LINK-J Launches Full-Scale Joint Promotion Project for Life Science Exchange and Collaboration in the Kansai Region
Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. Opens "Life Science Hub West" in Osaka
Ramping up collaborations in Doshomachi, Osaka and Nihonbashi, Tokyo to create the innovation

September 7, 2020
Life Science Innovation Network Japan
Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd.

Life Science Innovation Network Japan (Head office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; chairperson: Hideyuki Okano; hereafter LINK-J) and Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; representative director and president: Masanobu Komoda; hereafter Mitsui Fudosan) have promoted open innovation out of Nihonbashi, Tokyo by building communities, creating venues, and providing funds for the life sciences. LINK-J, which plays a key role in creating communities and fostering interaction and cooperation , as well as training and support, in the field of the life sciences, announced to begin it’s activities in the Kansai region by partnering with a range of organizations under the name "LINK-J WEST." For its part, Mitsui Fudosan will be responsible for creating venues, and has opened Life Science Hub West in Osaka as a new location for the life sciences.

■Press release contents

  1. Leveraging its experience in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, LINK-J launches LINK-J WEST as a new community fostering interaction and cooperation as well as training and support for the Kansai region's life sciences sector.
  2. Mitsui Fudosan has opened new Life Science Hub West in Osaka as a base of operations in Western Japan
  3. Create innovation actively by building community and venues.

LINK-J WEST will hold events and programs in Osaka, and plans to host events in both Doshomachi, Osaka and Nihonbashi, Tokyo as a collaborative project. This aimed at sharing the latest life sciences information in real time throughout the Kansai region and fostering communication between Osaka and Tokyo. Based on the expertise cultivated by Mitsui Fudosan, Life Science Hub West implements a variety of strategies to encourage people to congregate in both offline and online. In addition to this serving as a hub for LINK-J WEST's activities, it also serves as a place to connect Osaka and Tokyo.

Through LINK-J and Mitsui Fudosan's co-creation of new communities and venues, a range of startups gain a wider platform to show their work in Tokyo. By starting new activity based on the Kansai region and linking Kansai and Tokyo, they are fostering new innovation in the life sciences.

1.Leveraging its experience in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, LINK-J launches LINK-J WEST as a new community fostering interaction and cooperation, as well as training and support for the Kansai region's life sciences sector.

■LINK-J: 441 members and 518 events a year in Nihonbashi, Tokyo

LINK-J is a general incorporated association founded by Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. and volunteers from the fields of industry and academia. LINK-J is based in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, which is the epicenter of the pharmaceutical companies. The organization has led open innovation in the life sciences with industry-government-academia partnerships and has supported the creation of new opportunities in the field. LINK-J's main activities are promoting interaction and cooperation between players in the life sciences, as well as training and support.
Today, four and a half years since its establishment, it succeeded recruiting 441 members which include corporations and individuals. In addition, LINK-J held 518 events and meet-and-greet sessions in 2019, with noted experts and startups in the life sciences taking the stage to discuss their work.

■LINK-J WEST's activities are promoting innovation out of Kansai and communication between Osaka and Tokyo

LINK-J WEST draws on the group's experience in Tokyo to not only regularly organize events at Life Science Hub West, but also host bi-directional events between Tokyo and Osaka, such as new initiatives around academic seeds in the Kansai region and at pharmaceutical manufacturers. This allows for sharing the latest information on the life sciences in real-time with Tokyo and promoting synergistic communication.
Of the new initiatives, Hideyuki Okano (Dean, Keio University Graduate School of Medicine Professor, Department of Physiology), Chairman of the Board, said: “The life sciences is interdisciplinary area of multiple scientific fields, so active collaboration with external experts is essential to solving key issues. Through the opening of this new hub and start of new activities, LINK-J will spread out it’s activities to Japan as a whole, and foster widespread innovation in the life sciences.”
In addition, Yoshiki Sawa (Professor, Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine), Vice Chairman of the Board, said: "Innovation in the life sciences is becoming increasingly important in the wake of the coronavirus. In conjunction with LINK-J WEST's activities, we want to further accelerate innovation out of the Kansai region and contribute to the development of the life sciences industries."

