New partnership brings Waterloo innovations to Japanese market

Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) has partnered with Japanese accelerator Landing Pad Tokyo (LPT) to bring University of Waterloo developed technologies to the Japanese market.

“The goal of this partnership is to help Waterloo companies enter the Asian market, and to accelerate the research and development of new technologies through partnerships with Japanese businesses,” said Sushanta Mitra, Executive Director of WIN.

“It is not easy for Canadian startups to have direct access to large Japanese corporations.  LPT’s members are well-positioned to work with Canadian startups to further develop their technology and market it to their large customers,” said Dr. Kiyotaka Kato, Executive Director at LPT. “In addition, LPT’s services are not limited to the Tokyo area. We have been expanding our membership to other parts of Japan and are developing cooperative relationships with local hubs nation-wide, presenting an even more exciting opportunity for Waterloo companies.”

A great example of how this relationship is working to help nanotech companies in Canada is ICSPI, a company that manufactures microscopes-on-a-chip, spun out of the CIRFE Laboratory led by Professor Raafat Mansour (a WIN member and Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering). Through the WIN/LPT partnership, ICSPI is working with Nissin Inc., an electronics equipment manufacturer based in Hyogo, Japan, to develop a new product for industrial measurement applications.

The Waterloo Commercialization Office (WatCo) at the University of Waterloo will work in partnership with WIN and LPT to accelerate this opportunity for more WIN affiliated startups. 

“This relationship began when Professor Mitra met Dr. Kato at an event in Tokyo that was arranged by the Canadian Embassy in January 2020,” said Oleg Stukalov, Business Development Manager at WIN. “The pandemic prevented Dr. Kato from visiting WIN in person as originally planned, but follow up meetings were held virtually. The MOU was executed in April 2020. There have already been a couple of nanotechnology companies working with counterparts in Japan on proof-of-concepts. Further regular matching opportunities are currently being arranged between WIN-WatCo and LPT.”

WIN and affiliated startups will once again join LPT in participating in the International Nanotechnology Exhibition and Conference as part of Canada’s delegation to the event. Participation will be virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions. The event will take place December 9 to 11, 2020 and will further solidify this exciting new partnership.