FAST Japan: Kansai


In partnership with Kyoto University Medical Science and Business Liaison Organization, City of Kobe, and FBRI:

Bayer Yakuhin, Sysmex, Ikigai Accelerator (USA), and CLSI (USA) launch life science support initiative: Kansai Life Science Accelerator Program

·         US life science biopharmaceutical executives will provide advice based on real-world experience

·         Participating companies will be recruited through Wednesday, July 22, 2020


Osaka, Kobe, California (USA), July 10, 2020—Bayer Yakuhin Ltd. (Headquarters: Osaka; President: Heike Prinz; hereafter, “Bayer Yakuhin”), Sysmex Corporation (Headquarters: Kobe; Chairman & CEO: Hisashi Ietsugu; hereafter, “Sysmex”), US-based startup support company Ikigai Accelerator (Headquarters: California; CEO: Yuko Terasawa), and the California Life Sciences Institute (Headquarters: California; President & CEO: Lori Lindburg; hereafter, “CLSI”), an American NPO with deep roots among California’s leading life science companies and talent, announced today the launch of the Kansai Life Science Accelerator Program for nurturing and supporting life science startups in collaboration with the Kyoto University Medical Science and Business Liaison Organization (hereafter, “KUMBL”), the City of Kobe, and the Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation at Kobe (hereafter, “FBRI”).

“Open innovation” is a concept that has been implemented worldwide in recent years to facilitate the creation of innovative therapies. Research institutes, universities, and startup companies, along with industry partners collaborate globally, pulling together knowledge and technology to accelerate drug discovery and diagnostic and medical device development. It is against this backdrop that the importance of startup ecosystems as sources of innovation in Japan has escalated, creating an urgent need for nurturing and support of these young companies.

Bayer Yakuhin, in collaboration with Sysmex, the City of Kobe, and FBRI, is jointly pursuing open innovation at the KOBE Biomedical Innovation Cluster, a community of healthcare-related businesses, advanced specialty hospitals, and research institutions, with the aim of contributing to the formation of an ecosystem that creates new technologies and business models in the life sciences. Bayer Yakuhin is also pursuing open innovation through an agreement between Kyoto University’s Office of Society-Academia Collaboration for Innovation and Bayer AG. The Kansai Life Science Accelerator Program will begin offering a new mentoring program for life science startups, with the involvement of Ikigai Accelerator, which has the know-how to support young companies utilizing large industry networks including investors, and CLSI, which offers advisory programs for early-stage life science companies.

Under the new program, several experienced US life science business professionals (angel investors, serial entrepreneurs, and industry experts) will be selected to serve as dedicated advisors for the participating startups, and will use their real-world experience to help these companies overcome an array of commercialization challenges.  Advisory program participants will practice and gain feedback to polish their presentations for pitch events with investors and business partners following their 10-week advisory sessions.

Bayer Yakuhin, Sysmex, Ikigai Accelerator, CLSI, and other co-organizers will use the program as a vehicle for nurturing and supporting startup entrepreneurs and managers, and for helping to build up the life science ecosystems of Kobe and the Kansai region. For details, see here.


Profile of Kansai Life Science Accelerator Program 2020

Organizers:               Bayer Yakuhin, Sysmex、KUMBL, Ikigai Accelerator, CLSI, City of Kobe, FBRI

Open to:                   Approx. 5 or 6 life science startups that pass document screening

Recruitment:            Through Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Announcement:        Selected participants will be notified in early August 2020

Start:                       September 2020 (tentatively)




About Bayer

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2019, the Group employed around 104,000 people and had sales of 43.5 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.9 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.3 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com/.

About Bayer Yakuhin, Ltd.

Bayer Yakuhin, Ltd., headquartered in Osaka, is a healthcare company which combines business activities of Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Health and Animal Health (companion and farm animal products). Pharmaceuticals business is focused on the following areas: Cardiovascular & Neurology, Oncology & Hematology, Women’s Healthcare, Ophthalmology and Radiology. Bayer Yakuhin aims to be one of leading pharmaceutical companies, which responds to Japanese patients’ unmet medical needs. More information is available at www.byl.bayer.co.jp/

About Sysmex

In line with its mission of “shaping the advancement of healthcare,” which is defined in the “Sysmex Way,” the corporate philosophy of the Sysmex Group, Sysmex works to contribute to the development of healthcare and the healthy lives of people. Sysmex conducts integrated R&D, manufacturing, and sales, and provides support services for instruments, reagents and software for the in vitro testing of blood, urine and other bodily fluids. Sysmex supplies its products to medical institutions in more than 190 countries and regions throughout the world. In recent years, Sysmex has been expanding its business in the life science domain, using proprietary technologies to create new testing and diagnostic value, realize healthcare that is optimized for individual patients, and help reduce patients’ burdens and enhance their quality of life. For details, see www.sysmex.co.jp/en.

About Ikigai Accelerator

Ikigai Accelerator has a long term goal to accelerate development of Japan’s biomedical entrepreneurship ecosystem and support globalization of innovations. We support development of entrepreneurial minded workforce in Japan and connect them with Silicon Valley entrepreneurial, commercialization, and capital networks. We are building a robust bridge between Silicon Valley, one of the top life science ecosystems, and Japan to support rapid advancement of biomedical innovation from bench to bedside. Ikigai team based in the US and Japan are applying their extensive experience in building synergistic cross-border partnerships.

About California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI)

The California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI) is a non-profit that supports the foundations of innovation that have made California home to the world’s most prominent life sciences ecosystem.  To carry out its mission, CLSI has built a network of over 400 experienced industry professionals, comprised predominantly of CEO’s and other senior executives across multiple functional areas and industry segments. With this network, CLSI operates programs aimed at guiding life science product developers as they navigate the path from idea to commercialization, providing advisory support to life science academics and entrepreneurs, in California and globally.

Bayer Yakuhin Ltd.

Sysmex Corporation

Ikigai Accelerator

California Life Sciences Institute

Osaka, Kobe, California (USA), July 10, 2020

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at http://www.bayer.com/. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.