05th October 2021

Known as Asia’s leading innovation hubs, Osaka, Japan will once again play host to the annual Global Innovation Forum (GIF) 2021. The event, which is now in its third year, will include two impressive businesses recommended by the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce to the Osaka Chamber of Commerce (OCCI), who host GIF. Both have since been given the opportunity to formally present to dedicated Japanese companies, many who are keen to identify new discoveries and create collaborative partnerships. 

Taking place exclusively online, invited guests and delegates will be able to participate in a series of events including an exhibition, virtual live pitches, individual business meetings and its popular conference.

The two businesses selected to participate in The Global Innovation Forum 2021 are LatchAid and Q5D, and whilst coming from completely different sectors, both showed the type of innovation and clever use of technology needed to be successful at GIF.

LatchAid is an easy-to-use breastfeeding support app which utilises cutting-edge 3D interactive and Artificial Intelligence technology to help mothers  Q5D machines have interchangeable end-effectors. Pneumatics, liquids and power can feed through the robotic connector. In this example conductive paste is being applied to a complex 3D printed surface to create a shielded cage in a very specific shape.


Dr Chen Mao Davies, an Oscar and BAFTA-winning expert in computer graphics and animation, set up LatchAid after facing her own struggles with breastfeeding, pain and subsequent depression. She realised that mothers needed maternal support fit for the 21st century; a smart, on-hand, interactive way to learn vital and practical breastfeeding skills.

Q5D is a robotics and software company that automates the manufacture of wiring harnesses in the automotive, aerospace and other markets. The company uses a combination of additive manufacturing, high-quality laser-sintered printed electronics, and embedded wiring to add electrical function to products such as airline seating or battery electric vehicles. 

Founder and CEO of LatchAid, Dr Chen Mao Davies, commented: “We are changing the breastfeeding support landscape. We know that mothers around the world are struggling to breastfeed and the knock on impact can be quite devastating. We believe that every mother deserves the support and empowerment to give their child the best start in life. This is at the core of everything we do. 

“This opportunity to present LatchAid at the Global Innovation Forum, hosted by the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce is huge. Japan is a leading country in terms of innovation and technology and we know that there is a strong campaign to support mothers and improve breastfeeding rates. We’re hoping we can build on the success we are having in the UK and expand our partnerships for a Japanese audience.

“We know that LatchAid is a much needed product. We have already beta tested our product with over 1,000 people in 20 countries and found that over 70% of mothers increased their breastfeeding confidence and skills in just four weeks.”

Professor Stephen Bennington, CEO of Q5D said: “The wiring in products like vehicles, washing machines and aircraft is largely manufactured and installed by hand. Q5D Technology’s mission is to automate these processes using its robotic and software tools with the aim of reducing cost and improving quality. It integrates wiring into cosmetic or structural parts using a combination of additive manufacturing, embedded wiring and laser sintered printed electronics.

“GIF gives Q5D Technology the ability to make contact with potential customers and collaborators who want to use our tools or help us sell our products into Japanese and other Asian markets. Japanese engineering ranks amongst the best in the world, and we think that Q5D’s innovative technology will appeal to Japanese manufacturing companies to improve their productivity and the quality of their products.”

Masako Eguchi-Bacon, the Japan desk representative at the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce commented:  “Seven years ago the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Osaka Chamber of Commerce (OCCI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which has proven incredibly beneficial to both parties.  Since GIF’s started we have secured businesses from across the Thames Valley access to the much coveted Japanese market.”