The below list refers to the 2nd slot 2019 - (October 2019 to March 2020 session).


Ref No





Support to the EU-Japan EPA helpdesk with the research and creation of information material for EU SMEs.

Work to do: the research will cover in priority:

-Rules of Origin (factsheet, guidelines, webinar)

-Medical devices and pharmaceuticals (factsheet, guidelines, webinar)



Analysis of market opportunities for EU SMEs in the Japanese Organic Food sector

No further details provided.



Analysis of industrial cooperation opportunities in the Japanese security and defence sector.

No further details provided.



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

Work to preform:

1) Identify, and analyze the main categories of technologies that EU companies are interested in terms of licensing opportunities from potential partners from Japan. This task will require primarily a combination of desk activity, interviews in Japan, and phone interviews and written surveys with corporate European 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 (for EU and Japanese stakeholders) on licensing/tech transfer opportunities for managers of Japanese organizations (i.e. companies, academia and research organizations) with an interest to license out their technologies to EU 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 strong 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.



research and list-up access to funding and financing support for EU SMEs’ internationalization to Japan

Context: The output of this fellowship will offer EU SMEs 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.


The work to do will include:


1) Identify financing options and policies available to EU SMEs under various EU and Member States and regional policy instruments for funding in the context of market/ R&D access and growth in Japan.


2) Research available options in Japan for loans and/or equity financing, and identify the general practice and access routes to such funds. Identify investors in Japan who have provided / are providing 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 the availability of alternative funding sources for innovative ideas (crowdfunding, open innovation platforms, business angels, etc.), and interview and document cases of foreign enterprises and SMEs having used such funding instruments in Japan.


4) Identify and document relevant financing schemes available through central and regional Japanese governments’ Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy instruments. Document the general terms and conditions of access to financing and interview and document cases of foreign enterprises and SMEs having past experience of access to such funding in Japan.


Desired MINERVA candidate profile: suitable candidates for this assignment will need to possess a good understanding of corporate finance, venture capital and equity funding, combined with research skills in English and Japanese. The ideal candidate will have some work experience outside the EU in the area of providing access to funding and financing in the support of foreign firms’ market entry, growth or collaborative R&D projects, ideally in Japan.



Analysis and profiling of certification-related specialized consultants and notified bodies based in Japan.

Context: in light of the recently signed EU-Japan EPA, notified bodies play an increasingly important role in helping firms and SMEs with various certification procedures, which are important steps when introducing technologies on both the Japanese and EU markets.


Work to do: the purpose of the research will be to analyze and precisely describe the areas of competence of various notified bodies in Japan which operate in delivering technical certification and approvals for imported products and technologies, in order to better support EU SMEs with their inquiries related to market entry in Japan (and vice versa, on inquiries from Japanese SMEs related to market entry in the EU). Since this topic is connected to the inquiries received in the Enterprise Europe Network Japan (EEN Japan, see the selected candidate will work closely with the EEN Japan team based in Tokyo.



Analysis of EU-Japan business partnerships / alliances for operating in third countries

Context: business cooperation between EU and Japanese companies does not necessarily aim at accessing each other’s market, but can also take the form of alliances to better compete in other markets in third countries. 


Work to do: taking stock of a preliminary analysis, the goal of this assignment is to expand the understanding: a)  in which industrial sectors such alliances exist and what type of companies are involved; b)       to identify the drivers and the opportunities for such alliances; c)to better understand what conditions are required for such alliances to become successful, and assess what roles and services an organization like the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation could offer to facilitate such alliances.


The research will be carried out through deskwork and interviews to internal projects and external organizations. The deliverable output is expected to be a comprehensive report in English language which lists case studies of such alliances, based on previous research (the length of the report will depend on the quality of the initial research).



Analysis of benefits for SMEs in EU-Japan intra- and inter-regional cooperation projects

Context: regions are at the forefront in supporting internationalization and growth of SMEs in the EU, for example through various regional and inter-regional initiatives (such as ERRIN, SERN, ENDR, ECRN and so on).

Work to do: since the EU-Japan Centre is exploring ways to support EU-Japan regional cooperation to further industrial cooperation for SMEs, the output of this research shall a) identify best practices in region-to-region cooperation; b) highlight underlying drivers and challenges; c) benchmark measurable results and success stories for specific regions; d) and propose synergies with existing Centre projects which could help drive regional cooperation. The research will also address how organizations offering services to SMEs (such as the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation) can adjust their services to better serve EU SMEs through regional cooperation.


Note 1: COSME countries refer to the EU 28 Members States plus the following list



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