17th December 2019

Industry experts from many advanced sectors including AI/IoT, VR and Digital Health attended the latest Global Innovation Forum in Osaka, Japan.

Organised by the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) and the Osaka Business and Investment Center (O-BIC), 17 start-ups from across the globe including the UK, USA, Israel, Germany, China, Singapore, France and Japan were invited to the two-day forum.

With attendees keen to establish links and collaborate with overseas start-ups from advanced technology backgrounds, more than 300 representatives from an array of Japanese companies, VCs and Universities, came to watch the demonstrations, exchange contact details and learn more about business opportunities.

Masako Eguchi-Bacon, Representative of Japan Desk at Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce and MD of Oceanbridge Management Ltd commented: “As usual, OCCI arranged everything perfectly. It was a fantastic two days with many different activities going on, which included a keynote presentation from John Byrnes, Founder and Co-CEO of Ai Collaborator, who are based in Silicon Valley, who discussed how the AI start-up market was growing, in part thanks to the Silicon Valley ecosystem, which was supported them.

“What was particularly helpful for start-ups and attendees alike is that business presentations and B2B meetings were held simultaneously to ensure everyone could utilise their time effectively without having to wait until the end of the day to sit down.”

Thames Valley based Helix Technologies Ltd, Managing Director, John Yates commented: “The whole event was extremely well organised and the visitors to our stand and pre-arranged meetings were relevant to our business and OCCI even provided a translator for our meetings. Japan has 20 per cent of global revenues for the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) sector and it is a significant market for our business.”

ZapGo, who showcased their cordless power tool and robot vacuum cleaner using Carbon-Ion™ technology, were one of the three companies representing the UK. The company has a strong partnership with the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce and Osaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The facilitation, provided by Oceanbridge Management, ensured the team was provided with support throughout.

Rachel Eggington, Head of Operations at ZapGo commented: “We were privileged to be selected to represent the UK at the inaugural Global Innovation Forum.

“This well-attended two-day event showcased innovative SMEs to a wide audience, providing opportunities for product demonstrations as well as 1-2-1 meetings with potential partners, customers and government agencies. The meticulous preparation, including interpreters to help with the many multilingual conversations, resulted in a successful and productive event.”

The next Global Innovation Forum will be taking place in October 2020. Expressions of interest will be sent out to companies over the coming months.