Through an international lens …

For those unfamiliar, Medical Japan is held in Osaka and is Japan’s pre-eminent specialized expo covering the healthcare, innovation, regenerative medicine, clinical testing, diagnostics, medicine and health IT sectors.

One of my Medical Japan 2016 presentations was a seminar organised by the Forum for Innovative Regenerative Medicine and attended by >20 key representatives from the Japanese industry. I also spent time at the City of Melbourne–Victoria pavilion meeting expo delegates and discussing ways in which BioMedVic can facilitate development of collaborations between Japan and Victoria across all of our health, biomedical, biotech and medtech sectors. And I even had my pic taken for the promotional flyer for next year’s expo!

Prior to the expo I spent two days in meetings with the new Dean of the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine (OU-GSM), Professor Yoshiki Sawa, with members of his faculty and also with leaders of the Medical Center for Translation and Clinical Research (in the Department of Medical Innovation, Osaka University Hospital). One year on from the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, OU-GSM and BioMedVic are now building initiatives to advance common goals such as bringing Osaka-trained medicos out to participate in translational research training programs in Victoria. We are also planning to add to the growing exchange between Osaka and Melbourne of keynote symposium speakers with initial talks suggesting suitable topics could be in the cardiac, neuroscience and regenerative medicine fields.

The China portion of the mission started with a busy 3½ -day schedule in Beijing and Tianjin and included excellent updates on the Free Trade Agreement by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, Business Roundtables organized by Invest Beijing and a series of interesting and potentially productive 1 on1 business matching meetings with Tianjin-based organisations that had been strategically set up by the City of Melbourne. One take-home message was that organisations in China are extremely interested in potential collaborations with Victorian researchers and health and medical research organisations, from discovery through to research translation and its commercialization.

Further evidence of the high level of international interest in Victoria’s biomedical research capabilities came via the ‘full house’ of attendees at a short presentation I gave on 18 March at the Victorian Government’s VIP International Health Week Industry Day. Not only was there huge interest in general from the delegates from China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Korea, it was interesting to note the focus of their questions on Victoria’s research capacity and expertise in the area of clinical trials.

There has also been lots happening on home soil and I will fill you in on that, including an update on the exciting BioMedVic Researcher in Residence program, next month.

Best wishes,

Jan Tennent, CEO BioMedVic