Babraham and JETRO cooperate to bring Japanese bioventures to the Cambridge region


Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd has signed a Cooperation Agreement with the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) London Centre to promote bioscience-based business, trade and direct investment between Japan and the United Kingdom.

Under the terms of this Agreement, JETRO will select Japanese individuals or companies that express their intention to enter into the Babraham Bioincubator. If these start-up or early-stage ventures are accepted, JETRO will provide the finances to lease facilities and provide consultation for the new companies for up to one year, with the possibility of a further one-year extension. During this time BBT will aid the establishment and growth of the new companies to create viable new businesses in the region.


The agreement will also look to provide routes to funding for new bioventures from VCs or other resources in the UK or Japan and will promote co-development partnerships.


This is the first such agreement reached by JETRO in Europe and is based on a successful model that has operated in the USA for the last 7 years; this model has supported the establishment of 66 Japanese technology ventures in the USA, 12 of which are bioventures. It also represents BBT’s first step in internationalising its successful bioincubation for start-up and early-stage biomedical ventures based on the Babraham Research Campus.


David Hardman, CEO of BBT said, “This agreement comes at a time when BBT is looking to promote knowledge transfer into the Greater Cambridge Region to further enhance development of the region’s technology capital. To date this type of inward investment has resulted from bioventures relocating from other parts of the UK to the Babraham Research Campus. This Agreement should increase the diversity of the technology platforms being developed on the Campus and we look forward to the arrival of the first Japanese venture to add to the 30 ventures currently in residence.”


Atsushi Inoue, Director General of JETRO London said, “Doing business and R&D internationally is the key to success for the Japanese bioindustry. With this aim in mind, JETRO has been promoting and encouraging collaboration between Cambridge, the best biocluster in Europe, and the Japanese bioindustry. This Agreement to assist Japanese bioventures expand to Cambridge is a unique opportunity for their future innovation. We anticipate that one after another Japanese bioventures will come to stay in the Babraham Bioincubator and play active roles in the Cambridge biocluster network.  We also expect that these Japanese bioventures will bring their precious experiences in Cambridge back to Japan and will greatly contribute to the further development of the Japanese bioindustry.”    



Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd is the wholly-owned subsidiary and trading arm of the Babraham Institute. Coalescing scientific, technological and commercial excellence, BBT delivers the Knowledge Transfer remit of the Institute through the wider landscape of the Babraham Research Campus, catalysing opportunities for enterprise across the academic and commercial divide. BBT brings together all the elements to support innovation and enable the successful exploitation of research in the biomedical sector based on technologies emanating from the Babraham Institute and bioventures relocating to the Babraham Research Campus.


The Babraham Research Campus is the UK’s leading knowledge-driven Biomedical Park where world-class research, business know-how and entrepreneurial excellence come together to stimulate effective knowledge transfer and bridge the academic and commercial divide. The campus provides a unique and highly successful environment that actively fosters innovation and plays a pivotal role for biomedical start-up companies in the Cambridge region and with delivering innovation at the frontiers of biomedical research.


BBT has taken a prominent role regionally, initiating and leading partnerships to promote knowledge and skills flow and has established a reputation for successfully translating innovative science into viable business opportunities through partnerships for wealth creation. This is stimulating inward investment to the campus and contributing to regional development. Building on the success of the incubator model, BBT established a new venture, Aitua Ltd, formerly 'Babraham BioConcepts Ltd'. Aitua works closely with innovators to create and nurture emerging companies from world-class science and technology deriving mainly from the Babraham Institute or locating to the Babraham Research Campus. It will provide seed and early round funding, inject specific expertise and provide access to facilities to companies. BBT’s activities support wider investment in the life sciences to generate and sustain growth of the region’s healthcare economy. Website:


The Babraham Institute is an independent charitable organisation, sponsored by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, carrying out world-leading innovative research and advanced training with relevance to the biomedical, biotechnological, pharmaceutical and healthcare research and user communities. The Institute’s research focuses on the mechanisms of cell signalling and gene regulation, which underlie normal cellular processes and functions, and on how their failure or abnormality may lead to disease. As such, Institute scientists are striving to find cures for conditions where there is currently no treatment or where the existing treatment is not fully effective or causes serious side effects. The latest technologies are being used to study the basis of conditions such as neurodegenerative disorders, foetal abnormality, cancer and diseases of the immune and cardiovascular systems. The commercialisation of the Institute’s research is managed by its trading subsidiary, Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd. The Babraham Research Campus is located six miles south-east of Cambridge.  Website:



The Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) is a Japanese governmental organisation that promotes mutually beneficial trade and investment relations between Japan and other nations. JETRO was established in 1958, and has a worldwide network of 36 offices in Japan and more than 70 offices overseas. Website:


JETRO London was established in 1959. Headed by Director General, Atsushi Inoue, it presently consists of 7 departments including ‘Science, Technology and Industry’, ‘Invest in Japan’ and ‘Trade’, 3 representative offices and 2 advisors specialising in trade and investment.  Website:




Contact details
Dr David J Hardman, Chief Executive Officer         Tel: +44 (0)1223 496205
Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd               Fax: +44 (0)1223 496020
Dr Claire Cockcroft,
Deputy, Corporate Affairs                                    Tel: +44 (0)1223 496260
Babraham Institute                                             Fax: +44 (0)1223 496002
Nicola Kinsey,
Commercial Liaison Manager                              Tel: +44 (0)1223 496334
Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd               Fax: +44 (0)1223 496020

The Institute is an independent charitable life sciences research institute, strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Babraham Institute