Following the sudden withdrawal of two Minerva selected applicants, the EU-Japan Centre has exceptionally decided to outsource the two following topics; (the research will be conducted individually by successful applicants and NOT within the premises of the EU-Japan Centre’s Head Office in Tokyo. The success ful applicants will be requested to issue an invoice to the EU-Japan Centre for payment):


European SMEs’ internationalization to Japan – A Guide on access to funding and financing support

The Report will offer a concrete, easy-to-use and actionable guide to various funding and financing support schemes in relation to market access, growth, investment or joint R&D collaboration in and with Japan.

Main tasks to perform:

1) Identify financing options and policies available to EU SMEs under various EU and Member States policy instruments for funding in the context of market/ R&D access and growth in Japan. 2) Research available options in Japan for equity financing, and identify the general practice and access routes to such funds. Identify investors in Japan who have provided equity financing to foreign enterprises and SMEs. Document key success factors for fund raising, as well as general terms and conditions.

3) Research and document availability of alternative funding sources for innovative ideas (crowdfunding, open innovation platforms, business angels, etc.), and document cases of foreign enterprises and SMEs, which already used such funding instruments in Japan.

4) Identify and document relevant financing schemes available through central and regional Japanese governments’ FDI policy instruments.


Nutraceuticals and food supplements sector in Japan – Opportunities for European producers?

In line with this report, Nutraceuticals should be defined as any food (or a part thereof) which provides health benefits, including prevention or treatment of diseases. The definition should also cover functional ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, probiotics and others.

Globally, nutraceuticals are gaining prominence and becoming a part of the average consumer’s daily diet. With the subsequent increase in life expectancy and in lifestyle diseases, nutraceuticals have emerged as a necessity for consumers, and thus, the sector has a solid growth perspective, especially in developed markets like Japan, the EU and the US.

Faced with a large elderly population and known for a strong domestic phytotherapy tradition and expertise in bio products, Japan was the first country to recognize and regulate functional food. It is now called Food for Specific Health Use (FOSHU) and was founded in the early 1980s. Furthermore, Japan is currently seen/ranked as the most advanced market with a flexible regulatory environment, which is worth around 12 billion dollars for nutraceuticals and food supplements combined. At the same time, the EU encompasses some of the biggest names in the global nutraceutical industry, both in terms of product manufacturers and ingredient manufacturers and is a champion on innovation and new product development, vital to the global nutraceutical industry.

Therefore, the main aim of the study should be a comprehensive presentation of the Japanese nutraceuticals’ market and its business opportunities for European producers (including SMEs), with facilitation of joint collaboration in R&D and innovation between the EU and Japan for a new product development.

The Japanese market insight should cover a variety of factors including market size, market segments (functional food, minerals, vitamins, prebiotics, herbs etc) expected growth rates, regulatory aspects, approval processes and mechanisms, market drivers and restraints, as well as other trends and developments in the market. The presentation should also include the definition and applications of various nutraceutical segments and data per application (ex: cancer, cardiovascular diseases, cholesterol, immunodisorders etc). In order to have a comparative point of view, the market in the EU should also be briefly presented.

The research methodology should be based on a combination of (consist of) a secondary desk research, primary interviews and surveys with participants from Europe and Japan in their key areas of research. The interviews/surveys can be conducted via Skype, video conferences or phone interviews.

The successful applicants should be able to prove sufficient knowledge of the EU and Japanese Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Nutraceuticals sectors, and, ideally, practical and/or research knowledge on the Pharmaceutical/Nutraceuticals sector and/or their applications in the healthcare (cardiovascular diseases, immune disorders etc).  Prior business and/or research experience with Japan (including the Japanese language), Japanese Healthcare, Pharmaceutical/Nutraceuticals sectors and Japanese related R&D entities, would constitute as an advantage.




Budget/Topic: maximum 10,000 EUR+VAT (an invoice from the selected researcher/s will be requested by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation for the due amount)

Application Documents: CV (with supporting documents on qualifications), Motivation Letter, Detailed Research Plan (for a report of 70-100p.) including a project timeline and expected fee (maximum 10,000 EUR+VAT).

Selection criteria:

Quality of the Research Plan: 40%

Relevant Qualifications and prior experience on the field: 40%

Budget (the most economical offer preferred): 20%

Deadline for applications: passed

Deadline for informing successful applicants: passed

Contract signature and start of projects: passed

Project timeline: 23 November 2015 - 23 March 2016 (4 months)


Completed proposals should be sent by 6 November 2015 to

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