The jubilee 25th edition of the BioJapan conference took place this October at the Pacifico Congress Center in Yokohama, Japan. BioJapan is the world's oldest biotechnology conference (since 1986) and ranks among the leading events in Asia in terms of the number of participants. The daily number of attendees exceeded 4,000 this year.
Since 2016, the BioJapan conference in Yokohama has traditionally followed a smaller meeting in Osaka (the EU-Japan Biotech & Pharma Partnering Conference). The EU-Japan Biotech & Pharma conference is organized by the Prefecture of Osaka in collaboration with the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation and the Enterprise Europe Network. The Osaka meeting primarily focuses on presenting small biotechnology companies and startups, mainly from the EU and Japan, as well as one-to-one partnering meetings. It often features innovative and commercially promising projects from European and Japanese academic institutions.
In addition to IOCB Tech, the Czech Republic was represented by the biotechnology companies Apigenex, Santiago Lab, and TECH4LIFE hub. Besides representatives of the Japanese government and local authorities, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Japan, Mr. Martin Klučar participated in the opening ceremony of the exhibition and later visited the Czech booth.
"Czech biotechnology companies generally have a good reputation in Asia. I am pleased that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could support their participation in an event as important as BioJapan, especially because it is a very promising sector in Japan," stated Klučar.
IOCB Tech, a subsidiary of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IOCB), established new significant contacts through BioJapan for projects related to the treatment of epilepsy and neuropathological pain.
"One of the Japanese companies is even analyzing a substance from our laboratories at IOCB for the treatment of epilepsy," mentioned Martin Fusek, Director of IOCB Tech.
The participation of Czech companies in BioJapan was carried out under the auspices of the CzechTrade and CzechInvest agencies. CzechInvest has been a long-standing member of the Japan Bioindustry Association (JBA), the organizer of the event. In this context, CzechInvest also prepared its participation in the event, presenting itself as one of the key players in this field. Jakub Hájek, Director of CzechInvest and CzechTrade in Japan, emphasized the importance of cooperation between the two countries: "Japan, as one of the most developed countries in the world with a rich society, is also facing challenges associated with a rapidly aging population, which opens up broad opportunities for technological transfer. Our Tech4Life Hub, which is part of the Technological Incubation project, provides an ideal platform for advancing mutual research, trade, and investments in the field of biotechnology between the Czech Republic and Japan."