Letter from the Chairman
Jack W. Moorman
Our non-profit organization, US-Japan Medtech Frontiers, was formed in early 2013. The impetus was the strong desire by Japanese companies to grow their medical device businesses with innovative products. At the time, these innovative products were difficult to commercialize due to the lack of a robust ecosystem in Japan. However, during this period, there was in the US, particularly in Silicon Valley, a robust ecosystem with a large number of medical device start-ups seeking capital and distribution partners.
Our idea at USJMF was to help Japanese companies and US start-ups connect with each other and for USJMF to facilitate the initial introductions. This was not a new idea but we wanted to reach every Japanese company and all the US start-ups who had an interest. Our primary vehicles to reach such a large number of Japanese companies are our annual all-day forum and our half-day senior management symposium, both held in Japan.
The results to date have exceeded our expectations. The all-day forum was first held in Sendai in 2014. Since then it has been in Osaka, Hiroshima, Okinawa, and Shizuoka. It will be in Kobe on November 8, 2019, and Kyoto in 2020. The forum is open to everyone with session topics such as future trends, disruptive innovations, overcoming barriers, market entry strategies and concrete examples of successful collaborations. The senior management symposium is an invitation-only event held in Tokyo at the Life Science Innovation Network Japan, Inc. (LINK-J) in cooperation with the US Embassy in Tokyo. It looks at the topics from a senior management standpoint with an emphasis on strategy.
USJMF has also contributed to the creation of a medical device innovation ecosystem in Japan. Our members offer advice to Japanese start-ups and act as judges in pitch contests. One way we support the Japan Biodesign Program is by placing the Fellows in US companies for their externships each year.
We hope that you will join us as together we promote medical device and healthcare innovation.