Live stream

LINK-J WEST pre-event achievements
Main event partnerships
Kinki Bio-industry Development Organization, Osaka Prefecture, Kansai Pharmaceutical Industries
Association, Senri Life Science

Event achievement (example)
September 2019: live event streamed between Osaka and Tokyo
120 applicants in Osaka and 200 in Tokyo

■Launching a Partnership with Osaka Prefecture: LINK-J's Growing Life Science Network

LINK-J collaborates with a range of life sciences organizations, companies, academia, and local governments in Japan and oversea. In cooperation with academia in Japan, LINK-J has conducted events such as disseminating the seeds held by academia and searching for private sector collaborations. In conjunction with the launch of LINK-J WEST, LINK-J concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Osaka Prefecture regarding the creation of innovation in the life sciences. In addition to projects in Osaka Prefecture, LINK-J, which has concluded MOU with Kyoto Research Park, the Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation at Kobe, and other academia and industry groups in the life sciences in Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, and parts of the Kansai region, will spearhead growth in the sector by vitalizing the life sciences with them.
Overseas, LINK-J cooperates with similar bodies in the United States and Europe, such as BIOCOM, a life science organization in San Diego; UC San Diego; UCLA; and other academic groups.

Click illustration to enlarge

2.Mitsui Fudosan opens Life Science Hub West in Osaka as a base of operations in Western

■ “Life Science Hub West” functions: strategies to congregate people

Mitsui Fudosan has long been committed to vitalizing the Kansai region through its local offices, such as resolving social issues in partnership with Osaka Prefecture (comprehensive partnership agreement), leading industry-government-academia collaboration with Osaka University out of EXPOCITY (partnership agreement), and projects to revamp the Midosuji area with the city of Osaka.
LINK-J's life science innovation promotion project, which has been underway for some years in Nihonbashi, Tokyo as a means of fostering creativity in industry, will now be opened up to the Kansai region as a means of vitalizing the local area. Life Science Hub West, established as part of the group's mission of creating new venues, is located within the Midosuji Mitsui Building, which is within walking distance of Doshomachi and a minute's walk from Honmachi Station on the Osaka Metro Midosuji Line. The conference rooms (meeting rooms available for reservation) serve as a place to disseminate information, and a communication lounge provides a place where people from the life sciences industries can get together on a regular basis. Moreover, serviced office space is available for Kansai region companies, and companies out of Tokyo looking for a satellite office. This is coupled with Mitsui Fudosan's expertise in designing attractive and inviting spaces.
Life Science Hub West serves as a site that combines a physical space for face-to-face interaction with remote communication over the web, and acts as the base of LINK-J WEST's activities.

3. Create innovation actively by building community and venues

■Building community and venues: driving innovation through a two-pronged approach

Through the creation of opportunities and venues by LINK-J and Mitsui Fudosan, they give a wide range of startups platform such as business expansion by fundraising and transactions with major companies. Currently, there are nine life sciences sites in Tokyo, with 126 tenants that include startups and universities in the life sciences field, forming an ecosystem that is promoting industry-government-academia exchanges and creating innovation.
Through LINK-J WEST, which continues to provide opportunities for exchanging in the Kansai region, and Life Science Hub West, the group's hub in the region, LINK-J aims to ramp up growth of the life sciences in Western Japan.

Life Sciences Hub West Details

  • Conference rooms
    • Allows for live communication between Tokyo and Osaka and acts as a hub for disseminating information
    • LINK-J members can use both the Tokyo and Osaka locations

  • Communication Lounge
    • Serves as a place for life sciences industry stakeholders to interact
    • Can be used for short meetings or breaks
    • Can also be used as an open event space. As with conference rooms, allows for live communication between Tokyo and Osaka

  • Service offices
    • Fully equipped with office furniture, equipment, Wi-Fi, and other facilities, allowing it to function as a satellite office for Kansai area startups and companies from Tokyo
    • Providing offices tailored to the needs of startups, letting them select from different office sizes (1-7 people)

