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UC San Diego to Open Office in Life Science Cluster in Tokyo


  • Daniel Kane

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  • Daniel Kane

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Nihonbashi Life Science Building. Image by Mitsui Fudosan Co

The University of California San Diego has launched a workspace in the heart of the life sciences hub in downtown Tokyo, Japan. The goal is to promote collaborations between UC San Diego researchers (and the larger San Diego innovation and business ecosystem) and research, education and industry partners in Japan.

The UC San Diego Tokyo Office officially launches at the July 26, 2016 grand opening event and symposium. The Tokyo Office is a collaboration between the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and the UC San Diego Office of Research Affairs.

The facility is in the Nihonbashi Life Science Building in Tokyo and will serve as a home base for UC San Diego faculty whose research brings them to Japan. The Tokyo Office will also serve as a venue for hosting research symposia, networking events and UC San Diego alumni functions.

“We are very pleased the office is located at the heart of the life science hub in Tokyo, a perfect fit for UC San Diego as our two cities are seen as world leaders in life sciences and biotechnology,” said Sandra A. Brown, UC San Diego Vice Chancellor for Research.

Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd., a major real estate developer in Japan, recently established “Life Science Innovation Network Japan” (LINK-J), a new organization dedicated to facilitating interactions among industry, academia, government and public sectors. The Nihonbashi Life Science Building is the geographical center of LINK-J, and UC San Diego is an inaugural member of this organization.

“UC San Diego is eager to collaborate with Japanese partners to solve pressing challenges in the life sciences at the intersection of medicine, science and engineering. These issues, including solutions for aging societies, are important to both Japan and to the United States,” said Albert P. Pisano, dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering, which is the lead sponsor for the UC San Diego Tokyo Office. “Our membership in LINK-J and our presence in Nihonbashi are two important moves for better connecting the life science clusters in San Diego and Tokyo.”

Mitsui Fudosan led creation of LINK-J as part of its initiatives to promote innovation in the life science sector in Tokyo. Mitsui Fudosan rents office spaces in three buildings, all located in the Nihonbashi area, to companies, universities, and public organizations active in research and development in life sciences and related fields. One of the key goals is to generate synergy among tenants to accelerate the transition from academic research results to new products and services.

Peter F. Cowhey, dean of the School of Global Policy and Strategy and interim executive vice chancellor at UC San Diego (as of Aug. 1, 2016), is a special advisor on LINK-J’s Management Advisory Committee, which is comprised of industry and academia who employ their expertise and insight to support the nonprofit’s activities. The committee also provides strategic advice to the LINK-J board of directors. Additionally, leadership from the School of Global Policy and Strategy’s Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology serve as official LINK-J Supporters.

“Just as our Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology is a San Diego hub for scholars, policy makers and businesses, the Japan-based UC San Diego Tokyo Office will be a location of interaction, exchange and collaboration,” Cowhey said. “As two of the world’s largest scientific powers – the U.S. and Japan – we must pay special attention to technology innovation, and it will be compelling to see how our comparative technology clusters evolve and interact. Our two major urban regions will work better, together.”

UC San Diego has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with LINK-J. The areas of cooperation may include activities that promote entrepreneurism and accelerate innovation in the fields of bioengineering, medical devices, healthcare information technology, personalized medicine and regenerative medicine in San Diego and Japan.

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