The below list refers to the 2nd slot, October 2017 - March 2018 session.

Topic Note / details
Horizontal topics

1/ Analysis of Japan's potential for innovation cooperation in Biotech / Life Sciences. Identification of latent demand for cooperation with EU SMEs / Start-ups and Clusters

Ref # : 17-0214

Work to do:

1) By performing field interviews with Japanese actors in basic and applied research in Biotech and Life Sciences (actors in academia, National Research Centers and other relevant private R&D institutions), identify and rank actors under multiple criteria, which include (among others):

a) the level and output of scientific activity, reputation and potential for innovation cooperation and technology transfer (this level should be measured with internationally accepted and recognized standards of measuring scientific output) ;

b) the willingness to engage in collaborative projects with foreign / EU entities;

c) the actor's support from Japanese local, regional and/or national stakeholders / associations / clusters to encourage future engagement in innovation collaboration with foreign entities;

2) For each Japanese actor interviewed, document and identify a long list of research sub-areas of interest which should reflect the actor's willingness to engage in future innovation collaboration; in each sub-area, identify the actor's reasons / latent demand / interest to engage in future innovation collaboration with EU counterparts;

3) Put together a shortlist of most interesting actors as well as a corresponding shortlist of topics of interest expressed by targeted Japanese actors; analyze the drivers and inhibitors for such demand against the interest expressed by EU Bio-related SMEs and Clusters interested in fostering more international collaboration with Japan.

4) Produce an actionable report with concrete recommendations on partnership opportunities, for target readers who are managers from EU SMEs / Start-ups and related R&D actors. Include a short analysis of the Japanese government's policy supporting the international innovation collaboration in the areas of Biotech / Life Science in Japan.

Desired MINERVA candidate profile: The assignment requires a candidate with a solid understanding of industrial applications and services, as well as R&D and innovation priorities in Japan in the area of Biotechnologies and/or life sciences, together with demonstrated experience in analysis, report drafting and presentation skills. The ideal candidate will need to combine Japanese and English language skills with a good ability to communicate and present in the context of Academia, Clusters as well as SMEs in the EU and Japan

2/ Potential opportunities for EU firms in the Japanese Public Finance Initiatives and Public-Private Partnerships for infrastructure projects (airport management, water infrastructure, etc..).

Ref # : 17-0213

Goal: to identify opportunities for European SMEs in Japan, as the government is accelerating the privatization of management of public infrastructure through PFI and PPP.

Work to preform:

1) Provide an overview of recent PPP/PFI developments and trends in Japan,

2) Identify important actors in Japan driving PPP/PFI and preferably provide an assessment of their willingness to accept foreign participation in PPP/PFI

3) Development of case studies that might act as an guiding example for SME participants to successfully participate in PPP/PFI projects in Japan.

4) Provision of a concise report summarizing the findings and case studies and a body of knowledge on PPP/PFI that can be integrated into the JTPP HELPDESK website.

Desired MINERVA candidate profile: candidates should ideally have experience and knowledge related to public management and financing structures, preferably knowledgeable about public-private partnerships in Europe. To successfully identify opportunities and actors, conduct interviews and create a network, knowledge of Japanese language is important.  For the final report, good command of the English language is necessary.

3/ Analysis of Research and Innovation cooperation opportunities with Japan on Environment

Ref # : 17-0212

Work to perform:

1) Map the research, technology and innovation strengths in Japan in the field of Environment (focus on climate change and arctic research) and list specific technologies in Japan that would be an asset in order to reach the objectives of relevant Horizon 2020 calls.

2) Produce an actionable report with concrete recommendations on partnership opportunities for research managers of European consortia with an interest to involve Japanese organisations.

Desired MINERVA candidate profile: the position requires a candidate with a good understanding of technical aspects of the above mentioned areas. The ideal candidate will need to combine Japanese and English language skills with some technical background as well a good communication and presentation skills, in the context of facilitating partnerships between the EU and Japan.

4/ Analysis of the Japanese corporate demand for technology transfer opportunities from EU SMEs, academia and research organizations

Ref # : 17-0211

Goal: to support European research organizations and SMEs identify the most appealing technologies for Japanese companies interested in licensing in technologies from Europe.

Work to perform:

1) Identify, and analyze the main categories of technologies that Japanese companies are interested in terms of licensing opportunities from foreign partners. This task will require a combination of desk activity and interviews with corporate Japanese stakeholders.

2) Support the activities of the existing EU-Japan Technology Transfer Helpdesk ( in the organization of seminars, webinars, webcasts, the promotion of licensable technologies, interviews with stakeholders, etc, reporting directly to the Project Manager of the Helpdesk

3) Produce an actionable report with concrete recommendations on licensing/tech transfer opportunities for managers of European organizations (i.e. companies, academia and research organizations) with an interest to license out their technologies to Japanese corporate partners.

Desired MINERVA candidate profile: the position requires a candidate with a good understanding of technology transfer practices, and innovation processes. The ideal candidate will need to combine English language skills with some technology transfer background as well a good communication and presentation skills, in the context of facilitating partnerships between the EU and Japan. Knowledge of the Japanese language would be a strong plus only if spoken at a business level.

5/ Japan and the current regional trade options in Asia (TPP11, RCEP, JCK) – an impact analysis from the perspective of EU trade and economic interests 

Ref #: 17-0210

No further details
Industry-specific topics

1/ Industrial and R&D cooperation potential with Japan in the space and GNSS based autonomous navigation and piloting for cars, ships and aircraft in Japan – An Opportunity Analysis for EU SMEs to cooperate with Japan.

Ref #: 17-0205

No further details

2/ Dairy Sector (reform) in Japan – market Access and Business Opportunities for European Companies (SMEs in particular)

Ref #: 17-0204

No further details

3/ Laser and Photonics Industry in Japan - Technological Cooperation and Business Opportunities in Japan for European companies (SMEs in particular)

Ref #: 17-0203

No further details

4/ 3D Printing in Japan – Technological Cooperation and Business Opportunities for European companies (SMEs in particular)

Ref # : 17-0202

No further details

5/ Impact analysis of best practice of social media tools+services in Japan, as a means to better support European SMEs marketing strategies in Japan.

Ref # : 17-0201

No further details

Note 1: an "agreement" is meant to be any form of documented and signed pledge to cooperate, which involves the participation of 2 or more "stakeholders" between the EU and Japan (with at least 1 stakeholder based in Japan), for the specific purpose of coordinating, supporting and promoting cooperation in industry, R&D, innovation and/or technology transfer. Specific cooperation agreements aimed at carrying out joint R&D should be excluded from this definition. Stakeholders can be for example, Clusters, Chambers of Commerce, Municipalities, Industrial and/or Research Associations, as well as Technology Licensing Offices.

Note 2: COSME countries refer to the EU 28 Members States plus the following list (

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