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 showcaseing and networking events to maximize 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 is organised on the fringes of “BioJapan” Expo in Yokohama (http://www.ics-expo.jp/biojapan).


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 and in establishing technological or business partnerships and therefore increasing their innovation capacity and making them more competitive on the global scale. These events also contributes 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 SMEs 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.


A 2-day orientation session and the lecture (Tokyo) 
Group company visits (Tokyo area) 
Plenary session with clusters and authorities
Participation at the trade fair within an EU delegation booth
Matchmaking sessions during the trade fair (Yokohama) 
Individual meetings

Programme schedule:

 Provisional schedule AM PM Evening
Sunday Arrival in Japan


Introductory session
EU-Japan Centre Tokyo Head Office
Lectures Get together event
Tuesday Group company visit
(Host company in biotech sector)

Group company visit
(Host company in biotech sector)

Group transfer
Wednesday Plenary session
BioJapan Expo, Yokohama
BtoB meetings  & exhibition
BioJapan Expo, Yokohama
Debrefing session
Thursday BtoB meetings  & exhibition
BioJapan Expo, Yokohama
BtoB meetings  & exhibition
BioJapan Expo, Yokohama
Friday BtoB meetings  & exhibition
BioJapan Expo, Yokohama 
Final debriefing and reporting session  
Saturday 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.

SMEs and Clusters:

For the purpose of this proceeding,

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

-          Clusters

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 any and all reports the Centre asks him/her to make. Interest payment is excluded.

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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