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Invest Newcastle to showcase the region’s life sciences and digital strengths in Japan

October 7, 2019

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Invest Newcastle is attending BioJapan as part of a UK delegation led by MedCity and supported by the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA).

BioJapan will be held in Pacifico Yokohama, Japan from October 9-11th and is Asia’s premier partnering event for the global biotechnology industry.  It plays an important role in facilitating business opportunities with more than 1000 organisations from 34 countries attending this three-day event. This will be the 21st iteration of BioJapan, that will provide a platform to connect with decision makers and put Newcastle and the UK in front of global investors.

We will be representing the North alongside Leeds University and NHSA, joining more than 20 other businesses and research institutions to promote the UK’s life sciences sector.  We will be attending events that bring together the global life sciences sector, incubators and scale-ups who are looking for global opportunities.  We will also be meeting with digital and tech businesses based in Tokyo, who are also interested in Newcastle as place for business.

The North East has a long history with Japan, with our region welcoming the first major Japanese investor back in 1976 and more recently a visit to Newcastle from the Japanese Ambassador and colleagues from the Japanese Embassy. The UK is the fourth largest market for life sciences innovation from Japan and has a strong research history with 8000 researchers travelling between the UK and Japan every year.

We have been working closely with Masao Kumori MBE, who has been supporting them to develop a meetings programme with businesses who are interested in exploring the UK as a location for their business.  Masao, who is based in Japan has vast experience and knowledge of Japanese foreign direct investment trends in the UK.  He previously worked for One North East’s Japan office, bringing more than 3,500 jobs to the region and receiving an honorary MBE for his contribution to relations between the UK and Japan.

This event has come at an opportune time as Newcastle becomes a leading location for life sciences, with its global reputation for research excellence into healthy ageing and as a UK hot spot for clinical trials.  The city has also recently opened ‘The Biosphere’ a specialist lab facility on Newcastle Helix that is dedicated to the commercialisation of life sciences, providing a new state-of-the-art home for ambitious companies and life science entrepreneurs. Newcastle has also been named as ‘Smart City of the year’, further enhancing the city’s status and offer to international and global companies.

Matt Bratton, Senior Investment Manager from Invest Newcastle who will be attending this 3-day event and meeting with digital and tech companies in Tokyo said:

“We have so many sector synergies with Japan especially around the themes of ageing, tech and life sciences and there has never been a more opportune time to put our city and our expertise in front of global investors.

“We will not only be using this visit to promote the city and its expertise; we will be telling the world about our £350m development that is dedicated to the commercialisation of new products and services. Newcastle Helix is such a unique asset and a perfect location for tech and science driven businesses who want to innovate and grow. Our strengths in life sciences and our credentials as a smart city really make us an attractive place for business.  I can’t wait to promote our inclusive, smart and brilliant city.”

Cllr Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Employment and Culture, Newcastle City Council added:

 “Newcastle has been reflecting on global trends such as an ageing population and the city’s strategic relationship with Japan has enabled us to share learning with a country that is world-renowned for its work in this field. This is perfect time to build on this relationship and explore further opportunities for collaboration and investment. Newcastle is perfectly positioned to support businesses to commercialise their innovations and ideas. With the recent opening of The Biosphere we now have the right infrastructure to bring more jobs and opportunities to the local area that help people live well for longer.”

Keith Miller, the NHSA’s Head of Corporate Engagement, added: “The Northern Health Science Alliance has had a presence at BioJapan over the last few years, we’re looking forward to building on that momentum this year and delighted that Invest Newcastle is joining the delegation. Japan is a truly exciting market and one that presents many opportunities for the North’s life sciences sector.

“We are delighted to be showcasing the health science and research strengths across the region during our time in Asia to encourage collaboration and investment between Japan and the North of England.”

MedCity promotes life sciences investment, entrepreneurship and industry in England’s Greater South East. NHSA provides one access point to the health science ecosystem in the North of England creating a simple to access the resources and expertise available in eight major cities.

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