(EATRIS: Stepping stone towards European Academia)
Land of the rising sun: Japan! What would EATRIS want to do in Japan? Well, that is easy; the same as we want to do in Europe: support the development of new treatments and ease the way to the clinic. But that is not all; for Japanese companies, EATRIS has additional value. For them, we are the perfect stepping towards academia in Europe. Even for European SME’s it is not always easy to find the right expert at the right time. However, for Japanese companies the cultural differences form an additional hurdle. And in a way, that is mutual; for European academics it is not always easy to work with Japanese companies. Cultural differences can severely hamper collaboration, and that is a great loss. After all, Japan has a large market share as it comes to drug development, and especially regenerative medicine is a hot topic. And contrary to what is commonly believed, Japanese are very open towards external collaboration.
The added value of EATRIS is obvious; in addition to the matchmaking we also support the management of expectations and guide the negotiation process.
So, when EATRIS was given the opportunity to participate in a Biotechnology support mission from the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, we grabbed it with both hands. The mission involved business meetings in Osaka and participation to BioJapan in Yokohama. On the one hand, it helps us understand the Japanese business culture, which enables us to support our sites when working with Japanese companies. But more importantly, we gained visibility and exposure in Japan. And that is of course our number one priority: recognition as infrastructure that really makes a difference. In fact, al the difference!