28 Nov 2007   |   News

US/Japan life sciences venture model comes to the UK

Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd which runs the Babraham life sciences incubator in Cambridge, UK, signed an agreement with the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) in London, to promote bioscience-based business, trade and direct investment between Japan and the UK. This, the first such agreement reached by JETRO in Europe, is based on a successful model that has operated in the US for the last 7 years.

JETRO will nominate Japanese individuals or start-ups companies that want to set up in the Babraham Bioincubator, and if they are accepted, will provide the finance to lease facilities and provide consultation for up to one year, with the possibility of a further one-year extension.

The agreement will also look to provide routes to fund new bioventures from venture capitalists or other sources in the UK or Japan, and will promote co-development partnerships.

This model has supported the formation of 66 Japanese technology ventures in the US, 12 of which are life sciences companies. It also represents Babraham’s first step in internationalising its successful bioincubation process.

David Hardman, CEO of Babraham Bioscience said, “To date this type of inward investment has resulted from bioventures relocating from other parts of the UK to the Babraham Research Campus. This agreement should increase the diversity of the technology platforms being developed on the campus and we look forward to the arrival of the first Japanese venture.”

Atsushi Inoue, Director General of JETRO London said, “Doing business and R&D internationally is the key to success for the Japanese bioindustry. With this aim in mind, JETRO has been promoting and encouraging collaboration between Cambridge, the best biocluster in Europe, and the Japanese bioindustry.”

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