Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI Strengthens Cooperation with Japanese Research and Industry Partners

19.11.2018

On October 11, 2018, representatives from Fraunhofer IZI and the Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine came together in Yokohama, Japan, on the occasion of the BioJapan 2018 conference, where they signed a memorandum of understanding.

Signatories of the memorandum of understanding to strengthen the cooperation between both partners from left to right: Kyosuke Mano, Prof. Dr. Yoshiki Sawa, Prof. Dr. Frank Emmrich and Dr. Thomas Tradler.
© Roy Richter

Signatories of the memorandum of understanding to strengthen the cooperation between both partners from left to right: Kyosuke Mano, Prof. Dr. Yoshiki Sawa, Prof. Dr. Frank Emmrich and Dr. Thomas Tradler.

With around 6,000 members from research, business and politics, the Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine is one of the largest groups worldwide in the field of regenerative medicine. This relatively young area of biomedicine seeks to cure all kinds of diseases and heal injuries by restoring, regenerating, or replacing damaged tissue and organs in a way that draws on the body’s natural processes. A huge amount of progress has been made over the past few years thanks to intensive research activities all around the world, for example in stem cell research, biomaterials and tissue engineering. The work of Japanese research institutions and scientists is instrumental here. In 2012, researcher Shinya Yamanaka from Kyoto University, for instance, was awarded the Nobel Prize for the development of iPS (induced Pluripotent Stem Cell) technology. This technology has since been advanced for all kinds of applications by numerous international research institutes, including the Leipzig-based Fraunhofer institute.

Japan is one of the most important countries when it comes to driving innovation in the field of regenerative medicine. An excellent research landscape teamed with a strong industrial base in the pharma sector make Japanese research institutes and companies stand out as interesting partners for Fraunhofer IZI. Forming part of Europe’s largest organization for applied research, the Leipzig-based Fraunhofer institute, on the other hand, is able to contribute its comprehensive expertise in European authorization procedures for innovative therapeutic methods and can also draw on international networks as part of the cooperation.

By signing the memorandum of understanding, both outfits are underscoring their desire to foster and develop not only their joint research activities but also a regular exchange of information on technological, regulatory and economic developments in both countries. The document was signed by Professor Yoshiki Sawa, President of the Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine, Professor Frank Emmrich, Institute Director of Fraunhofer IZI, Kyosuke Mano, Secretary General of the Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine, and Dr. Thomas Tradler, MBA, Head of Business Development at Fraunhofer IZI, in the presence of a delegation from the City of Leipzig (Office for Economic Development) and the German-Japanese Society.