contacts (decision makers, R&D centres, potential business partners etc)
  • Establish relationships with potential partners (trade and technology)
  • Benefit from face-to-face meetings leading to possible business opportunities

This initiative contributes to organising specific match-making events to support cluster organisations and their SME members in their efforts to develop partnerships and business cooperation on global markets.

This action facilitates the internationalisation of European SMEs involved in these match-making events and allows them to access overseas' markets. By establishing technological or business partnerships, SMEs can increase their innovation capacity and become more competitive on a global scale. These events also contribute to preparing the ground for practical cluster cooperation across borders and making a more strategic use of transnational cluster cooperation on markets outside Europe in areas of strategic interest.


European Union and COSME partnering countries Clusters and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).


a) Cluster
Clusters working in the below targeted sectors are eligible as well as their SME members

b) SME*
Any SME companies can apply (belonging to a cluster is not mandatory).

The candidate from the SME:

  • must be a citizen of an EU Member State or of a COSME partnering country;
  • must work for a company that is > 50% EU or COSME partnering country owned;
  • must work for an organisation that is an EU or COSME partnering country juridical person;
  • must work for an SME
  • must be supported by their employer and able to participate in the entire programme;
  • must have a reasonable command of English;
  • should have a proven experience in industry.

c) non-SME
Large companies may apply but will not be given priority.


The sectors targeted are among others the ones covered by BioJapan Expo such as:

  • Drug and Drug Discovery (Small-Molecule Drug, Biologics, Vaccine etc.)
  • Drug Discovery Support and Contract Services (Drug Synthesis Services, Analysis Contract Services and Chemical Compound Libraries and Screening etc.)
  • Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices
  • Functional Food, additives, enzymes
  • Medical Treatment, Diagnosis and Medical Devices and Equipment
  • Research Devices, Bioinformatics and Bio imaging etc.

For the full list click here.


The main criteria for selection are:

  • the professional & educational background of the candidate
  • the strategy of the participant's company regarding Japan

In order to ensure a high degree of personal attention, the number of participants in this mission will be limited.



Day-1 Orientation session and market-specific business seminars (Osaka) 
Day-2 Lectures and BtoB meetings (Osaka) 
Day-3 to day-5 participation in BioJapan Expo (Yokohama) including:
- EU delegation booth
- Individual company presentations
- Access to the matchmaking platform/area for the BtoB meetings during the trade fair

Programme schedule:

Provisional schedule





Arrival in Osaka, Japan


Introductory and Orientation session
Lectures done by experts

Get together event


“European Biotech & Pharma Partnering Conference”
at Senri-Life Science Center in Osaka

Expert presentations in the morning on business opportunities for European companies in the Kansai region

Pre-arranged B-2-B meetings with companies from the Kansai regions – in cooperation with Osaka Bio Headquarters

Group transfer to Yokohama


Plenary session
BioJapan Expo, Yokohama

BtoB meetings  & exhibition
BioJapan Expo, Yokohama

Debriefing session


BtoB meetings  & exhibition
BioJapan Expo, Yokohama

BtoB meetings  & exhibition
BioJapan Expo, Yokohama



BtoB meetings  & exhibition
BioJapan Expo, Yokohama

Final debriefing and reporting session



Departure to EU


The EU-Japan Centre will cover:

  • tuition-related costs (speakers fees, rental room fee, etc…)
  • transfers during group company visits
  • trade fair registration, EU delegation booth rental & full arrangements, including poster printing service to give companies / organisations more visibility
  • access to the partnering system
  • interpretation during B2B meetings and simultaneous interpretation during individual presentation at the fair

Costs to be covered by all participants:

Travel costs to/from Japan, transfers from/to the airports, accommodation (hotels will be recommended by the EU-Japan Centre) and any other costs not covered directly by the EU-Japan Centre.

No participation fee:
Participants from SMEs* and clusters can apply for a EUR 600 grant towards their living expenses.

All participants from SMEs and Clusters must pay a (refundable) deposit of €1,000 to guarantee the place on the course.
The deposit will be refunded within 8 weeks after the course, provided that the participant attends the entire course and submits required reports asked by the Centre.
Interest payment is excluded.

* SMEs are companies meeting the standard European Commission criteria for an SME

Other entities:
Participants' companies/organisations must pay a (non-refundable) contribution of €1,000 towards the costs incurred by the EU-Japan Centre in relation to the company's participation.


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