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iPark Institute Forms Strategic Business Partnership with South Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups for Bioventure Innovation

Press Release

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November 09, 2023
Dear Members of the Press,
iPark Institute Co., Ltd.

iPark Institute Forms Strategic Business Partnership with South Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups for Bioventure Innovation

iPark Institute Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan; CEO: Toshio Fujimoto; hereinafter “iPark Institute”) proudly announces the signing of a significant business agreement with the South Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups (headquartered in Sejong Special Self-Governing City; Minister: Lee Young; hereinafter “MSS”) on November 9, 2012.

Under this agreement, iPark Institute and MSS (collectively referred to as “the two institutions”) will collaborate on: (1) nurturing start-ups in advanced biotechnology in South Korea, (2) conducting joint research and development in this field, and (3) facilitating open innovation programs. These initiatives aim to drive growth in advanced biotechnology across Japan and South Korea.

This collaboration represents the seventh partnership of iPark Institute with both domestic and international science parks, furthering its vision to ‘build a globally inclusive life science ecosystem’.

The partnership entails:
1. Support for South Korean Biotech Startups:
The two institutions will jointly select South Korean startups specializing in advanced biotechnology (such as cell and gene therapies, regenerative medicine). These startups will be provided with access to Shonan iPark facilities and laboratory support from iPark Institute, along with commercialization funding from MSS.

2. South Korea-Japan Joint R&D:
iPark Institute will identify Japanese entities (universities, research institutes, and companies) with innovative technologies, while the Ministry will connect with South Korean bio ventures for joint research. MSS will also offer R&D financial support to these South Korean ventures.

3. Open Innovation Program:
A collaborative project will be managed by the two institutions, focusing on South Korean ICT and bio ventures developing solutions for Japanese bio companies in AI and new drug development. This includes company selection, financial support, and facilitation of collaboration opportunities.

From left to right: Jungwook Lim, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS); Lee Young, Minister of MSS; Toshio Fujimoto, CEO of iPark Institute.

Oh, Kee-woong, Vice Minister of the South Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups, commented, “This agreement provides South Korean biotech companies, often constrained by regulations despite their technological prowess, an opportunity to research freely and enter the global market. It’s a step towards enhancing human life and safety, and we anticipate it will strengthen South Korea-Japan relations and stimulate broader economic cooperation.”

Toshio Fujimoto, CEO of iPark Institute, stated, “Since its inception, Shonan iPark has been committed to fostering a world-class life science ecosystem. Both Japan and South Korea face unique challenges in technology creation and commercialization. This partnership, blending South Korea’s dynamic decision-making with Japan’s meticulous progress, aims to cultivate a globally distinctive ecosystem. We look forward to the advancement of start-up development, joint R&D, and life science innovations originating from Asia to the global stage.”

About the South Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS)
The Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) is a central government agency in South Korea, dedicated to enhancing the competitiveness and fostering innovation among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and venture businesses. Initially established in 1996 as the Ministry of SMEs, it was rebranded in 2017 as the Ministry of SMEs and Startups to more accurately reflect its expanded focus and objectives.

MSS is committed to developing and implementing policies that support startup growth, promote corporate development, and strengthen the competitiveness of small businesses within the national and global markets.

For a more detailed explanation, please click here.

About iPark Institute Co., Ltd.
Founded in April 2023, iPark Institute Co., Ltd. began its journey with significant backing from Sangyo Fund Investment Corporation, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, and Mitsubishi Corporation as principal shareholders. Our mission extends beyond the operational and managerial aspects of the facility. We are deeply committed to fostering innovation, facilitating technological exchange, and encouraging research collaborations. These efforts are pivotal in nurturing and invigorating the life science ecosystem. Discover more about our company here.

About Shonan Health Innovation Park (Shonan iPark)
Shonan iPark, established in April 2018, represents Japan’s pioneering science park initiative led by a pharmaceutical company. This endeavor began when Takeda Pharmaceutical Company opened its research lab to external collaborations. Now under the independent management of iPark Institute Co., Ltd., Shonan iPark is dedicated to becoming a hub where diverse industries, including government and academia, converge to propel health innovation forward. Today, the park hosts not only pharmaceutical entities but also organizations specializing in next-generation medicine, cellular agriculture, artificial intelligence, and government sectors. This vibrant ecosystem comprises approximately 160 companies and over 2,000 individuals (as of September 2023).

Official website: https://www.shonan-ipark.com/

For the latest information on tenants and member companies at Shonan iPark, click here.

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For Media Inquiries:
iPark Institute Co., Ltd.
Attn: Takizawa, Hibino
Email: iPi.Com@shonan-ipark.com