Biomedical Cluster in Kobe

The Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster has grown to attract 350 institutions and companies, ranging from promising startups to multinational health care companies, including Germany's Bayer. After $4 billion in public investments since its inception 25 years ago, it is now the largest biotech center in Japan, employing 9,400 people.

Providing state-of-the-art health care facilities, the cluster was chosen in 2014 as the location for the world's first clinical study of iPS cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells, when they were used in a retinal transplant procedure, a huge milestone for regenerative medicine.

Built on an artificial island, the cluster was central to the port city's revitalization. Its governing body is led by Tasuku Honjo, winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in physiology for his discovery of a protein that has proved effective in cancer treatment.

Having successfully established itself within Japan's biomedical industry, the aim now is to become globally competitive.

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