Address 4-1-3 Bingomachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka Prefecture 4th Floor, Midosuji Mitsui Building
Total floor area: 994.02 square meters (300.69 tsubo)
*Total serviced office area: 343.37 square meters (103.87 tsubo)
Usable starting September 7, 2020
Directions One minute on foot from Exit 2 of Honmachi Station on the Osaka Metro Midosuji and Chuo Lines

Facilities Exterior and Interior

■LINK-J overview (as of September 2020)

Corporate name Life Science Innovation Network Japan (LINK-J)
Date established March 2016
Officers Chairman of the Board: Hideyuki Okano M.D., Ph.D. (Dean, Keio University Graduate School of Medicine Professor, Department of Physiology)
Vice Chairman of the Board: Yoshiki Sawa M.D., Ph.D. (Professor, Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine)
Director: Takashi Ueda (Executive Managing Officer, Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd.)
Director: Akihiko Soyama (President and Chief Executive Officer, Life Science Innovation Network Japan)
Auditor: Yutaro Kikuchi (Attorney at law, Kikuchi Sogo Law Office)
Auditor: Shigeru Sugimoto (Managing partner, Sakura Horwath & Co.)

Chairman of the Board Hideyuki Okano's profile

Graduate of the Keio University School of Medicine. In 1989, studied at the Department of Biochemistry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine under Dr. Craig Montell. Appointed professor of molecular neurobiology at the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, the University of Tsukuba in 1994, professor of neuroanatomy at the Osaka University School of Medicine in 1997, and professor at the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine at Osaka University in 1999 following the university's increased focus on graduate-level research. In 2001, assumed the post of professor at the Department of Physiology, Keio University School of Medicine, and in October 2017, assumed the post of committee chair at the Keio University Graduate School of Medicine. Specializes in molecular neurobiology, developmental biology, and regenerative medicine.

Vice Chairman of the Board Yoshiki Sawa's profile

After graduating from the Osaka University School of Medicine, joined the First Department of Surgery. In 1989, studied at the Max Planck Institute (Germany) under a scholarship from the Humboldt Foundation. Upon returning to Japan, assumed a post as a lecturer and assistant professor at the Osaka University School of Medicine, before taking his position as chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery. Served as deputy director of the Cabinet Secretariat's Healthcare Innovation Promotion Office. Has a deep knowledge of regenerative medicine and industry-university collaboration, and also serves as the board chair of the Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine, Japan Biodesign Association, and The Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery. Specializes in severe heart failure, valvular disease, and congenital heart disease.

■Life Science Hub West Facilities Overview

Conference rooms (for reservation)

Room name Open hours Area Maximum capacity
(School format)
Conference Room A Weekdays
9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Weekends and holidays
9:00 AM to 6:30 PM
52.53 tsubo (173.66 square meters) 105 people
Conference Room B 20.88 tsubo (69.03 square meters) 54 people
Conference Rooms A + B 72.91 tsubo (241.04) 153 people
Conference Room 401 8.29 tsubo (27.41 square meters) 16 people
Conference Room 402 3.33 tsubo (10.91 square meters) 6 people

Communication Lounge

Room name Open hours Area
Lounge 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM on weekdays
9:00 AM to 6:30 PM on weekends and holidays
54.45 tsubo (180.01 square meters)

 Service offices

Service office Number of rooms (seats)
Open desk - (12 seats)
Single-use personal booth 6 (6 seats)
Dual-use personal booth 6 (12 seats)
Triple use personal booth 2 (6 (6 seats)
4 person use personal booth 5 (20 seats)
7 person use personal booth 1 (7 seats)

■Mitsui Fudosan Life Science Innovation Promotion Project

Mitsui Fudosan regards the creation of new industries for a broader business area as an important strategy. By sharing knowledge, technology, and assets with key players such as startups, universities, seeds, hospitals, and major pharmaceutical companies, Mitsui Fudosan is pursuing research and development that goes beyond industry boundaries and is creating an ecosystem of communities, creating venues, and providing capital to that end, and in turn driving innovation in the life sciences.

