Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich, Room 313
Japan counts as the third largest market for medical devices after the US and the EU, and displays an exceptionally high number of certain technologies per capita (e.g. CT and MRI). Surprisingly, most appliances are imported to Japan nowadays pointing to a drop in innovation activities since the 1990s. A change can be observed rather recently under PM Abe by integrating the field of medical devices into the scheme of the Japan Revitalisation Strategy (Abenomics), which aims at “renkei” ni yoru “jitsuyōka” (market cultivation through partnerships) between medical centres, academia and manufacturing companies (METI 2016). Against this backdrop, this paper sheds light on which factors lead to this situation by focusing particularly on disciplinary boundaries. What is more, the presentation highlights current efforts on medtech partnerships, cluster policies and matching-hubs to cross these boundaries and to encourage innovation activities in the field of medical devices in Japan. The paper mainly draws on insights from research literature and preliminary findings from two case studies. Based on these findings it can be said that regional authorities and municipalities promote R&D activities by offering subsidies to small and medium-size enterprises (SME) and organising matching-hubs for ikō renkei (medtech partnership) such as in Tokyo, Kobe, Kyushu, Fukushima and Shizuoka but with varying degrees of success.
Contact Person: Dr. Marina Chugunova