Roadshow to Japan & South-Korea for life science SMEs

04 December 2019

life science

Scinus Cell Expansion, a Dutch company who develops and distributes bioreactor technology for stem cell cultivation, took part in the Start.Smart.Global program.  The program is a unique training programme in which European life science SMEs are provided with starter kits in order to enter complex markets outside Europe. In a previous article, we introduced you to the Start.Smart.Global program. As part of this program, Scinus went on two roadshows in Japan and South-Korea of which they just got back from. They shared their experience with us!

So, why would Scinus want to enter the Japanese and South-Koreans market? Japan is one of the world’s oldest societies. Japan’s super-ageing society represents opportunities in health sciences, while the country has loosened several key policies, regulations, and laws to open the door for foreign investment. In the meantime, Japan already features in the top five largest markets in pharmaceuticals and medical devices. South-Korea is seldom considered when entering new markets. However, South-Korea is nurturing a culture of innovation and attractive regulatory environment to place itself in the top ranking of global health care hubs. Also, as Scinus Cell Expansion noticed, English is widely spoken among senior executives in South-Korea. So, both Asian markets hold significant opportunities for innovative European SMEs.

Michiel Jannink –  CEO at Scinus: “In both countries, the government was clearly focusing on life sciences particularly on cell therapy and tissue engineering, which hold significant opportunities for us. What surprised us was the openness and hospitality during the first meetings. In both countries, they had a genuine interest in the technology and activities of Scinus Cell Expansion BV. Our technology was received very positively in both Japan and South Korea.”

During the roadshows, Scinus got the opportunity to actually meet local players and understand the local innovation trends. The two medical biotech clusters (Bio-M, Munich and Medicin, Paris) had compiled a program based on the input from the participating companies. Based on this, various company visits and visits to network organisations were made where participating companies could pitch their technology and attend lectures from network organisations in Japan and South Korea. After that, there was often an opportunity to meet one on one in order to go into more detail and to explore the first possibilities for collaboration. In addition, a visit to Bio-Japan was part of the program during the Japan mission. This huge life science event is very popular for both academic institutions and life science companies.

Michiel Jannink –  CEO at Scinus: “In South-Korea we were very impressed with IFEZ (in Incheon), which holds a fantastic infrastructure for the life sciences industry, on which the government really puts a focus. Kawasaki Skyfront cluster in Yokohama is an interesting aggregation of life science activities right next to Haneda airport. Very nice diversity of activities, including major players such as Mitshubishi.”

Scinus Cell Expansions technology was received very positively in both countries and it already led to the first very concrete leads, which is a big and important accomplishment. Overall, the trade mission had definitely lived up to their expectations and will help Scinus to enter the Japanese and South-Koreans markets successfully. Did you ever consider entering the Asian market?

The Start.Smart.Global is funded by EIT Health. EIT Health is supported by EIT, a body of the European Union. We want to thank Michiel Jannink for sharing his expertise. If you have any comments or questions about the Start.Smart.Global program, or if you want to share your own story, please feel free to contact us via or +31 630076674.


life sciencelife science


Sign up

    Fill in your contact details to sign up for our newsletter.