  • Building a communities
    LINK-J aims to promote open innovation and build a ecosystems in the life sciences. To facilitate this, LINK-J hosts projects for “interaction and cooperation” as well as “training and support”. As of September 2020, LINK-J has 441 members, and conducted 518 interaction and cooperation in 2019.
  • Developing sites
    Mitsui Fudosan is helping create the physical facilities and infrastructure to build ecosystems that will promote the creation of new industries through innovation. In addition to offering rental laboratories and offices, the Company has opened nine life science buildings thus far, primarily in the Nihonbashi area, and these include life science players and startups as tenants. Life Science Hub West will be the tenth location. Since the establishment of these locations, the number of tenants in Nihonbashi, Tokyo has climbed to 126.
  • Providing Capital
    Mitsui Fudosan makes limited partner investments to further accelerate the creation of new industries by enabling the commercialization of a greater number of sophisticated technological seeds at universities and research institutions and supporting life science venture companies.

■Mitsui Fudosan's life science hubs in Nihonbashi, Tokyo

  1. Nihonbashi Life Science Building
  2. Nihonbashi Life Science Building 2
  3. Nihonbashi Life Science Hub
  4. Tosho Building
  5. MFPR Nihonbashi Honcho Building
  6. LAUNCH Nihonbashi Ningyo-cho
  7. Fukushima Building
  8. Ueno Building
  9. Nihonbashi Honcho 3-chome Building

■Mitsui Fudosan Kansai branch office’s initiatives for regional revitalization

Comprehensive Partnership Agreement with Osaka Prefecture

On August 19, 2019, Mitsui Fudosan and Osaka Prefecture, concluded a comprehensive agreement to collaborate on six key social areas of importance to Osaka Prefecture: health and sports, children and welfare, employment promotion, regional revitalization, promotion of local government, and safety and security. Through this collaboration, Mitsui Fudosan is working with Osaka Prefecture at Mitsui Fudosan's facilities to promote initiatives aimed at solving social issues and realizing a unique and attractive local community. This joint collaboration is aimed at community building, which in turn will lead to the creation of a sustainable society and the achievement of the SDGs.

Agreement ceremony with Osaka Prefecture

Partnership Agreement with Osaka University

Mitsui Fudosan and Osaka University have concluded a partnership agreement geared at launching various educational, research, and co-creation activities led by Osaka University researchers at the EXPOCITY complex operated by Mitsui Fudosan, allowing visitors to experience the joy of learning. Through this project, the agreement seeks to contribute to the local region. Through the agreement, EXPOCITY is being designed as a space for learning, fostering talented practitioners, promoting innovative research, and hosting a "science cafe." By collaborating with EXPOCITY guests and securing their participation, the goal is to create new value together with society. These and other initiatives will contribute to the vitalization of local communities, primarily in Osaka's Hokusetsu region.

Agreement ceremony with Osaka University

Midosuji Tengoku Project

In the run-up to the Osaka/Kansai World Expo 2025 and the 100th anniversary of Midosuji in 2037, the Midosuji area, which is the backbone of Osaka, must refashion itself as a "name-brand" street and destination that people want to visit and live at. Mitsui Fudosan, the Norinchukin Bank, and the Midosuji Community Building Network, united in their goal to vitalize the Midosuji area,have partnered with the city of Osaka to launch the Midosuji Tengoku Project, ongoing since April 2019. This project brings seasonal events and offers opportunities to engage with the food and culture of the Kansai region, promoting consumption of local products and bringing more visitors to the region. Going forward, these players will continue sharing their insights to engage stakeholders in industry, government, and academia and highlight the Midosuji area as a growing tourist destination thriving with visitors.

Announcing the project

■Mitsui Fudosan Group’s Contributions to the SDGs
The Mitsui Fudosan Group aims for a society that enriches both people and the planet under the principles of coexist in harmony with society, link diverse values and achieve a sustainable society, and advances business with an awareness of the environment (E), society (S) and governance (G), thus promoting ESG management. By further accelerating its ESG management, the Group will realize Society 5.0, which the Japanese government has been advocating, and contribute significantly to achieving the SDGs.

* The initiatives covered in this press release are contributing to four of the UN's SDGs.

Goal 3 Good health and well-being
Goal 8 Decent work and economic growth
Goal 9 Industry, innovation, and infrastructure
Goal 17 Partnerships for the goals